Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Slowing down time

Our Perception of Time Depends Upon our Focus of Concentration

Perception of the passage of time is affected by the amount of time concentration is directed to things going on in the world around us, as opposed to being focused internally, on our own thoughts and feelings. When we are able to quiet, conscious, internal though processes, and keep concentration focused almost exclusively on the game, time is slowed down and we enter the zone.

Time perception can be speeded up as well. When we go to sleep at night, our focus of concentration becomes almost exclusively internal. When we wake up,we have the feeling that time passed very quickly. People under extreme pressure in competitive situations often have associated changes in physiology which causes concentration to become more internally focused. Breathing rate, heart rate, and muscle tension levels all increase. Those internal changes act as distracters causing us to spend more time in our head than usual. When this happens, time seems to speed up and we feel rushed.

There will be methods and training to help us enter the "zone". They would teach us techniques to help us to reduce attention to internal thoughts and feelings, and stay focused on only performance relevant external cues. This must be harder than it sounds as most teaching must require us to start thinking more, not less, thereby temporarily increasing our internal focus. !! I imagine it takes time and patience to reap the reward of such training.

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