How to Focus
Return to The Body-Brain Connection: How Fidgeting Sharpens Focus

The Body-Brain Connection: How Fidgeting Sharpens Focus

Research shows that physical activity — even a little foot-tapping or gum chewing — increases levels of the neurotransmitters in the brain that control focus and attention. Learn how a subtle fidget may help block out distractions, fight boredom, and increase productivity.

7 Comments: The Body-Brain Connection: How Fidgeting Sharpens Focus

  1. wow, these are all so true… I always did this stuff and saw that they help me so much more to focus!!!

  2. Need suggestions for “background noise” for teen who wants Netflix to be on while she works. Won’t listen to music – she’s a singer and says that’s more distracting. Would an audio book be worth trying? Husband and I like quiet, or soft music when we need to focus, so this is hard to wrap our heads around! Thank you!

    1. So many possible options… but, first, I’d encourage you to take her lead. There are people who focus better with something familiar in the background or with dialogue like this. I can’t have anything on — music, video, etc — but my daughter and husband need music in their ear to function and my son needs video (he says music is more distracting because he’s into creating digital music so he hears and focuses on all the parts of music and it’s distracting to him). Another option is white noise (there are apps and websites that are free for this) or nature sounds. I find a rain storm in the background soothing personally. Also, binaural beats has the added bonus of working on making connections in the brain and further enhancing focus (and mindfulness). Those are often just instrumental, but must be listened to in headphones because the sound moves from one side to the other, which is what helps make those connections between the two hemispheres.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  3. I have guardianship of my grandson. He’s in the 5th grade. I get emails from his teacher who considers fidgeting with something in his hand bad behavior. Also he gets up to move around and that is considered disrespectful and bad behavior. I’ve arranged meetings and talking to the teachers and staff. It goes on deaf ears.

    1. Is your grandson formally diagnosed with ADHD? Is he in a public school? If he’s got a formal diagnosis for a doctor and in a public school, you can request for him to get an IEP (Individual Education Plan), where things like allowing fidgeting and moving around are including. If the teachers don’t honor the IEP, they can be held accountable.

      If he’s in a private school, that’s a different situation — I think the most clout you have there is to basically say if he’s not going to be accommodated, then you’ll consider sending him somewhere else.

      I see that this post was from last school year — I hope this school year goes much better for you and your grandson! God bless!

  4. When my children were diagnosed with ADHD I designed a new product that is weighted and a fidget. it has been a huge help for them and many other children

Leave a Reply