BEWARE THE BLUE DOT EFFECT!
The Blue Dot Effect, The Future, Comfy Lounge Chairs and Stress Have Something In Common With Valentines Day? What is it?
Good question I hear you ask.
Before we get to blue dots, lounge chairs, stress and Valentines Day, let me give you a background story.
THE BLUE DOT STRESS OF MY LIFE.
You see, recently, there’s been a lot going on in my neck of the woods. In my personal life, there’s been some chaos and stress. You know, the usual stuff – financial stress, some family upheaval, a health scare and then you add to that what’s been happening in the world – environmental issues with bushfires around our area and well, life can get just a tad too much. Overwhelming, Stressful and downright just not a great place.
Now feeling like this can be a bit of a downer. It kind of makes you want to curl up under a rock or disappear. You start to “feel” everything. You get overloaded with worry, apprehension and fear that life, or worse the world is going to end.
Have you ever noticed that when one thing is going wrong in your life, it can feel like an avalanche starts? You might see one bit of terrifying news and next thing, another and then more. You hear of something horrible and blow me down, someone else shares the same kind of horror story.
Everything begins to spiral out of control. One day you wake up with a bit of a cold, you take the day off work. Next thing you know your fired, and then you get behind with your bills, and your partner leaves you. It’s just one thing after another over and over.
THE STRESS OF THE BLUE DOT EFFECT.
The Blue Dot Effect is contagious; it sneaks up on you and messes with your mind.
I sat in bed, reading “Everything is Fucked – A Book About Hope” by Mark Manson. It’s the sequel to “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F..k”. I was reading about “pain is the universal constant” and the blue dot effect.
I looked down and saw, everywhere – blue dots.
By merely reading the book, I contracted “The Blue Dot Effect”. How?
Let me tell you.
How do you know you are infected? Well, first let me share a story about how the Blue Dot Effect came to be. Once you understand the origins, it will make it easier for you to recognise should you find yourself showing symptoms.
The problem with the Blue Dot Effect is that it is deadly and creates a massively detrimental effect on your life.
It is curable, but only if you are aware that you have it. To find out that you are carrying the Blue Dot Effect, you can do one of two things – or both. The first is to become aware of yourself; the other is to have someone else point it out to you.- Common Sense you say, yet many people don’t want to know they have the Blue Dot Effect.
It’s the kind of disease that sits quietly eating away at you silently from the inside.
THE BLUE DOT EFFECT REVEALED
It all started like this:
“One by one, the subjects shuttled down the hall into a small room. Inside was a single beige computer console with a blank screen, two buttons and nothing else.
The instructions were simple: sit, stare at the screen, and if you see a blue dot flashes on it, press the button that reads “Blue”. If a purple dot flashes on the screen, press the button that reads “Not Blue”.” (extract from the above book).
Here’s the thing though, the subjects had to look at a thousand dots. Hundreds of people in multiple universities sat and viewed and clicked for blue dots.
EXPLAINING THE BLUE DOT WORLD OF TODAY
Now, this study, oddly explains a phenomenon we see in the world today.
It was a study on “prevalence-induced concept change” – or the “Blue Dot Effect”.
Here’s what happened – most of the dots were blue. Some were purple. Some were a shade between blue and purple.
Firstly the researchers showed mostly blue dots – and everyone was pretty accurate choosing which ones were not blue. Then they threw in more shades of purple and limiting the blue. Remarkably, the subjects mistook the purple for blue dots. No matter how many limited blue dots were shown, the subjects distorted the colours to seek out blue dots.
Now, I know you don’t see blue dots all that often. However, the thing is: the researchers did this experiment with other topics. One was with pictures of friendly, threatening and neutral faces. They had to spot the threatening faces. – Of course, same deal –in the beginning, more threatening faces were seen, then they added more and more friendly faces – yet people saw then as threatening also.
Then they got devious and experimented again. This time with moral judgements. They got people to read job advertisements and asked them to decide if the ads were unethical or ethical. Same deal, at first a lot of dishonest ads, then more and more ethical ones. The same thing happened, the blue dot effect kicked in, and they changed their thinking to see even ethical ads as unethical.
