Is your relationship the same when you are feeling stressed, worried, drained or depressed as compared to when you are feeling joyful, grateful, ecstatic and energized? Of course not! That is why managing your state is a HUGE determining factor when it comes to the quality of your relationships. So what determines your state at any give moment?
2) Your focus
3) Your words (story you tell yourself and others)
4) What you eat
Let’s begin by explaining how your physiology has a direct effect on how you feel at any given moment. Think about the times you have felt depressed and now ask yourself the following questions: how was your overall posture? Was your back straight, your head up and shoulders wide? Or was your back curved, your face looking down and your breathing shallow? The answer is obvious, right? People who are depressed have a very distinct physiological patterns and non verbal cues that constantly send a message “I am depressed.” as they walk along dragging their feet and mumble to themselves. You have probably seen a friend, co-worker or family member with this type of physiology and even before they tell you anything you asked them “Are you all right? Is something going on?” That is because people don’t get depressed, people PRACTICE depression.
Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy has studied the effect certain body postures have on the sense of personal power a person can feel at any given moment. In her research she found that there are specific body postures that will almost instantly increase your confidence and sense of personal power. Now think of what type of physiology do people that are happy, confident and energetic have? How do they walk, breathe, move their arms and talk? When was the last time you saw someone almost floating when walking, swinging their arms, singing out loud, with a huge smile on their face and you asked them “Did you fall in love or what?” Most people think that how we feel emotionally will determine how we will behave physically and this is true, but its not a one way street. Scientific research has proven that by changing your physiology you can change how you feel mentally and emotionally. You can literally condition yourself to feel whatever you desire to feel by behaving as if you were already feeling like that. What this means is that you can fall in love once again with your current partner by acting as if you were madly in love…indeed love is a verb.
The second factor that will determine your state at any given moment is your focus. Where was your focus when you felt depressed, in the present, past or future? People who are depressed tend to focus on the past, more specifically past painful, stressful and traumatic events. This way they continue to re-live the past and project it onto the present moment. What you focus on will immediately affect your physiology. If you make a conscious effort to focus on and imagine a very fearful situation you would notice how your body gets tense. Science has shown that our nervous system doesn’t know the difference between what we imagine or see in our minds eye and what actually happens in real life, the nervous system reacts the same way. On the other side of the spectrum when you are completely focused on the present moment or imagining a brilliant future filled with positive outcomes this will change your state for the better. Now, when it comes to relationships if you are constantly focusing on past painful events or something your partner did to you and you keep re-playing this over and over again, it will negatively affect your state. The same goes with the relationship you have with yourself, are you focusing on your past mistakes or failures and feeling guilty or ashamed? Or are you focusing on your strengths, your unlimited potential and how you can create the greatest version of yourself?
Have you ever heard a group of people tell their own version of what happened during an event and heard 2, 3 or 4 different versions? Let’s say that a group of people got lost during a wild safari in Africa, their Jeep broke down and they had to spend the night in the middle of nowhere. The next day they all go back to camp and one person tells the story of how this was one of the most horrifying experiences of his life while another says it was the greatest adventure for him and that he had never felt so alive. Same experience, two different stories. In the same way the stories we tell ourselves and other people will have a great impact on our state. Based on our past relationship experience do we tell the story of a victim who was abused, betrayed or rejected or do we tell a story filled with experiences of learning, growing and breakthrough. What stories do we tell ourselves and other people about our partners? And what tone of voice do we use to express ourselves and communicate with the ones we love? Words should not be taken lightly, they are very powerful waves of energy that can shape our inner and outer reality.
Think before you speak:
T- Is it TRUE?
H- Is it HELPFUL?
I- Is it INSPIRING?
N- Is it NECESSARY?
K- Is it KIND?
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Let’s face it, what you eat has a huge impact on how you feel at any give moment. If your eating lifestyle is filled with nutrient deficient highly processed foods you are going to feel tired, sluggish, toxic and awful. Do you think you can be as passionate and loving when you are feeling like this? What you eat on a daily basis will affect how your brain and immune system function, how balanced are your hormones and you energy levels. Scientist have confirmed that what you eat actually programs your DNA and your DNA is the form holding blueprint that expresses the totality of who you are. Adding whole and unprocessed foods to your diet can not only enhance your physical state, but your emotional, mental and spiritual state as well. If you eat healthy you will feel healthy, it’s that simple.
Relationship mastery is all about managing your state. Condition your physiology, direct your focus, choose your words, eat healthy and you will become a master of your state.