Tag Archives: chaos

Campfire, surf, forest = chaos

Much of the mind is dedicated to pattern matching: cerebral, visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory cortexes and subsystems which load and store and recall patterns. Our life as modern humans rely on these facilities to navigate and work our world.

When you exhaustively tax such systems, you know the feeling, there are a few simple things you can do to recharge your brain-battery. One of those is the application of chaos.

Have you ever wondered why a campfire, a day at the beach, a walk through a forest can be so rejuvenating? I’m coming to believe that by applying chaos to our sensory inputs we overload our pattern matching engines. When this happens, our brains give up and quit trying to find patterns, for a time.

When this happens the transfer of signals between our cortexes and our hippocampus, back and forth, slows and this slowing is soothing to us. We quit trying to cram more patterns from our world through our eyes and ears and fingers (and nose and tongue too, I suppose). When our brain stops trying to decode patterns, because there are none — chaos is by definition patternless — we allow our long term memories to sift and settle. Nothing new is being added or processed so we get to enjoy a little downtime.

And chaotic downtime can help reinvigorate our minds in anticipation of our return to a day or week of intense pattern matching.

 

[Alexa: Play campfire sounds. Alexa: Play ocean sounds. Alexa: Play forest sounds.]