C-state and F-state

Edward Hallowell coined two great terms in his book Crazy Busy: C-state and F-state

C-state is clear, calm, cool, collected, consistent, concentrated, convivial, careful, curious, creative, courteous, and coordinated.

F-state fractures focus, is frenzied, feckless, flailing, fearful, forgetful, flustered, furious, fractious, feverish, and frantic.

Multitasking leads to F-state and activates different parts of the brain than C-state. Just giving F-state a name and being aware of it helps to back out of it.

5 thoughts on “C-state and F-state

  1. excellent observation about how our mind and our emotion drive us.
    there is always an optimum balance that we try to achieve to be fully functional. You have a nice ability to look at the whole picture and the reasoned patience to allow the interior logic of the idea to reveal itself. Very nice to encounter you. Thanks for your well considered reflections.

  2. This reminds me of the react/reflect paradigm In our society, it seems we are always reacting bypassing the frontal lobe, and we need to balance that with reflecting by using the frontal lobes. The frontal lobes are what blocks our feelings from automatic responses and determines the best response. We have the Response-Ability which is the Ability to Respond according to the best way and not just the automatic way.

  3. Brian Beckman

    There is some connection to “rhythm” in C-State. I can experience transition to C-State by playing some non-dramatic but rhythmic, repetitive music. Some Indian Tabla music and some electronica qulify. Must have distinct rhythms, so washy pads and environmental sounds like wind and rain don’t do it. Also, sharp psychoacoustics are not suitable, so no over-amplified instruments. Absolutely no lyrics ever. And classical music with its story-telling arcs doesn’t work because it grabs attention rather than letting attention settle on the subject of the C-State (say math problems).

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