Improving Your Focus


Much of what we read on the Internet are tips on how to concentrate, or what to do in order to stay focused. However, these tips tend to be counter-intuitive, due to the fact that they are working against the nature of the brain. 

Through research, psychologists have used science to understand the way the brain works. To much surprise, behaviors we have always been told to not do, such as zone out, can actually make concentrating on a boring task a little more bearable. Our frontal cortex is responsible for staying concentrated and ignoring distraction. At some point, this region of the brain becomes over worked and requires a break in order to rejuvenate. 

Zoning out is one of the most important processes in allowing your brain to refuel. There is deliberate and accidental mind wandering. Deliberate mind wandering allows you to take a break from your work task and clear your mind of something else. It is a way to distract your mind while still being productive. Another tip to staying focused is to muck about. Although funny videos on the Internet are often the best form of procrastination, watching a humorous video is a great way to replenish our brain. It has been proven that a "playful" environment encourages production more successfully than a "relaxed" environment. 

Something we have all be taught is to eliminate all distractions. When taking a test in school we must clear off our desk, at work it is important to stay organized and pristine. On the contrary, having other distractions surrounding you allows your brain to concentrate on the most important one. This may be different for everyone, requiring some trial and error, but finding the perfect balance can keep your mind focused on what is important. Another important tip is to take a break. Sometimes you just want to get the task over with, but our brain can only work for so long. Exercise and meditation are two great ways to step aside from your project and let your brain rest. If these aren't possible at the time, looking out the window and treating yourself with some caffeine can do the trick as well. Finally, don't try too hard. When you rely on brain to focus only on one task for extended periods of time, your outcome won't be as successful as it could be. It is important to allow yourself plenty of time to complete the task, relax, and let your brain do it's work. 

If your focus still has not improved enough to meet your goals, your brain may need some training. Neurofeedback can train your brain to regulate, stabilize and focus itself so you're able to concentrate better on your tasks or follow directions that are given to you.

Contact us for more information on how Neurofeedback can help you and your family find the focus you need to function at your best.

Reference: Williams, C. (2017). Five ways science can improve your focus. BBC. 

~Written by Allison Parker and Tanya L. Hilber, PsyD

Who is Brian?

brian othmer

brian othmer

(This is the first part of a three-blog post examining Brian and his family’s journey with neurofeedback.)

Who is Brian and why might you be interested in this story? Below is a real story that happened to a family with their child. That child’s name was Brian. Brian had multiple challenges, some of them severe. Everyday all over the world many parents experience a journey similar to Brian and his family. See if you can relate to some of what Brian’s family went through. Does any of it resonate with you or sound familiar?

Imagine if you will that you’ve got a child that seems a bit ‘different.’ Perhaps the child has their own way of doing things. They may be having problems in school, at home, or with their peers. They may be giving you a hard time, acting-out, are angry, or possibly even get physically aggressive.

You’ve tried everything you know to better your child’s situation but are at a loss. Your well-meaning friends have been of little help as their children are ‘normal.’ You are crest-fallen. You wonder, why did this happen to us? Out of desperation you seek professional help for your child’s problems.

In one of your numerous appointments with numerous child professionals, things go terribly bad. One of the professionals mistakenly points the finger at you. The implication is that your parenting is responsible for the child’s behavior. You are devastated by the allegation. You are even more devastated that professional help is not improving the situation with your child.

Brian’s story typifies an experience that far too many families face. In Brian’s case, his parents were able to find relief for his symptoms with neurofeedback. Brian’s behavioral issues for the most part went away with his neurofeedback training and he got a more ‘normal’ life. His family finally found the relief they sought. Next month we will explore in detail Brian’s challenges.

Jacob Murdock, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern 99642

Reference: Othmer, S. (2013). Brian’s Legacy. Woodland Hills, CA: EEG Info.                                               Photo Credit: S. and S. Othmer


Contact us for more information!