“It’s a popular fact that 90 percent of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong… It is used. One of its functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary, to turn the unusual into the usual. Otherwise, human beings, faced with the daily wondrousness of everything, would go around wearing a stupid grin, saying “Wow,” a lot. Part of the brain exists to stop this from happening.”
– Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
To stop us from overloading, the brain needs to reduce the information we see so that we can focus on the essential; what is new and things we have told the brain to regard as important. The problem is that this can cause us to get stuck in our routines and in our way of thinking: We keep doing the same things, reacting in the same way and thinking the same thoughts. To stop this from happening we need to make sure that we experience new things, talk to new people and review what habits we have from time to time.
We should not overdo this though. For some people this takes energy and if we force ourselves outside of our comfort zone both physically and mentally too much then we will not have much energy over for our every day life. It shouldn’t be a problem though because most people don’t do enough new things. But it is good to remember to think about the balance between doing new things and following our patterns.