Perceptual Awareness

Sometimes your perception may seem askew, sometimes it is and you do not even realize it. The following is a list of ways to help you mindfully maintain and enhance perceptual awareness and accuracy:

  • Remember that perceptions are constructions of reality:
    • Question your own perceptions; are they accurate? Could another interpretation fit the facts? What assumptions are you making? How might your assumptions be distorting your perceptions?
  • Break perceptual habits and interrupt habituation:
    • Try to get away from habitual, top-down processing, and do some activities in a new way. Take a new route home, use your non-dominant hand.
  • Seek out-of-the-ordinary experiences:
    • Anything from trying new foods, to reading an opposing opinion. The options are endless
  • Beware of perceptual sets:
    • Anytime you pigeonhole people, objects, or events, there is a chance that your perceptions will be distorted by expectations or preexisting categories. Try to see people as individuals, and events as unique, one-time occurrences.
  • Be aware of the ways that motives and emotions influence perception:
    • Be aware of being swayed by your own interests, needs, desires, and emotions. Actively try to see the world through the eyes of others.
  • Make a habit of engaging in reality testing:
    • Look for additional evidence to check the accuracy of your perceptions. Ask questions, seek clarification, find alternate channels of information because your perceptions may not be accurate, you may be wrong.
  • Pay attention:
    • Make a conscious effort to pay attention to your surroundings, don’t drift through life in a haze.
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