Posted by: Edward | May 7, 2009

Simple State Changing

Changing your state is a skill that you can learn. It is composed of three parts, noticing you are in an emotional state which you don’t want to be in, picking a different emotional state, and shifting your attention to the new state.

At first the hardest thing will be noticing that you are in a particular state. One way to work on this is to periodically ask yourself “how do I feel?” Or even “is this the best I could feel now?” If you make it habitual you will naturally find yourself asking these questions when you are in a state that isn’t serving you well.

When you are examining your present state pay attention to your breathing, posture, facial expression, muscular tension, tone of voice, any images in your head, or self talk. Just take a moment to breathe and watch yourself.

Now you can ask yourself “how would I enjoy feeling?” Feel free to give this desired feeling a name. Think about and visualize how you would breathe, hold your body, facial, tone of voice, etc.

Now you can step into the image of your prefered state and simply fake the state. Match the ways you are holding yourself with the ways you would in the state you’d like to be in. Notice how you feel as your feelings shift to fit this new state. Just breath and be in this state for a moment or two. Then go do what ever you need to do, in this state.


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  1. What if the external influences are so strong you simple can’t fake the desired state?

    • Other techniques might be required but like any skill if you practice this it will get easier to apply it in difficult situations. The key to it is shifting your focus from engaged in the external influences to watching how you are performing the current state. That in itself starts the process of shifting your state.

      It’s three parts. Dissociate from the current state by watching it, construct a model of a preferred state, and then associate into the preferred state. Another thing to keep in mind is that sometimes it’s useful to make the preferred state fairly close to the one you want to shift out of.

  2. Yes…….yes yes yes….

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