Sensory Adaptation and Dependence

There’s this concept I learned last year in psych. It was highly insignificant, but it just got me thinking..

I don’t know where this is going, but here we are.

It’s called sensory adaptation. It’s when you have a reduced sensitivity to a constant stimulus. This concept explains why you stop feeling your hair against your back when it’s been down for a while, or why a concert seems painfully loud when you walk in but seems normal by the end of it. Also, interesting fact- your eyes are constantly moving; otherwise images slowly disappear due to sensory adaptation.. as if you have to remind yourself that things are still there. The name is fairly self-explanatory.

Google if you aren’t following.

So I was trying to extend this concept to our lives. The people and things we experience everyday. We get used to them.. and occasionally need that reminder that they’re there, and that they’ve become second nature to us. It’s possible that at some point they could not be there, so we shouldn’t take them for granted.

We depend so heavily on things we expect 100% not to fail on us and rarely step back to appreciate them.

You can start by reflecting on the obvious things; eg. as much as we complain about school, we are honestly so fortunate to have this opportunity that some people would literally give anything to have. Think about your life without school. Your life without any of the people you have met through school. All of the skills and experiences that have made you who you are right now. School is kind of a bad example due to its cliché-ness but any who..

There are also some things we seriously never even think about that we take for granted. They other day I was on the internet, browsing for some haircut inspiration as I was getting tired of my ombre hair colour. I stumbled upon this youtube account- trich journal. It’s a channel made by this girl, probably in her 20s who suffers from a condition called trichotelomania; a compulsive desire to pull out one’s hair. I didn’t even know what this condition was and honestly the first thing I thought when I started watching one of the videos was how pretty she was and how much I loved her cool accent. Anyway, after watching a few videos I was taken back from how much conditions such as these affect so many people, not just physically but emotionally.

Its begin exposed to things like this that force us to step back and really reflect on how much has become results of sensory adaptation..

Imagine your life without a limb. Imagine your life without sight or taste or hearing. Yes, as you are thinking, it would suck. But REALLLYYY think about it. Would you have the job you do now? Would you be reading this post?

This is also important; You should feel no guilt or pity. You also aren’t forced to examine to opposition as I always do, “a life without this or that”.  This post is simply intended to make you think, to allow you to become aware of it. Aware of all of the people and things you have mindlessly depended on for so long. We are all so fortunate and loved and we should celebrate that!


– Dose of Delight


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