Stop Anxiety by Adjusting Expectations
We prefer to hold on to old experiences. It helps us make sense of the world: It protects us from touching a fire or eating poison berries. But when the expectations cause anxiety, we can adjust them.
If you get what you expect, your brain releases a bit of dopamine and moves on. If it conflicts, cortisol is released, which motivates us to pay more attention, but it also fuels anxiety.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
A magician sat at a table in front of a group of schoolchildren. He threw a ball up in the air a few times, but before his last throw, he secretly let the ball fall into his lap. Then he continued ...
In the vanishing ball illusion, a study found that when the magician pretends to throw the ball in the air, and his gaze follows the imaginary trajectory of the ball, almost two-thirds of the participants will be convinced that they had seen the ball move up. If his gaze did not follow the imaginary ball, the illusion was far less effective.
This illustrates that the illusion is mostly driven by expectations. Our eyes find it difficult to track fast-moving objects. Looking at the ball is only possible when we can predict where it will be in the future.
Although most participants experience an illusory effect during magic tricks, the eyes are not tricked. The conscious perception has been fooled by the illusion, but your eyes have not.
Lots of neural calculations are required before we can experience the world. Neural signals start in the retina, then it passes through different neural centers to the visual cortex and higher cortical areas, and eventually build a mental representation of the outside world. It takes about a tenth of a second for the light registered by the retina to become a visual perception. The neural delay means we perceive things at least a tenth of a second after they happened.
Is the idea that we learn unconsciously through our senses in a self-regulated way, without requiring external reinforcement.
More simply, you can learn to intuitively identify different situations or images through directly experiencing them in a fast-paced manner.
We’ve all experienced that flash of insight, that fleeting moment when a solution we’ve been grinding away at reveals itself in an unexpected place.
Einstein, for example, was known...
The brain’s building blocks are neurons: nerve cells that receive and transmit signals along neural pathways. Certain pathways are forged at birth. Others can be manipulated by learning.
So when you’re stuck in a rut, your brain’s neurons could literally be stuck on a neural pathway you’ve carved out through your behavior. But you can get unstuck by choosing to make new connections.