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Consciousness is “personal awareness of mental activities, internal sensations, and external environment”. The states of consciousness are connected with two important types of brainwaves that each holds a specific mental state such as; alpha (relaxed wakefulness) and beta (alert wakefulness). The conscious realm does not only consist of a variety of mental states, but also correlates with the id, ego, and superego. The contrasting shifts in my consciousness provide a vast spectrum of awareness. My alertness ranges from semi-consciously binge-watching reality shows to producing deep, well-thought-out ideas. My consciousness shifts and moves through different levels of awareness that encourage my level of productivity.
Once I wake up in the morning it takes me a few minutes to be fully aware and awake to start my day. Stage one is the start point of the sleeping cycle and is also known as the light stage of sleep, where I experience drowsiness. Some days, like today, it can be harder for my brain to notice the shift from stage one of the sleep cycles to wakefulness. Therefore, I am more inclined to hit my snooze button once I hear my alarm to enjoy a couple more minutes on stage one. Sleep establishes the state of consciousness that not only overlaps each other, but is overlooked and most times not acknowledged.
When my brain produces a terrifying nightmare or an exciting dream it is created in stage four of the sleep cycle. It is also known as REM sleep, a complex state of consciousness where my body temperature controls diminish yet my brain is still able to actively communicate to strengthen its neural connections. For instance, my brain attempts to take the new retained information I learned from the previous day to associate with an older memory to establish a newer formed memory. This is a phase where my brains are rearranging my memory and thoughts to create what I identify as complex dreams.
I have caught myself experience short bursts of detachment from my surrounds many times throughout my day, especially when I am disinterested or bored. I am usually not aware that I am daydreaming until I have expanded all I can on the specific thought. For example, I am sitting in my art class struggling to pay attention to my professor as she lectures on the basics of color. My mind starts to go elsewhere as I start to think about what I would rather be doing instead of taking notes. For a moment, the reality is blurred and I am imagining myself in my room reading the book that I recently have been obsessed with and could not put down the night before. As I am enjoying this visionary fantasy, I suddenly hear my professor call my name and instantly I become aware of my surrounds again.
Overall, our experience of consciousness is functional and essential because I use it as a tool to control my reactions and create logical conclusions about my problems. It associated, “between direct and indirect tests of memory and perception have renewed enthusiasm…” the study of unconscious processing. Since consciousness consists of different levels and mental stages, it provides a structure to our sense of morality.
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