This mindful “spotlight” practice can create actual positive physical changes to the structure of the pre-frontal cortex which means more calm, more clarity, more compassion more heart/brain coherence.
A multi-tasking superhuman super-hero may be able to fight the enemy whilst also holding up a building and changing the weather but for most of us mortals one task in any one moment is enough. Neuro scientists have proved that as we have an experience the brain throws a spotlight onto one area and everything else fades out of focus. A good example you’ll already know if you've had the pleasure of a British speed awareness course, is you'll have been shown a short film after which they invite you to recall everything that you've seen, your conscious mind simply doesn't record everything that you see and most people quickly realise that they've missed out some vital detail, this also explains one of the reasons how a group of friends may share an experience but can remember it quite differently. So what does happen when you overload the system with too much information? As your spotlight of focus darts about between the senses you may start to feel overwhelmed, then tired, the less energy that you have the more stress rises and focus will fall onto negative patterns. As this happens, your executive function (decision making) suffers greatly. The fastest way to reboot the system and bring about calm is to turn the spotlight inward. Doing the following exercise for a few minutes will re-energise the frontal cortex of the brain. Like training any muscle, the more you practice this for yourself the better the results…….
Close your eyes if it helps. Turn your spotlight onto your breath and breathe in slowly, feel the air coming into your body, through your nostrils and down into your tum. Be aware of it in your body and simply keep your spotlight on the air as it very slowly makes it way back out again. Keeping your focus on letting the air out slowly is what will really calm everything down. If you lose track just wait for the next breath and start again.
Because what we focus on we feel...taking your spotlight to your breathing will also bring your heart into coherence giving you not only a sense of well-being but bring back the sparkle into all of your organs as they radiate with renewed energy.