Focus & Feelings

“The Universe is full of MAGICAL things PATIENTLY waiting for our WITS to grow sharper.”

Eden Phillpotts

It is our right frontal lobe that takes in information. That information is then passed on to the left frontal lobe for sorting and the beginning of learning that distributes that information to the rest of the brain.

In this process of “novelty-routinization” and hemispheric specialization, we take in novel information with the right frontal lobe and it is routinized by the left frontal lobe. Your right frontal lobe is this entry point that first grabs what is important. It is the start of FOCUS. We suspect that it is also key to whatever ADD or ADHD is.

FOCUS is also connected to the activity of the Reticular Activating System in the limbic system. It all seems so complicated when we look only at the physiology and forget about what we are feeling.

What is often overlooked is how much FOCUS is dependent upon feeling state. Our feelings are where we live, and we focus from our feeling state or in reaction to it. Regardless of how the brain functions and handles the physiological process, we are FOCUSING from feelings.

Our wits are sharper when we are sharper, and we are sharper when we are feeling good. FOCUS and FEELINGS could very nearly be the same thing. Oftentimes we are so much on automatic pilot that we don’t know what we’re feeling. What are you feeling right now? Can you tell me in words that really describe to me where you are in such a way that I could feel it with you? You are not your feelings until you can decide which ones you want to have and direct your FOCUS to have them.

What your right frontal lobe attaches to and takes in is largely dependent upon two things: your awareness of your feelings and your emotional muscle. Even when I am intending to focus on something I want to learn or know, the power of that focus rests in what I am feeling and how that feeling is coloring my experience.

Try an experiment. Look around you and see what you see. Then take a deep breath. Breathe deeply and feel peace. See how deeply and completely you can relax and feel peace. Close your eyes while you do it. Then open your eyes and look around. Now what do you see? Take some time and look.

Notice any differences?

FOCUS is a choice if we make it a choice. But always the power of that focus is largely defined by what we are feeling. Before you label yourself ADD, consider what you are feeling. Before you decide that you can’t focus on something, consider what you are feeling.

Mindfulness of FEELING STATES enhances wit and FOCUS.

Feelings have force. They can be trained. They are more than just a thermometer of what is happening to you. You can develop emotional muscle and you can grow the emotions that best serve your FOCUS and your wit.

You are not the victim of your emotions. You have the ability to develop the emotional strength and direction that sharpens your wit and determines your focus.

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute