Focus Fuels Feelings

A glass of water somehow did the magic. I struggled for years to understand the mystery. It could be a fall from a painful fall, intense distress from fall out with siblings or anger from being misunderstood. The sobbing as one tried to express the feelings of perceived injustice, would be interrupted: an adult’s gentle voice persuading you to drink “the water of patience.”


A glass of cold water gently pressed down on the lower lip, eased the resistance to calming down. It was baffling that the drink, no different from the every day water, was now magical! While trying to understand the mystery, the brain did a U-turn, changing focus from being offended, embracing the pacifying effect of the drink. It gave so much relief from the soreness of the mind, no more persuasion was required to finish the drink.

The body temperature got cooler with every sip, breathing became deeper and slower, gradually reducing to a “normal” rate. The comfort of a caring hand on the shoulder was additionally calming. It was easier within minutes, sometimes seconds, to reach a happier resolution. The water if patience washed out the toxicity of the grievance.

The shift in focus, like changing gears, helped get the mind to feel better. Increasingly I have learnt to appreciate, Focus Fuels Feelings. Whatever the mind is preoccupied with determines the predominant emotion. Feelings of frustration from focusing on a road block could be replaced by changing the focus to more bonding time with the family on the journey.

Changing focus is not denying there is a problem to be addressed. It is not allowing a problem to consume one’s attention, fill the mind and incapacitate healthy thinking. Deriving a solution is enhanced by a healthy mind. So, acknowledge the stressor but turn your focus to options to resolve, even if it’s a glass of water, till you successfully focus on a course of respite or resolution. A healthy mind is effective with positive feelings.

What thought is responsible for your current feeling? What thoughts nurture your emotional wellbeing? What thoughts are detrimental to your health, physically and mentally?

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