All of us have experienced a moment when it seemed as though time came to a standstill. Whether it was a car accident, taking a fall, or watching something valuable fall off a shelf. If you have not experienced this kind of a rush, well then you have lived a very sheltered and boring life.
I once read an article that described this phenomenon very nicely. I wish I could remember where I read it because this is one of the few times I would like to cite another person’s work. This person described it something like this.
Your senses alert your brain that you are about to experience a situation where you are in great danger of physical harm. The adrenal gland floods your system with adrenaline. This causes your brain to go into hyper-speed, thus allowing you to see and hear everything as if in slow motion. Giving you time to process the data you are given, and make a decision that may save your ass.
Some people use this moment to freeze in terror, thus prolonging the amount of time they get to witness the last moments of their life.
These two articles suggest that this phenomenon more a perception after the fact than reality.
I like the explanation better that time doesn’t slow down, but a shot of adrenaline sends your brain into a super aware state. Makes sense right. After all, we have all been there. For me, more often than I care to think.
Here are some of my moments of chaos that leave me to believe that my brain was processing information faster than I normally would. Not because I remembered the events in great detail, but because of the thought process while caught up in these stress filled moments.