In a recent collaboration of scientists from different disciplines from the Netflix documentary "The Most Unknown" we discover that understanding HOW our brain works can improve our DAILY happiness. Think Time Travel and your Favourite Movie of ALL time.
Let me explain.
Lets look at two fields that don’t seem to be connected but remarkably could be the key to a great life each day:
Scientists who study the brains perception of TIME
Behavioural Psychologists who study HOW people RATE movies
How the Human Brain Slows Time:
Scientists out of California who study HOW the human brain perceives time found in long spells of static activity, or low activity, such as looking at plain room with white walls, the brain perceives TIME to go by slower.
That is, when a stopwatch was given to the participant looking at the room with white walls, those tested consistently over estimated how much time went by during the test.
But if those same moments are filled with plenty of interactions, movement and activity, then TIME, according to the brain, goes by FASTER.
Tested participants underestimated how much time had past in these moments.
In other words, the brain is seeking out stimulation and activity and as such TIME is perceived to go by faster. Which is viewed by the brain as a more POSITIVE experience.
This simple RULE of TIME can be applied to living better lives.
But first we need to spend a minute on understanding HOW we perceive MOVIES.
Behavioural psychologists studying movie audiences found individuals tended to rate how much they LIKED or LOVED a film based on two key elements:
1. What the BEST part of the movie was. This is a ‘height’ moment within a film i.e. the funniest, most dramatic, most surprising, most thrilling or most entertaining scene.
2. How the Movie ended. Did the audience feel fulfilled, satisfied, entertained, excited, at the films ending? Think about your top 5 films, how much did you love it’s ending?
The remarkable thing is that means even if a film had plenty of dry, boring, or badly scripted parts BUT had a great scene in it AND a good ending then the brain filters out the boring and bad stuff and has a tendency of remembering the good.
So what if we treated EACH DAY like a MOVIE? YOUR LIFE, TODAY as a MOVIE?
And what if we remembered the RULE OF TIME?
Well, it turns out that if we have at least ONE MOMENT each day that makes us laugh, makes us smile, is filled with plenty of interactions, plenty of stimulus, maybe even a little bit of adventure, action, surprise, THEN your brain will most likely remember that day as a good day.
The Inspired Tip!
And IF we remember that each day is like a movie, and HOW we close off that day each day helps us with our overall happiness and feeling for the day, then we’ll close our days feeling like we had a GREAT day, even if there were a few dull parts in between.
Give it a try today!