Trust, confidence, and being in the present moment express the sensations that we experience when we are 100% focused on a task without entertaining mechanical or distracting thoughts in our minds. When we are totally focused, we achieve our goals, become productive, and feel proud for having moved forward. If being totally focused is so positive, what prevents us from being in that positive mindset for longer time?
For some people, staying focused seems to come more naturally while for others it requires a greater amount of conscientious effort. Even for those fortunate individuals, their genetic “focused” gene pool barely counts enough to completely do away from needing positive life experiences and conscientiously putting effort to promote being in the present moment. By far, life experiences and effort much more so than genes are the primary source of wisdom to achieve a greater level of emotional regulation in stressful experiences, which in turn, promote focus and enhances performance.
The neuroscience behind focus
Two individuals having a pleasant social interaction not only leads to fun and laughter, but also, unbeknown to them, promotes self-regulation of emotions at a non-verbal language. While having a good time, their respective nervous systems are simultaneously “talking” with one another synchronizing emotions. The nervous system from person A is reading the smiley face from person B, which causes a calmer demeanor and, in turn, responds with another smile. The nervous system from person B reads A’s positive verbal and non-verbal cues, which promotes being in the present moment. On the other hand, if either person perceives a potential threat, which could be in the form of yelling, nagging, rolling one’s eyes or disengaging, the other person will immediately turn on his/her physiological fear alarm system, causing both to lose their positive social engagement. The human ability to expand on the capacity to be in the present moment is experience dependent, not genetic dependent. Hence, the quality of the human interaction between athlete and coach has a direct effect on enhancing peak performance.
READ MORE IN OUR NEWSLETTER: Peak Performance from the Inside Out – Summer 2018