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Five Ways to Manage Your State of Mind

HELLO fellow pharmacists and after a bit of an extended summer break, welcome to the seventh article in the 5W2 series, Five Ways to manage your State of Mind.

As you know, if you have read any of my previous articles, the 5W2 series is a selection of short articles on strategies and techniques to support our emotional development within our professional roles.

Each article in this series includes tried and tested practical self-development tools. Previous articles have focused on “Managing Stress”, “Using Mindfulness”, “Self Coaching”, “Maintaining Energy levels”, “Being more Resilient” and “Dealing with Bullying”.

If anyone would like to read previous articles please click on the following which will take you to the articles page on my website

Before I get into the details of this article, let me share some thoughts from my third article Five Ways to Self Coach .

Most people think that our State of Mind is only controlled by external factors. In Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) there is a principle of belief that our behaviours are a product of the state we are in and that our state of mind is a choice.

“Certain people think they will feel good if certain things happen. The trick is you have to feel good for no reason” Richard Bandler, co founder of NLP.

State of Mind can be divided into two types:

Resourceful States: eg. positive, happy, confident, enthusiastic, calm, relaxed.

Non Resourceful States: eg. negative, grumpy, stressed, anxious, pessimistic, judgemental.

We can influence our state by making a conscious choice to use our own Physiology or triggering a positive experience via any of our 5 Senses (See, Hear, Feel, Taste & Smell). I will explain this in more detail in the following:

  1. The art of visualisation (Senses)

  2. Dump your inner critic (Senses)

  3. Have an attitude of gratitude (Senses)

  4. Get physical (Physiology)

  5. Smile (Physiology)

Each of the 5 Ways can be used on its own or combined together to help us shift to a Resourceful state of mind.

  1. The art of visualisation (Senses)

Visualisation is a technique used in NLP to help you create the state of mind that you desire. To achieve this, first decide what Resourceful State you want to be in (eg confident) then think of a time in your life when you were confident or experienced confidence. Think about where you were, who you were with, what you were doing and how you felt both physically and emotionally. Once you have this memory in your mind start to intensify the memory by making it as real as possible by noticing what you see, hear and feel as you experience the memory.

When you feel the memory is as strong and real as you can make it then visualise yourself in a future situation that you need confidence and make that image as strong and real as possible. Keep practising creating the future image in the run up to the situation you need to be confident and you will have the best possible chance of being in a resourceful confident state of mind.

2. Dump your inner critic (Senses)

Let’s start with a question – Who do you listen to the most?

You may have said your partner, sibling, parent or a friend but the person you listen to the most, the person whose words you hear most regularly is YOU.

Now that’s good if the words you tell yourself are resourceful words that help you maintain a resourceful state of mind. But most of us have an inner critic that share words and phrases such as:

  • “I can’t do that”

  • “Today is going to be a nightmare”

  • “That person gets on my nerves”

  • “I’ll never get this done in time”

Whether we like it or not we all have an inner critic , BUT we do have a choice whether we listen to our critic or not. It can be a challenge to stop listening to that inner critic so the easiest way to “dump” your inner critic is to “date” your inner coach. We can do this by asking ourselves questions that will shift us to a more resourceful state. Here are some examples of “inner coach” questions to shift your state of mind.

  • What specifically do I want to achieve/to think?

  • What is stopping me? (Look for barriers, limiting beliefs)

  • What would happen if I could? (Introduce possibility)

  • What would happen if I did? (Introduce reality)

  • What would happen if I didn’t? (Introduce consequences)

If you want more information on this, please refer to my third article in this series 5 Ways to Self Coach.

3. Have an attitude of gratitude (Senses)

A simple technique I use with clients to create a more positive mindset is to encourage them to record the following in a journal or a phone every day.

  • What is the one thing I have seen today that I am grateful for?

  • What is the one thing I have heard today that I am grateful for?

  • What is the one thing I have felt today that I am grateful for?

  • What is the one thing I have tasted today that I am grateful for?

  • What is the one thing I have smelt today that I am grateful for?

Five minutes every day creating an attitude of gratitude has the power to shift your state of mind.

4. Get physical (Physiology)

I am sure we have all experienced a state shift when we commit to that walk, run, swim or gym session we can’t be bothered doing initially, then feel fantastic afterwards. Here some other ways of getting physical to change state.

  • Being more Relaxed – use your breathing by inhaling for count of 4, holding for a count of 4 and exhaling for count of 4. Repeat 10 times

  • Being more Confident – use your body to create the non verbal language of a confident person eg Strong straight back, head slightly tilted up, good eye contact, feet hip distance apart if standing and your upper body as open as possible. If anyone is interested in this sort of thing Amy Cuddy’s TED talk “Your Body language may shape who you are” is a MUST.

  • Being more Energetic - if you attend a regular meeting in same room make sure you sit at a different seat at every meeting as this will give you the best chance of being more energetic. If you chair regular meetings always create an opportunity for a shift in energy at least every 20 minutes eg changing seats, different voices, telling someone you will be coming to them in 5 minutes to hear their views on what has been discussed.

5. Smile (Physiology)

As mentioned in my article 5 Ways to Manage Stress, the sharing of a smile can shift your state as well as the state of others. A smile is the beginning of laughter and we know laughter is the best medicine. Here are 5 reasons to smile:

  • Smiling feels good

  • Smiling energises you

  • Smiling relieves stress

  • Smiling makes you look better

  • Smiling is contagious

That’s it, thank you for taking the time to read this article. Good luck with choosing your state. The next article in the 5W2 series is Five Ways to enhance your Communication and will be with you soon, but in the meantime, if anyone wants to find out more about anything in this article or has any comments please get in touch via the details below.


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