Close Please enter your Username and Password
My Magazine > Editors Archive > cat1 > State Management: The foundation of happiness
State Management: The foundation of happiness   by Christoph Schertler

Member Votes

1 vote
4 votes
13 votes
18 votes
82 votes
Don't like So so Good Very Good Excellent
Members can vote on this response!

Editor Article Search

Text:  

Have you ever paid attention to the state you are in at a particular time during your day? Why don’t you check in with yourself right now as you are reading this and notice what state you’re in? Your state relates to your physical well-being, as well as your thoughts and emotions. How does your body feel right now (calm, tired, energetic, excited, tense, etc.)? What are your thoughts occupied with (people, tasks, future, past, etc.)? Do you feel any emotions (happiness, anxiety, anticipation, etc.), and if so, how do you feel them (e.g. warmth in your chest, knot in your stomach, etc.)?

What most people do not realize is that we are constantly in some kind of state. In fact, we cannot not be in a state, because even if we were devoid of a physical, intellectual and emotional internal process, that would be a state in itself. So as long as you walk this earth you are going to be in one or the other state. And if you are like most of us, you will be going through a wide variety of states on a daily basis, sometimes changing between states in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

States can be resourceful (happy, motivated, creative, etc.) or non-resourceful (angry, resentful, fearful, etc.). People who spend the majority of their time in resourceful states will most likely be leading a successful and gratifying life, even if not necessarily an easy life (does anyone?). If you are in a resourceful state you can make the best of any situation. It is the number one criterion to success in any walk of life. Likewise, if you are in a non-resourceful state you will say and do things that draw tension and complications into your life.

So the million dollar question is: How do you maintain a resourceful state in the midst of the many challenges you face every day? The answer is easy in theory (and of course, not so easy in practice): First, know your states and know what triggers them. Second, neutralize the triggers that put you in non-resourceful states. Third, optimize and add to the triggers that put you in a resourceful state.

So let’s start with knowing your states and what triggers them. This takes some practice in the art of introspection. What you want to do is check in with yourself several times a day, noticing you state. What does your body feel like? What are your thoughts and emotions? Once you have noticed your state, think about how this state limits or empowers you. Is it a state that is desirable? Do you like yourself in that state? Next, track back in time to the moment that state started and ask yourself: “What started it?” Was it a phone call from your friend? Did you remember something important? Did you succeed or fail at something? Link you state to a particular incident, something that triggered it. For example: You got your paycheck in the mail (trigger) and are in a relaxed, upbeat state as a result of it. If you do this kind of introspection on a daily basis, you will get a good idea of what your main states are and what triggers them.

Next, neutralize those triggers that put you in a non-resourceful state. There are several ways to do this, depending on what kind of trigger you are dealing with. For example, if you enter a non-resourceful state every time you get an email from a person you have been avoiding, you might neutralize this trigger (the email) by contacting that person and clarifying the unresolved issues that bother you. After you have done that, you will either no longer receive emails from that person or it won’t negatively affect your state if you do. In other words, ‘clean out your closet’ and you will clean out a significant amount of triggers that put you in non-resourceful states.

If your negative triggers have something to do with bad or even traumatizing experiences from the past, you can either seek professional help (coaching, therapy) or try the following: Ask yourself what being in the non-resourceful state, which this particular trigger (relating to a negative past experience) causes, does for you. Ask your negative state (anger, fear, etc.) internally, as if you were speaking to a person: “What is your positive intent for me?” In many cases you will receive an answer from inside that sounds a little bit like this: “To keep you safe, from x happening again.” Your negative state actually acts as a protective mechanism that is trying to spare you from harm.

For example, if you have been in a bad car accident you will most likely get fearful when sitting as a passenger in a speeding car. Instead of being silently paralyzed by fear, vowing never again to get yourself into this position, wouldn’t it be better to ask the driver: “Can you please drive slower, it bothers me that we are going so fast.”

In order to go from being paralyzed to speaking up and constructively dealing with the situation, have an internal dialog about what the positive payoff of the non-resourceful state you find yourself in is (e.g. being fearful = being silent = driving fast, but no accident). Once you know the payoff you can start designing a plan that involves getting the payoff without entering a negative state (being calm/confident = speaking up = driving slower).

Thirdly, optimize and add to the triggers that put you into resourceful states. Having made a list of all your states and their corresponding triggers, sort out those states that you find most empowering. The states that produce harmony, efficiency, and enthusiasm in your life. Again, notice what triggered those states. It could have been an event, a person, or a memory. See if there is a main theme among those positive triggers, e.g. they all have to do with your partner, your kids, your hobby or a concept like ‘helping people.’ Find one or more headlines for your positive triggers.

Next, consciously design a schedule that involves a good spread of those triggers throughout your week. Make sure you have at least three of them (even if little ones) every day and preferably a strong positive trigger in the morning to set the stage for your daily state. Most likely this will be an activity like riding your bike, meditating, listening to music, or interacting with someone you love. Also, if you can, finish you day in a positive state by planting a positive trigger in the evening (nice meal, reading a book, spending time with a loved one, etc.). If you build positive triggers into your daily routine like this, you will find that in time your base state will be a resourceful one - - your foundation of happiness.


--

Christoph Schertler is a certified NLP Trainer/NLP Coach who feels passionate about empowering others. He has trained with some of the forerunners in the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and has experienced how NLP transforms and enriches people's lives first hand.

To read more articles like this, visit www.pecoaching.com and sign up for Christoph’s Ezine: "NLP - The Secret Art of Self-Empowerment."