The results were defined.
When we don’t see blue dots, we look for them until we spot them. In other words, the Blue Dot Effect suggests that the more we look for threats, the more we will see them, despite how safe or comfortable we feel. What’s scary is that the better things get, the more we look for threats when there are none.
LET’S GO BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR A MOMENT.
Now, it’s all in your mind.
Like this. – Remember the RAS in the De Lorien. It was the time clock Doc and Marty set. Well, your RAS – or Reticular Activating System – is the part of your brain that stays on alert. It helps you notice some things and disregard others. (If you noticed everything you never focus because you would always be distracted). It enables you to see what you want to see. It brings into focus what you are seeking. (or where you want to travel to in you are going back to the future.)
So if you are pregnant, you notice pregnant women.
If you are considering purchasing a new car – you pretty much, only see the model or colour you want.
Get the picture.
Now let’s combine your RAS and the Blue Dot.
If you set your mind to see negative things, or bad things – your RAS keeps your brain alert to see these things.
The Blue Dot effect then kicks in so that you can filter out the good and the bad, except – if you only see good – you start to think of it as bad because when we don’t see blue dots, we look for them until we spot them.
NOW WHAT’S BLUE DOTS, YOUR RAS, STRESS AND COMFY LOUNGE CHAIRS GOT TO DO WITH VALENTINES DAY.
Can you connect the dots? (not the blue ones)
If you train your mind to be constantly focusing on something, you will always see it.
Your Reticular Activating System will be on alert to find what you are seeking – and your Blue Dot bias will turn whatever you see – into what you are looking for. I don’t know about you – but I believe that could make for a very stressful time.
If you experience one stressful event or situation, and you don’t cope well with that, the next time something stressful occurs – your RAS and Blue Dot Bias will recall and create the same emotions and thinking. Thus keeping you stressed out seeking out those situations time and time again.
It becomes your “Comfort Zone”.
Before long, you find yourself sitting in a comfy lounge chair in the zone of stress and fear, always focused on what you don’t want to happen or see.
Consider this, please.
In many places, in many ways, we live in an abundant world. Yes, we have problems also. However, there was another experiment conducted where scientists studied happiness.
They collected many ratings on a scale from 1 to 10. Surprisingly everyone rated themselves at 7 – regardless of how good or bad their lot was.
It’s surprising to say even with goodness and love in the world; we don’t rate ourselves as stress-free and happy.
A lot seems to be stressing us out.
What happens is that we are on the lookout for something terrible, and when nothing wrong happens, we turn something almost bad into something horrible.
Let us say Valentines Day has always been a joyful occasion. You receive lovely gifts and roses. So now every year, your mind goes into overdrive, noticing flowers and signs of Valentines Day. You get excited about what is to come.
Then one year Valentines Day is a bit of a bummer. You will notice the signs of Valentines Day, yet your blue dot effect will create the same emotions and thinking that came into play the very first time you had a disastrous Valentines Day.
It seems that the more we try to stop suffering or save ourselves from pain, the more we notice it. Trying to eliminate all pain, only increases our awareness of it. We become sensitive to suffering. Dare I say, we become paranoid and expect deceit and distrust from even the warmest embrace.
Just like at the end of last year, when I was trying desperately to escape from a lot of chaos and stress in my life, it seemed that no matter where I went, or who I spoke to – everyone was struggling the same.
Unless we make a conscious effort to notice the Blue Dot Effect and to remind ourselves of what our RAS sees we will stay within our Comfort Zone of negativity and pain, even if we are attentive to good things.
So how do you step out of the comfort zone and into an expanded world? First, you look for ways to decrease the stress, release the frustration and clear any confusion.
Then you work out what you need to have more energy and time in your life, and you begin to implement strategies to have those things. It’s not easy, but with an awareness and change of focus, you can decrease all that you don’t want to see and see much more of what you want to see. Try it.
Come reduce overwhelm, calm chaos and live an easier life – Book an Adventure Session with me and let’s discuss where you can begin.