NLP techniques relating to states has nothing to do with where you live and everything to do with your emotional state.
Did you wake up this morning feeling full of the joys of spring and raring to go, tired and listless, or generally grumpy? Each of those feelings represents your emotional state.
Success is a state of mind. If you want success in this world, start thinking of yourself as a success.
If you feel happy you tend not to think anything more about it but get on with enjoying the day.
But if you are in what I might describe as a negative state, you tend to wonder what has happened to you and cast your eyes around for something or someone to blame.
The state, however, whichever one it is, did not arise because of something outside of you. It arose within you.
The good thing to know is that because the state arose inside you instead of outside you, you can do something about it.
That is to say, you can change the state. In fact, our states tend to change during the course of a day anyway, but knowing that you have the power to change is very useful.
The more you consider emotional states the more you realise how they may hamper or improve our lives at any given moment.
What prevents so many people from speaking effectively in public? Or singing? Or playing a musical instrument? It is their emotional state.
Most people do not have any trouble talking one to one or even in general conversation. Most people don’t have a problem singing in the shower if they believe there is no-one else around to hear them.
And others are happy practising a musical instrument on their own. But put them in front of an audience and they become a bag of nerves and their performance is badly affected.
They are not the only states that affect people for the worse. Boredom is one of the principal factors that prevents students from learning. Anxiety stops some people from flying, travelling in elevators or learning to swim.
If the state can be changed – and I assure you a good coach or teacher can assist you to change your state – you start to think differently. Animated, interested students begin to learn because their curiosity is aroused.
People start to enjoy travelling in aeroplanes and get used to elevators because their attention is elsewhere, and one a person can swim he no longer thinks about the water.
You can affect your own state and the state of those
around you by one simple habit you can start practising today. Get
used to smiling.
That may be something that comes naturally to you in any event.
I know a number of people who smile every time I meet them. I like to be around them. They make me feel good.
But I also know others who rarely, if ever, smile and do nothing but moan. I don’t enjoy their company and I try to avoid them.
People who smile make us feel good. So much of our life is about good feelings. If you wish to attract people to you, smile.
If you smile at someone and they smile back, your own feeling is enhanced, isn’t it? If you aren’t used to it, start it now and see how life improves.
We experience the world in different ways, and in NLP we refer to our states as either associated or dissociated depending whether we see the experience from the inside or the outside.
If, when we think about an experience, we see ourselves in the picture performing the experience, we say we are dissociated because we have feelings about the experience.
If, instead, we see the experience through our own eyes as if we are caught up with it or in it, then we say we are associated because we have the feelings that actually go with the experience.
I don’t know where you are while you are reading this. A lot of readers will be viewing the page on a desktop computer or laptop.
Others may be reading it on ipads or electronic tablets of some sort, and still others may have printed off the page and carried it off to read in some unimaginable place.
You could be at home, on a train, in the middle of a field or on a beach for all I know.
Wherever you are, try this if you are able to sit down for a moment.
Close your eyes. If you think about yourself you can only image yourself inside your body – that is, in an associated state.
Imagine yourself rising out of your body, floating up and looking down on yourself from in front and to the left.
Then float across to the right and have a look. Then repeat the experience from the same sorts of angles from behind yourself.
When you see yourself in that way you are in a dissociated state. You can now float back down into your body knowing that your body didn’t go anywhere but your perception did.
You will realise then that association and dissociation are descriptions of the different ways we see the world.
When I think of the wonderful times I have enjoyed with my wife and children over the years and the different places we have been together, I envisage those experiences through my own eyes.
When I remember playing soccer and making saves as a goalkeeper, playing cricket and scoring runs as a batsman, playing golf and teeing off or chipping to the green, and swimming smoothly through the water, I see all those pleasant images in an associated state.
When I think about events that have occurred in my life where things didn’t quite go according to plan or where I have been disappointed or the experience was unpleasant, I am more likely to view the images in a dissociated way.
The feeling is inclined to be stronger when you are associated because you are on the inside looking out. But dissociated feelings remove you from the experience because they are about what you see.
That is why when you want to remove or diminish a bad memory, we see ourselves in the picture and push it off into the distance.
You might like to perform this exercise to see where you associate and dissociate. Think first of a good memory and look at the mental picture that conjures up. Are you in the picture?
Or are you looking at the picture through your own eyes. Whether you are in it or out of it, change it and see if your feelings change.
Finally, change it back to the way it was originally and consider which you like best.
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