States of Mind
A state of mind is a person’s mental and emotional state at any one time: mood. Most of us refer to moods as the states of mind that we stay in for longer than a few minutes, usually hours up to days.
To identify your state of mind, outside of people pointing it out to you, “you’re in a bad mood” you will need to be self-aware.
Self-awareness is one of the pillars of emotional intelligence, allows leaders to identify the gaps in their thinking, their resulting skills and uncover the areas in which they are most effective and areas that need additional work. In general the power of self-awareness, in general, is the ability to choose and take charge of your life. Self-awareness is one of the most excellent tools we have as human beings.
Awareness of your mood empowers you to change it, or better yet, choose it.
Supportive States of Mind
Michelle Lock an expert coach and specialist in emotional intelligence, explains that four states of mind help us open up to creativity and prevent creative thinking blocks.
- Happy State Of Mind – being in a slightly happy, relaxed state of mind. A state that feels positive and rewarding enables us to be more open to creative thinking. This means being in an environment that is free of stress or pressure. This means allowing yourself to focus on the topic or task and without the pressure to come up with an answer.
- Quiet State of Mind – creative thinking comes when you allow yourself to go into a place of quiet in your mind, a space that allows you to focus on the topic at hand, without being distracted, racey or focusing on multiple things. This means, turning your phone off, being present.
- Focused State of mind – ask yourself or each other questions you don’t really know the answer to. Questions that make you stop and think… Powerful questions!
- Detached State of Mind – this is when your not thinking directly about the problem – When we have the problem in mind, but open our minds up to alternative points of view or connect the idea to seemingly unrelated things, we are more likely to come up with creative solutions. So often the best ‘ah ha’ moments come when we are doing other things, walking, playing sports, driving, when our mind is quiet.
Enabling our minds to play with concepts, bounce them around, and find new connections is one of the most potent ways of creative thinking, which makes brainstorming and mind mapping such rewarding tools.
The way we are most creative is when we have insights… ‘Ah Ha Moments’
A positive state of mind or attitude is an optimistic and happy state of mind. … A positive attitude means a mentality that is not daunted by obstacles, difficulties or delays and does not give in easily. This mind is focused on ways to make it work. People with a positive attitude are willing to experiment, take action and do things. You could be on the borderline of excitement.
Usually evident or validated by the observer’s statement, ‘you are in a good mood’.
A reflective state of mind is one where your mind is calm but ponder’s the past in a positive state of mind. In alignment with a learning mindset, the reflective state of mind set’s out to understand it’s history to learn from it. To immerse yourself in a reflective state of mind, meditation could be a great tool for facilitating this state of mind in daily life.
A focused state of mind is focused on the task at hand. With a focused state of mind, with the right environment and task (i.e. one you ar good at and love doing), one could easily find yourself in the flow state. In a focused state of mind, you are only focused on the one thing; your mind isn’t racing or jumping from thing to thing; it’s paced and honing in on the one topic. You could be in the critical or creative thinking space in this state of mind, but your focus is like a laser on the topic or task at hand.
The process of replaying the same thoughts over and over in your head is known as rumination or thought loops . Research has shown that rumination can be harmful in many ways1 and that being able to clear your mind and free yourself from the negative practice is an important skill to master. A clear state of mind is the exact opposite of this state, it is where you have very little thoughts or even no thoughts at all. A clear state of mind and be combined with a calm state of mind in order to access a deep meditative state.
Calmness is the mental state of peace of mind being free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance. It also refers to being in a state of serenity, tranquillity, or peace. Calmness can most easily occur for the average person during a state of relaxation, but it can also be found during much more alert and aware states. The calm state of mind is often where we find our ‘ah moments’ where answers arrive that we have been seeking.
The personal playbook is your assessable tool for this section of the course. Over the subsequent three sessions, we will ask you to design and select tools and techniques that will empower you to think, work and lead in more productive ways to support you in living out your purpose and achieving your missions.
This first section of your playbook is about productive ways of thinking.
- There is a space where you could add a state of mind. In here add in any states you’d like to achieve regularly, not already listed.
- Rate how often you enter these states of mind on average at the moment. You could do this based on reflecting on your last 3- 6 months.
- Now set a goal for how often you’d like to access these productive states of mind.
- Identify tools, techniques and ways you get into these states of mind, make sure you identify at least three (3) per state of mind. Some may cross over; that’s ok.
- In our coaching session at the end of the module, we will get you to reflect and re-rank how you are doing on these. The goal is to see some improvements, and you start to achieve your mindset goals.
This week your key assessable focus is to complete board one one your Miro template Personal Playbook and then complete the Thinking Journal.