Have You Experienced The 'Doorway Effect?'

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doorway effect
Ever forget why you walked into a room? Discover how to use memory blips to your advantage.

You are upstairs in your bedroom working on a project of sorts, when you realize that you need a knife to continue with your task. So you go downstairs to the kitchen to get a knife and the moment you arrive, you completely forget why you are in the kitchen and what you needed to get.

Does that ever happen to you? You are on a mission and suddenly the mission vanishes from your memory. It takes a few minutes to remember what your goal was and what you intended to do. It's All About Love

Apparently, this sudden and momentary memory loss is called the "Doorway Effect." It's caused as a result of literally walking through a doorway and into another spatial reality. The effect is that your visual perspective changes when you walk through that doorway and it takes time to recalibrate your thinking and adapt to your new surroundings. Your mind experiences a blip and needs to work hard to remember its earlier thoughts. Facebook Friend Requests: Dos And Don'ts

Luckily, this is a normal experience and is not a sign of senility. In fact, if we examine the nuts and bolts of the "doorway effect", we might even find a hidden opportunity—a lesson, that if properly applied, can yield tremendous results.

A Coach's Take on the Doorway Effect
So how can this temporary blip in memory actually be helpful? How can one use it to their benefit? Here are my thoughts . . .

We often get agitated by the stuff in our lives that is out of order or does not live up to our expectations—i.e. your teenager's messy room, your spouse's over-the-top attachment to his iPhone, the poor driving skills of the guy in the car next to you, the long line-ups at the store, the slow customer service at the bank, etc. The Pink Slip

Our attention to these kinds of things can set off a string of negative experiences and can be the trigger that activates an emotional slump or a bad mood interval. The more we notice things that aren't right in our vision of the world, the more we experience them. That's just the way it works. The opposite is true too. The more we notice all the awesome things, the more we experience them. 

It's not an accident that we are often advised to simply close the door when we see the chaos in our teenager's room. In reality, that advice is based on the idea of pivoting your visual attention to something different. It's no different than walking through the doorway of a different room in order to deliberately get a different perspective, and experience that momentary memory loss. If we remembered every single thing our kids ever did that was 'out of order' we would have given them away long ago. Momentary loss of memory gives us the opportunity to re-calibrate our thinking and intentionally focus on something better and more pleasing. Do Your Kids Crack You Up?

This is really a form of emotional self-management.  Turn your attention, turn your head...look at something different and choose what you are paying attention to. Use the blip to forget the stuff that is agitating you and let it go. 

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