‘Time and tide wait for no man’ wrote Geoffrey Chaucer in 1395. Busy people can attest to that. What Geoff probably didn’t realise is that we can change our perception of time, which can make all the difference in the world to our anxiety and stress levels.

One of the more common reactions I get from clients emerging from a hypnosis session is how quick it felt to them. I sometimes ask how long they think they were in hypnosis for. Most will say between 15 and 20 minutes. They are astonished to hear that it was actually 40 minutes. Our perception of time changes when we are relaxed and free from stress, such as when we are in hypnosis.

Drivers will recognise the experience of having driven from A to B with not much recollection of the detail of how they got there and also how long it took. It becomes automatic. We are no less aware or vigilant but the powerful subconscious part of our brain takes over and time becomes almost irrelevant.

Our conscious perception of time is informed by years of using it to drive productivity or value: time is money as they say. We are measured against the hours we spend in the office or on a particular project. Our endurance of a long journey is measured often in time: how many hours it is until the next town or service station. Our expectations are similarly driven by hours, days and weeks: ‘its 6 and a ¼ weeks until I go on holiday’. Of course holidays seem to go much quicker than the time waiting for them to arrive.

Interesting isn’t it how we naturally speed up and slow down our perception of time. It is in fact something that can be done on purpose too. Quite often I will help clients to slow down time as they are analysing their movements in a particular sport such as golf. For performance anxiety, in exams, public speaking or sex for example, it is also extremely effective.

If any of this sounds familiar and you think it might be helpful for you to change your perception of time to address an issue, maybe that you have been struggling with for a long time, drop me a line or give me a call and let’s talk about how life can be different for you.