How much attention do you give on a daily basis to what state you're in. No I'm not talking about the geographical kind of state. I'm talking about the state of your mind, your emotions and your energy. Science is constantly studying and evolving its understanding of the power of the human mind and the impact that certain mental and emotional states have on our day to day lives and physical health and wellness.
Our mental & emotional states can be broken down into varying catergories including emotions (joy, fear, anger, love), our understandings of our environment (perceptions), daily cognitive functions (completions of task, memories, statistical analysis), etc.
Mindfulness practices, which are now becoming more popular in the Western World, encourage the participant to engage in daily practices of awareness of thoughts, feeling and emotions, otherwise recognized as State.
So what does being aware of your state do. Ok, so you have an important meeting at work. You've done your research, prepared your information to present and now you're sitting there waiting to give your presentation to Employer and the Board of Directors. So how do you feel?
The standard answers would generally be I feel fine, I'm a little nervous, I'm scared, I'm feeling confident, etc. How many times to we stop and recognize in those moments how our bodies are feeling? Are you feeling a tightness in your throat or chest? Are your shoulders tight? How is your breathing, is it slow and shallow or fast and sharp?
Typically by stopping and being present and checking in on our physical state, it can tune us in better to what our emotional state is. How many times have you tried to convince yourself that you were calm, cool and collected only to feel the sweaty palms and racing heart.
By spending time recognizing our state, we are better able to shift it if it is not working in our best interest. You don't want to go into your meeting nervous, it could indicate to your employer that you are unsure and not confident with your data. By recognizing and acknowledging your nervousness, without judging it as negative, you are able to shift your state.
So how do we change our State?
To simply change your Emotional State, change your Physical State. You can change your state just by shifting your posture. Sit up straighter, walk with your shoulders pull back instead of slouching, adjust the tilt of your head and chin. Simple physical shifts can trigger different emotional responses in our brain. That is why we are subconsciously aware of the subtleties of body language in others.
So take time to study your State, recognize your emotions but judge them, and if you feel your current State isn't where you want it to be, make the shift and Change it!