Monday, September 21, 2009

How Quickly We Acclimate

I was thinking today how quickly we acclimate to new situations and conditions. It's really quite amazing. Something in our brains just automatically accepts our "new normal." Of course, this only works with small things.
A funny one I've noted lately about myself is handwashing. I'm a bit of an obsessive handwasher and at the Cosmosphere the soap and water are automatic. Although I've only been there a couple of months, I find myself already waiting for other soap dispensers, which require some manual intervention, to do their thing. Eventually it occurs to me that I will have to do more than just stand there.
The same thing happens when we drive a different car. You find yourself automatically reaching for the gear shift wherever yours is. But, within a short time, you're comfortable with the other car.
It's quite an amazing feat that our brains shift gears like that so quickly in so many ways. It also points out how many things we do on autopilot. Our brain filters what we need to pay attention to and what we don't. In fact, that's actually the ability that we lose as we age - the ability to filter easily - not the ability to take in information.
We humans are amazing creatures.

Posted via email from Patsy's posterous