Look At The State of You!

How many times did you hear this statement growing up? I never really thought much about it at the time, accept that it was something my mum said regularly! And to be fair she was right. I was a mess most days. Scraggly hair, face dirty, hot and sweaty; skin off the knees or knees out of the trousers! The old sayings really are the best.

As I sit to write this article today on State and State Management I am reminded of my childhood and how much play was a part of growing up. We moved a lot as children naturally without much thought. The wisdom of the body. I seriously think we should start a movement – bring back play for adults!

. . . and this is why.

What is a State

A State is a combination of our mind, body and emotions within our own energy field (our energy-in-motion) and we experience our reality through these states.  State is a dynamic process through our neurology, biology and sensations as a whole system interacting within itself and/or the environment.  

Remember our discussion on Day 3 Thinking about your Thinking and the NLP Communication Model I pulled up short at State Management because it deserves a Day all of its own. So now I pick it back up. 

“We communicate from one state to another state and all communication is filtered by state.  States grounds everything we experience in reality. ”

Joseph Scott, The Coaching Room.

Let’s begin the discussion by clarifying that the brain is part of the nervous system and the nervous system is part of the brain. All of these components combine to create our state.

“Did you know that the back of the eye is also part of the brain? Its the only part of the brain that sits outside the skull. – Well two parts of the brain!

Andrew Huberman.

State Management

Our entire experience whether mind, energy or body is a bag of intertwined sensations, perceptions, feelings, emotions and behaviours. This is how we traverse our day, our lives and it is what it means to be human. This is what we experience as state.

Now you see why it needs a Day all of its own!

Not so easy to stick to a new habit or new years resolution? Why? – We need to understand more fully what is happening to us and what can potentially trip us up. Having thousands of thoughts a day no wonder our mind is kept busy, distracted and disconnected.

Consider this, we are having thoughts about feelings, feelings about behaviours, emotions about thoughts and on it goes around and around all day long. Yes it really is complicated in the program.

Good news! There are two ways to manage our state.  One is through our physiology the other through our matrix of meaning making.

Let’s take another look at our earlier model and where we left off on Day 3.

Once we have made a movie in our mind about a particular stimulus or event the movie begins to create our state. Our state becomes our physiology and then we act out a particular behaviour. Remember yesterday we discussed Perspective – this is specifically what I am pointing to. This is where we want to create SPACE.

Matrix of Meaning

By the way our state only lasts a few seconds!!!! What? No way! True! Way! It is actually our thinking and feeling about our thinking and feeling about our thinking and feeling that exacerbates the whole experience, or in other words, we Meta State around the event.

Choose your own example – what event happened to you that was actually not that bad, but the meaning you applied to it somehow made it worse? Think about an example. Often particular people just showing up can have an affect on your state and they haven’t even said anything yet. Think about that. What is happening? It’s the subjective response to the object. We have control over this if only we knew it.

Example: I wake up in the middle of the night. I begin to think about an unpleasant event that happened the day before. The event has not changed, it has not become any more unpleasant since yesterday, but it shoots in to my waking state and all of a sudden I am remembering it with my entire being, I am remembering what I remembered and how I felt about the event. Not the event itself. In short I am remembering my state at the time not the actual event. I applied meaning to it and I went from state to meta-stating immediately. Then I get myself in to a state that prevents me from falling back to sleep. I did that to myself all on my own. sad face. boohoo.

Interestingly, when we remember events or times in our lives we are actually remembering the state in which we experienced the event. That’s why your heart might start to beat faster, or you begin to sweat or that smell again it all brings you back to your state at the time. You brain and body encoded it. Thankfully a lot of work is being done in this area with science removing some of the emotional intensity of a traumatic experience, it cannot erase the memory but is closer to minimising the reaction to state of the memory.

So try this. Next time you notice yourself in an unresourceful state remember it is happening to the whole of you. It can be arresting or glorious. It doesn’t have to be a negative state. We have plenty of joyful states or resourceful states.

Covid hits. What happens to our state? What happens to the collective state? Remember you can modify and breath space in to your meaning making matrix. Collect yourself before going on. It doesn’t take skill it takes practice and knowledge. Now you have the knowledge start practising.

Best tip ever? This was a game changer for me. We each have four super powers. What we say, what we do, what we think and how we feel. Our internal superpowers are thinking and feeling they are private. Our external, visible superpowers are what we say and what we do. Outside of this everything else is only influence.

Think about that. No one can make you say, do, think, feel anything at all. Only you can. The rest is influence from others or to others. Hold on to this one you will need it. (credit: The Coaching Room)

It can be difficult to change our state in real time from inside your head, so we are especially lucky to have an alternative method to changing our state.

Change Your Physiology

Getting the body involved is the other road to managing your state. Remember playing as a child this is why movement, exercise, play, dance, laughter, fun is so important especially for adults. Kids play to learn. Adults should play to unlearn!

So go for a walk, take the dog, do something physical, change your environment these will have immediate effects on your body, mind and energy.

You can trance yourself in to or out of states with practice but that is a topic for another day! Just remember some really great times in your life, empowering moments and things you were proud of. Get good at accessing them either through memory, imagination or modelling others. Then you can bring that state up at will. Pretty cool tool to have in your repertoire.

So it turns out when someone says “look at the state of you” they are actually giving you some really good advice! Do it!


I haven’t touched on breath in any of the previous articles but I must. Breathing your way through, in to or out of a situation that can have very measurable affects on your state. It is free and you can do it in an instant. Exhaling for longer periods than the inhale will release more carbon dioxide aiding the parasympathetic system to calm and soothe.

The physiological sigh is a double inhale and slow exhale fantastic for opening the alveoli of the lungs and induces calm almost immediately. Box breathing equal measures of inhales, hold at top, exhale, hold at bottom stabilises and settles. Not to mention yogic breathing of which there are numerous resources available on line.

Thank you for joining me on this 7 Days of Wellness.

See you tomorrow for our last session.

Always moving forward!

Stay well


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