The Best State to Live In.
This statement or some variation off it, appears on my Internet home page at least once a week. The associated article usually explains or lists a number of states that are best for things like retiring, making money, healthcare, and quality of life. Of course the lists are very subjective and are subject to change from year to year. State, if looked up in the dictionary, can also apply to how individuals feel internally. Many psychologists and personal development authors talk about the power of state, meaning the internal state, psychologically and physically, that a person is in at a given time. Regardless of where we are geographically, this is the state that we are all living in.
State, in this context, is the sum total of our general experience. We are constantly switching our awareness from things outside us to our internal interpretation. How well we perform, how well we feel, and how successful we are all depend upon what goes on internally. We respond well to the external world when we are in a positive up beat mood, are feeling physically on top of our game, and in a state of flow. We’ve all experienced those days when we are “in the zone, clicking on all cylinders, and simply crushing it.” When we have those experiences we have great days. This is the best state for us to live in.
How can we create this “best state” on a more regular basis? State, as we are defining it here is the sum total of your internal perceptions. This includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Some ways to change these states are:
Mental states can be changed by changing your focus and your thinking. What are you paying attention to? What is the internal dialogue that you are having? What are you saying to yourself about situations? Some simple activities could change this negative thinking. Strategies such as listing 10 things that you are grateful for, what jokes you find funny, music that creates empowering mood states, positive people that you can reach out to in person on the phone, all these have the power to change your mood pretty quickly. Anything that can cause you to feel more positive mentally is worth using. Manilow or Metallica it makes no difference. Whatever empowers you, and makes you feel powerful, is what you should listen to.
Physical states can be changed by action. Exercise has the ability to improve mood both during the activity and for a period of time after. Breaking up brief periods of exercise can keep you in a more positive state all day long. We’re not talking deadlifts or hitting the heavy bag here, although we could be, we’re talking anything that gets the blood flowing. Brief stretching in the morning along with some breathing exercises, parking a little farther away in the parking lot, walking the stairs instead of taking the elevator and other brief periods of activity interspersed during the day can make a big difference. Paying attention to your posture can also make a big difference. The way you sit, stand, and walk can contribute to more powerful physical states that you can carry throughout the day. Use the search box on this blog for more ideas.
Emotional states can be created by getting excited about your life. By focusing on your sense of connectedness to family, friends, and significant others, you are creating a more empowering state. Comparisons to others can also help. Focusing what you have, and being truly grateful, creates powerful and positive emotions.
Spiritual states can be created through activities such as prayer, meditation, and connecting to nature. Getting outside if weather permits is a great way to reconnect with spiritual feelings. Anything that connects you to things outside of, and greater than yourself can create a more powerful state.
The key to manipulating your state is to list activities, people, places, things etc. that make you feel good. These feel good things, however, must be things you can generate internally. Drugs alcohol, and chocolate don’t count! Do these things consistently to make them habits.
The categories section of this blog can link you to numerous articles, suggestions, and how to advice that can help you change your state. Self study and a willingness to experiment is all it takes. Have fun with these activities.
Maybe it’s time to move to a new state?
P. S. Contact me if interested about mindbody coaching at email@example.com. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more information.