Sensory Strategies for Focus
Using the senses to improve focus, increase calm, and stay alert.

Whether we are aware of it or not, all of us use strategies to help us focus and do our best at whatever it is we are doing. Our bodies are designed to seek or avoid sensation to help us get to or stay in a state of alertness that is just right for whatever we are doing. When we understand the power of sensation we can make a plan to use it to help change our level of alertness. For example, to stay alert in a night class after a long day of work one may sip on a cold drink, chew a peppermint, jiggle a foot, use your arms to push on your chair and shift your weight or use a hand fidget to squeeze. These are examples of using touch, taste, movement, and muscle sensation to change or maintain the level of alertness needed to complete a task.

To improve focus during an important conversation when things are too loud or crowded one may step away from the crowd into quieter space, take some deep breaths, and hold on to a hand fidget to squeeze or tap. Some of these actions reduce sensation and some increase the intensity of sensation to help improve your ability to focus. Reducing distracting sensations, increasing the intensity of certain sensations can decrease stress and improve focus. Some hand fidgets can distract rather than improve focus. Sommerfly’s™ Focus Fidgety™ and Wristful Fidget™ are designed not to distract but to discreetly stay on your wrist and in your hand as a convenient, powerful focus tool.

Muscle work and deep pressure touch are two sensations that can enhance focus. Make a plan to do things that include these sensations to give you the focus boost you need to concentrate in that meeting, class, or difficult conversation.

Use this list to help you prepare and have sensory strategies on hand to use in the car, at your desk or in your carry bag ready to go to enhance your focus just when you need it.

“Ready Bag” of Sensory Strategies. Ideas to help Focus

• Essential oils to focus; peppermint or spearmint

• Weighted and compression tools from Sommerfly ™ : Sit Tight™, Relaxer™, Cozy

Caterpillar™, Focus Fidgety™ or Wristful Fidget™ hand fidgets.

• Consider background music/noise

• Non-cluttered visual surroundings

• Crunchy, chewy, sour or tart snacks/drinks

• Adequate natural lighting

Stay tuned for other tips to help you use sensory strategies to help you sleep, focus and calm.