What emotion takes an average of 4 days to pass, and why?

The sadness is the most enduring of emotions, according to one of the first studies to look at why some emotions last much longer than others .

When compared to being angry, ashamed, surprised and even upset; sadness stands out.

The study, published in the journal  Motivation and Emotion , found that sadness tends to be associated with events that have had a major long-term impact on people’s lives, such as mourning ( Verduyn & Lavrijsen 2014 ).

Saskia Lavrijsen, co-author of the study, explained:

“ Rumination is the central determinant of why some emotions last longer than others . Emotions associated with high levels of rumination will last longer.

Shorter emotions are typically – but, of course, not always – triggered by events of relatively low importance. On the other hand, lasting emotions tend to be something very important “.

The results come from a survey of 233 students who were asked to recall emotional experiences and how long they lasted.

Here is the amount of time each emotion lasted, on average:

At the extremes, while disgust and shame tended to pass within 30 minutes, sadness continued for an average of 120 hours .

Boredom, in turn, tends to go away in a couple of hours, although, of course, it seems a lot longer!

There were also fascinating patterns between connected emotions. For example, fear tends to be short-lived , while your close cousin’s anxiety lasts much longer .

In the same way, the shame passed relatively quickly, but the feeling of guilt tends to stay for much longer (Uncle Freud would blame the Superego ).

by Abdullah Sam
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