Perception

Development

  • Realize what you see, hear, and feel. An exercise which may seem strange to the eye may help make perception a more conscious activity. Over a certain period of time (for example, 10-15 minutes) talk about anything in the area of your perception either to yourself or out loud. “Right now I see …, I hear …, I feel …” If 15 minutes of “realization” is too hard for you, start with a shorter and more suitable period of time.
  • Learn to vary the extent of your detail perception randomly. Choose an object for perception and try to notice as many details about it as possible over a few minutes such as what kinds of details it consists of and how they make the object a whole. Then go back to perceiving the object as a whole. Pay attention to the things that make it this exact object. Do this exercise from time to time using various sources: visible, audible, or tangible ones.
  • Use your body as the object of perception. For a certain period of time focus your perception on the tip of your right hand index finger – perceive just this point and nothing else. Then, expand the area in order to perceive your whole body. What do you perceive? What is happening? Now narrow your perception area to a single point again.
  • Experiment with the shape and background of your perception. For example, when outside try to notice all of the sounds you hear. Then focus on a single sound (for instance, leaves rustling, birds singing, or somebody’s voice.) Listen to this sound, make it a shape, and ignore everything else. Then go back to the whole picture. Repeat the same procedure with a different sound for a few minutes and then try to hear all of the sounds again. You may do a similar exercise with visual objects as well. Just look at the scenery and choose different figures to focus on.
  • Exercise synesthesia – i.e. combining sensations of different modalities and converting them into each other. If you are listening to music what visual and physical associations do you have? If you are looking at something, how might it sound or feel? How does an object smell?
  • Every now and then do the following exercise: choose some familiar object and examine it for a few minutes in order to find something you never noticed about it before. Pay attention to its depth, panorama, and both large and tiny details. Perform this exercise in a way to make a couple of little discoveries every day.
  • The following exercise will help you understand how realistic your perception is. Choose some simple activity, such as washing the dishes, walking around the house, or making a cup of coffee, etc. Measure how much time you need to do it and then do the same thing in your imagination but try to imagine it as realistically as possible by perceiving (feeling, seeing and hearing) everything as if it were actually real life. Next check how much time it took you to do it in your imagination. The time should be equal to the time it took you to do the same action in reality. If it took you less time to do it you “cut out” some parts of your perception; if it took you longer to do it you got distracted on other details or something irrelevant to the process. Test yourself with such exercises.