How to be aware of and master your mental states

mental state

If you’re tired or feeling down, there’s a good chance you’re not physically sick. But, every chance you are neglecting some meaningful part of your life and your mind can no longer stand it.

Our mental states will usually affect whether we exercise, socialise, eat well, educate our minds (or not), drink alcohol, have low moods, are happy, irritable or open-hearted with the people that matter to us most.

So, for obvious reasons, it’s really important to monitor mental states. It’s an incredibly powerful skill to determine the mental state you need (or don’t need) for any given moment.

The power of mastering your mental state is limitless.

However, what if you have neglected part of your inner self and now you have to deal with a bad mental state when you’re really busy at work?

You need to overcome your mental state and fast.

Well, here’s how.

How to change from a bad mental state to a good

Firstly, you have to want to do it.

You have to show commitment.

Leo Babauta from Zen Habits suggests the following practice to initiate the change from one mental state to the other.

1. Recognise that your mental state needs to change (recognition) 

For example, if you’re tired or frazzled and you need to focus on work.

2. Make it happen, despite the mental state (acceptance) 

Here you carry on with your task, regardless of your mental state.

If you’re truly committed to your task then a bad mental state certainly won’t impact you.

If you’re tired. That’s ok. Just make sure you take extra care so no mistakes are made.

If you’re frustrated simply be kind to yourself and others. You shouldn’t ever show your signs of frustration – and if you act with kindness – this would never happen.

Show generosity to whatever mental state you find yourself in and give it the extra attention it needs.

3. Take actions that contribute to a better mental state (action)

We all agree that if you’re not in a good mental state (i.e tired, distracted, anxious etc) this is a negative place to be. Therefore, the answer is clear, inject some positivity into your life and that will instantly help to lift your mood.

For example, some common actions that help you move into a better mental state:

  • Meditation
  • Walking
  • Exercise
  • Talk to someone (if you’re worried about something).
  • Have a cup of tea (or your favourite soft drink).
  • Getting into a quiet, clean and uncluttered environment.
  • Disconnect yourself your computer, phone and/or tablet.
  • Playing calm (or your favourite) music.
  • Read your favourite (or current) book
  • Do something fun

There are many other possibilities, of course, but you get the idea.

This practice allows you to carry on with any task, regardless of your mood.

It’s a simple process of recognition, acceptance and action and it makes the world of difference when trying to push through negative feelings.

For more information on this topic read the very helpful blog by Leo Babauta for Zen Habits, here.

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