Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Moods and State Changes


Physical State Changes


I want you to try a little experiment for me.

Sit down on a chair or the sofa.  No, in fact don't sit - slump untidily there!  Breath shallowly.  If you were smiling, stop doing so.  Frown.  Sit that way for several minutes.  Now think about how you are feeling.  What kind of a mood do you have.  Are you happy, sad, or indifferent?  Do you feel lively and energetic, or are you lethargic and in a "couldn't care less" kind of mood?

I am pretty certain you will have answered at least "indifferent", if not "sad".  And it is very unlikely you answered that you felt "lively and energetic" - if you did, then you are a very unusual kind of person!

Now stand up.  Straighten your back.  Feel tall.  Smile.  Take a deep breath, hold it, then fully exhale.  Do that again.  And again.  Now how do you feel?  Do you feel any different from a few moments ago when you were slumped on a chair or your sofa?  I am pretty certain you now feel quite different.  You should feel happier and more energetic.

Finally, go one step further.  This time I want you to start jumping up and down.  Keep the smile on your face as you jump.  Stretch your arms right up as you jump, bringing them down again as you land.  Keep jumping like this for a while.  Now analyze how you feel.  Probably happier, and certainly livelier and more energetic.

What this proves is that what you do with your body has a big influence on the way you feel.  You are in control of your moods, and one way in which you control them is through your body.  If you want to feel happy, then sit up (or stand tall if appropriate) and smile.  If you are feeling miserable, check whether you are frowning - stop frowning and smile, and again, put your body in a position more conducive to feeling good.

Anchors


It is not just your body position and your smiling or frowning that can create moods, although you will find that by changing position and starting to smile you can always change your "state".  There are other things that trigger different moods.  Not just being happy or sad but, for example, feeling confident, feeling resourceful, feeling ready to take on a challenge, etc.  These are all different "states", and they can be triggered by what NLP professionals call "anchors".

When you are in a particular "state", your subconscious mind notes everything around you.  Smells, sights, sounds, the things you touch, etc.  It then anchors these to the state.

Once you realize this, you can design your own anchors.

It is a good idea if you make those anchors relate to the state you are trying to achieve.  For example, you might associate a comforting hand on your shoulder with confidence.  
In order to associate the anchor properly, find a memory where you were really fully in that state.  In this example, a time when you were feeling really confident about something.  Try to find the best example of this that you can.  It is really worth spending a long time doing this if it gets you the right memory.  When you recall this time and are right in that "zone", immediately feel that comforting hand on your shoulder.  If the memory fades, then imagine that hand being removed from your shoulder.  But if possible, maintain that memory for several minutes, and keep feeling the hand there all that time.  Now open your eyes, feeling that the hand has now left.  Repeat this several times, trying to make the memory more vivid each time.  For now, that is enough.  But later in the day, use the anchor (in this case, feel the hand on your shoulder) and check that the confident state arises.  At first it may not be a strong feeling for you, although many people do indeed get an immediate very strong change of state.  Don't worry if it is not that strong - just repeat the anchoring process several times again.  Keep doing this in different periods during the day and feel the anchoring build up stronger and stronger.

The next day, visualize the anchor again.  It should bring the state change immediately.  If not, again repeat the anchoring process.  You may need to do this several times for several days running, but eventually it will be fully and permanently anchored.

In this example I have referred to only one state - feeling confident - and one anchor - a hand on your shoulder.  You can, and should, use this process to create as many positive states as possible, using a different anchor for each.  You will find this is a long process, on which can build more and more positive state changes over the next few months and years.  A long process, but a very worthwhile one!

Summary


Use both these techniques to change your state, and you will find you have a much better control over your moods and can get into the right state so much easier.  This will create enormous positive changes in your life.

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