State vs Story
Have you ever felt a bit run down, anxious or irritable, and during this time you could find a million and one complaints about the state of your life?
On the contrary, have you ever felt incredibly high, on top of the world, and wonderful, and during this time everything in your life seemed perfect?
These are examples of state vs story. This principle says that when you enter a certain physical state, you will have a corresponding story or inner-narrative.
When you are in a positive physiological state, with vibrant nuerochemistry, a relaxed body, balanced breathing, and a general state of health, you will tell yourself positive stories about the state of your life. You will have a positive perspective.
On the contrary, if you are in a shitty physiological state, due to being under-slept, over-stressed, or bogged down with the wrong food, your inner story will correspond. You will have more complaints, more criticisms, and you will be upset by many aspects of life.
In short, your state affects your story. Change your state, and your story will start to change automatically.
This principle becomes particularly helpful when we notice ourselves complaining about something over and over. This may be an indication that our state is unideal. Otherwise we wouldn’t be so irritated and fixated. This gives us the opportunity to purposefully improve our state. Here are some suggestions that work in my own life.
- Doing a workout/Movement
- Meditation, including breath,circulating energy, and affirmations.
- Seeing friends
- Listening to music or playing music
- Reading or watching a lecture/video
- Journaling, particularly about the current problem you face.
- Cold showers.
- Being in nature.
- Being productive.
Once we improve our state, we can re-examine the problem we were complaining about. You will find that you have a radically renewed perspective on the problem. Rather than being stuck on the negative, you can easily see the positive solutions available to you.
The really interesting thing, is that your circumstances didn’t change at all, the only thing that changed was your state and then your story. You now have a new inner-dialogue regarding the “problems” in your life, and you have a positive perspective on your solutions.
Sometimes we go through this process of successfully changing our state and story, only to have our state and story turn negative again. It may even be that same problem we previously overcame, only to crop up again and annoy us. This is natural. But rather than submitting to a defeated state, we can simply improve our state again and move on with our lives. The process of improving our state never ends. It is part of a healthy psychological lifestyle.
If a problem or complaint persists, obviously we should change our circumstances. The more ideal we can make our circumstances, the less we need to constantly remedy our state. But nonetheless, this is a great tool which can help us put things in perspective.
State vs Story helps us embody the old adage: Give me strength to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference. By optimizing our state and reflecting on life’s problems, we have an abundant ability to change things, accept things, and find ultimate peace. Best of luck.