How to Improve Your State of Mind, Body & Spirit — 5 Proven Techniques
Have you ever had one of those days where everything goes wrong? You wake up on the wrong side of the bed — you feel tired, irritated, unhappy… and that state of mind sours your whole day. You say the wrong things, people totally misunderstand you, your hands fumble and spill coffee on your shirt, you can’t concentrate, and the disasters keep rolling in. No matter how you try to improve your state of mind, you keep getting drawn back into it.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a reliable way to shift gears? A way to really improve your state of mind by:
- experiencing negative states (not ignoring them or trying to muscle through them),
- acknowledging their message,
- and then shifting back into a resourceful state that keeps you grounded and moving forward.
Once you understand what’s actually going on, you can!
How to Improve Your State of Mind
Every day, we cycle through various states — most people think of these as simply emotional and mental shifts that affect our well-being. But I’m going to show you that there’s much more involved.
Many states of mind are resourceful, such as contentment, excitement, or satisfaction. These states feed your energy and everything you do seems to be almost effortless. Your best days are fueled by these positive states of mind.
On the other hand, there are states of mind that are un-resourceful, such as prolonged anger, resentment, or fear. And they can make you feel tired, achy, and you want to just crawl back into bed.
Your state of mind is caused by interactions between your…
- thought patterns,
- physical well-being
- and neurochemicals that produce your emotions.
These all form your attitude, perspective, outlook, approach, mood, disposition, and frame of mind.
When you alter any of these factors – your thinking, physiology, or emotions – you can alter your state, which in turn gives you the ability to change the quality of the results you receive. Yes, moving your body can shift the state of your mind! (Think about how straightening your spine, standing tall, taking a deep breath and looking someone in the eye feels versus keeping your eyes downcast, your shoulders slumped forward and breathing shallow. It makes a difference in your emotions!)
As you gain greater awareness of your physical actions (i.e., posture, breathing, facial expression) and learn to alter these in a way that serves you, you gain the ability to change how you feel.
This doesn’t mean you never feel negative but it means you have awareness of how you’re being at any given moment and you consciously choose your response.
Imagine having the skills to make the best of any situation. When you spend the majority of your time in resourceful states, you’re more likely to lead a successful and effective life. Remaining in a non-resourceful state, however, only causes you to say and do things that draw tension and complications into your life.
Of course, this is easier said than done. So I’d like to share with you five ways to quickly improve your state of mind…
- Identify your state. Make a list of all your states over the next month. Start by checking in with yourself right now and notice your present state.
- How does your body feel (i.e., calm, tired, energetic, excited, tense)?
- What occupies your thoughts (i.e., people, tasks, future, past)?
- What emotions do you feel (i.e., happiness, anxiety, anticipation)?
- What body sensations are they causing (i.e., relaxed, knot in your stomach)?
Once you notice your state, think about how this state limits or empowers you. Do you like yourself in this state? If not, since you’ve identified it, you can now work at changing it.
- Identify the triggers. Make a list of all your triggers. Track each state back to the moment it begins. Was it something someone did, a memory, or something you did or didn’t do?
- Neutralize the un-resourceful triggers. Don’t ignore what’s bothering you. Have the courage to confront and deal with it. When you do, you’ll quickly clear out the triggers. If your un-resourceful state comes from past trauma, identify what that state is doing for you. As if talking with a person, internally ask your state, “What is your positive intent for me?” In many cases, you’ll discover that you’re protecting yourself from a threat, either real or imagined. Now, you know what issue to address. (It may be advantageous to work with a professional when resolving these issues.)
- Build a foundation of positive triggers into your daily routine.
- Identify the states that empower you (i.e., harmony, efficiency, creativity).
- Identify their triggers – an event, a person, or a memory.
- Look for common themes among them (i.e., a person, hobby or concept).
- Consciously design a weekly schedule that includes those triggers. Start each day with one and add 2 more throughout the day (i.e., journaling, exercise, meditation, music, friendship)
- Finish your day in a resourceful state by planting a positive trigger in the evening (i.e., nice meal, reading a book, time with a loved one).
- Advanced state management.
- Alter your mental image. Your state relies on the mental pictures you make about an object or a circumstance. Use all your senses – sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell as you alter the mental pictures you create – not just what you’re picturing, but how you’re picturing it. For example, in your mind’s eye instead of making the threat larger and more terrifying than it really is, consciously reduce its size and see how your emotions shift.
- Alter your physiology. Change your posture. Smile. Breathe deeply. Exercise or do anything that circulates different chemicals in your system.
- Alter your internal dialogue or self-talk. Keep your inner dialogue uplifting. Be your own champion. If you have an inner critic, give it a voice like Mickey Mouse so you don’t take yourself so seriously.
The more you mindfully practice these suggestions, the faster they become second nature for how you improve your state of mind. Neuro-Linguistic Programming can help you accelerate your abilities to think, act and communicate. If this interests you, please contact me for a free, 30-minute consultation to see if partnering with me will get you to where you want to be. I think you’ll find my Somatic approach to coaching opens up new and wonderful possibilities.