How to master self-control

Would you like to be in charge of how you feel more of the time, regardless of how stressful or frustrating the situation is? How to create better strategies when you want to achieve tasks?

A state is a way of being, our mood, how we feel. It changes throughout the day and it varies in intensity and length. Whatever state we are in, resourceful of unresourceful, it affects our capabilities, how well we perform and it determines our results. Negative states can be very debilitating. Many people and businesses suffer from under-performance as a consequence of negative states. Recognising that we are able to choose and change how we feel is one of the skills for creating emotional freedom. Being able to manage your state, access empowerment and resourcefulness is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and the people around you who you can influence in a positive way towards greater performance, health, happiness.

There are no unresourceful people, just unresourceful states

When you find yourself in an unresourceful state during the day, the first thing to do is recognise that you have a choice, do you want to stay in this state or change it? Be alert and keep your awareness of what is going on and what you are getting. Ask yourself the question “What is my outcome and what is the best state to be in to make this happen?”. If you want to change your current state to a more resourceful one, there are many ways you can do this. Mind and body are one system, they interact, influence and affect each other. When we think differently, our bodies change. When we act differently, this affects our thoughts and feelings. This is why mental stress, for example, can affect our immune system and make us ill.

Here are three simple ways to change your state. Doing any one of them will change your state.

  • Change your physiology

If you are sat on a chair, stand up. Notice your posture, your body language . Is it supporting your desired outcome or is it slumping or sagging? Our body language accounts for the largest proportion of the overall message when we are communicating both with other people and within ourselves. If your body language isn’t matching the outcome you want, you will find it hard to achieve. Think about what physiology you associate with when you are confident, resourceful, productive- back and shoulders straight, you’re moving your body freely, eyes looking forward, maybe even a cheeky grin on your face. Small changes to your physiology can dramatically transform your state of mind.

  • Change your thoughts

Change the pattern of your thinking. Notice what you are thinking about most of the time. What is your self talk? Is the internal voice being critical or mean, negative, telling you that you are not good enough? Play with it. Maybe change the content, challenge it, remind yourself about a time that you have succeeded in whatever it’s telling you that you’ve failed at. Or experiment by choosing a different voice or tonality. Notice what happens if you speed the voice or slow it down, if your make it sound like a cartoon character like Mickey Mouse or Scooby Do for example, or maybe your favourite comedian? If it makes you laugh, this will instantly change your state.

  • Create an Anchor for yourself

Anchoring is the process of establishing a trigger for an emotional state. Anchors are all around us both positive and negative. They are very powerful. Our mind stores memories which are a combination of of images, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. Seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting certain things may change your state. The smile of your child or a certain friend, for example, may raise your spirits, the sound of a tune may bring  back memories or feelings, etc. Become aware of what anchors put you in an unresourceful state and choose to avoid or replace them. A simple technique is to consciously choose what state we would like to be in and then link that state to an anchor that might be visual, kinaesthetic etc . Then we can fire off the anchor when we want to bring back that particular state.

The state and quality of our day to day lives is a direct reflection of our daily habits.  Learning how to control our feelings in order to get the best possible results is one of the most useful habits to adopt.

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