Can NLP help increase your ability to focus? Yes. Is there an NLP technique for it? No, not one that is traditionally taught inside an NLP training, that is.
As a kid, the schools that I attended were very keen to label children. Not to intentionally harm them, but to see if they needed help. My mother was told that I had issues focusing in class, and they began introducing concepts to her like ADD or ADHD. The girl that the teachers were describing to my mother wasn’t the same person I was at home. I could get lost in books and my imaginary world, being a puppeteer with a professional Pinokio puppet, giving animals love and attention, and building sandcastles or snowmen. Heck, my family even tells the story of how when they forgot to bring toys to my grandma’s house, I was more than happy to role-play with a set of rusty nails! Even empty boxes could hold my attention. My mother refused to medicate me or send me to a therapist. She decided to sign me up for martial arts instead. A lack of focus in martial arts class will not only get you punched in the face, but it will also prevent you from achieving a black belt. As a bonus, I was also able to work off my energy. Children aren’t meant to sit still and be quiet all day, in my opinion.
Later as an NLP trainer, I learned how many people struggle with focus. It is often the thing they come to the NLP training for and desire to work on the most. There are many generic techniques taught that can help with focus. And I would say there are many ways to improve your focus with NLP.
NLP Technique To Increase Focus
Part 1: Learning about previous moments of focus using NLP:
1. Think of a context or memory in your life where you have an easy time going from unfocused to focused.
2. Close your eyes or find a quiet place so you can stare into the distance.
3. Watch a movie of yourself going from unfocused to focused.
4. What specifically did you learn?
5. What specifically was the trigger for you to go from unfocused to focused?
6. How specifically did you achieve it?
7. Now imagine you can step into the “you” before the movie starts. This time you experience the movie in a way that you can see what you would see. Hear what you would hear, and feel what you would feel.
8. What specifically did you learn?
Part 2: Increasing the Intensity Using NLP Submodalities & Anchoring
1. Watch the last movie again, making it bigger and brighter.
2. Intensify the sound, increase the volume, and make it surround sound. Add music if you feel it will help.
3. Notice where you feel focus inside your body, and increase the intensity of it.
4. Once you feel the emotion very strongly, make your exhale longer than your inhale and focus on your breath as well as the environment outside of you, rather than engaging with your thoughts or your inner-world.
Part 3: Test The Anchor
1. Do another activity for a little bit.
2. When you are in a space where you need to focus again make your exhale longer than your inhale, and focus on what is happening outside of you.
The science of making the inhale longer than the exhale is a promising way to improve focus. A study found that participants who breathed in for six seconds and out for 10 seconds were more focused than those who breathed in for four seconds and out for eight seconds. This is likely because the longer inhale allows more oxygen to reach the brain, which improves focus and cognitive function.
NLP techniques can be used to overcome distractions, increase motivation, thereby improving your ability to focus. If you’re struggling to stay on task, NLP can definitely help!