Indeed, I presume my mind has a natural trigger level—any input above an intensity threshold seizes my conscious awareness. However, when in the habit of experiencing frequent high amplitude emotional responses, my mind becomes temporarily unable to resolve subtler effects at play. In signal processing we might call this a normalization process, where the mind’s trigger level dynamically adapts based on the range of intensity experienced.
Part 2: Impulse Responses and Capacitive Charging
Alas, in modern society we are constantly bombarded with high-amplitude noise derived from both external and internal origins that may obscure the subtler and truer nature of the moment.
From my experience, our emotional states do not precisely track fluctuations in stimuli. Rather, I posit that each time I expose myself to an emotional surge, I begin to charge a figurative capacitor. And this capacitor takes time to decay even if the stimulus itself has disappeared or has proven to be unimportant.
Thinking back to stocks and heartbeats, a charged capacitor pushes me towards the high amplitude stimulus and normalizes my intensity range so that I can no longer perceive the low amplitude stimulus. And then, my perception remains skewed until enough decay time has elapsed.
I expect there is biological justification for this effect—when acutely emotionally charged, our bodies release a surge of adrenaline or similar chemical that must dissipate even if the initial stimulus has proven to be insignificant.
Let’s call the frequency with which the mind reacts to stimuli our “reality sampling rate.” We are at risk of spending a whole lot of time unproductively charged up until we learn to tune our reality sampling rates and all the other knobs that control this capacitive charging mechanism.