The Power of State of Mind

Being in the right state (or frame) of mind is key to success in any situation. And the good news is that your state of mind is completely within your control! It is your mind. And your body that produces the chemicals which determine how you feel.

We can kid ourselves that we can conceal our state of mind, but research going back decades has shown that in any face to face communication, the words only count for 15% of the communication. The remainder of the impact is down to tone of voice and body language. And what is driving those? A combination of our state of mind, and the extent to which we believe what we are saying. 

Anyone who embraces the concept that we determine our own state of mind, and as such we are responsible for the outcome in any situation, will be far happier than someone who believes that it is the external events that determine our state of mind!

Adopting the right State of Mind

Having the right state of mind underpins NLP (Neuro Lingoustic Programming). And there are 4 basic techniques, that anyone can use, to get yourself in the right state of mind.

1. Tell yourself how you want to be and feel. Keep saying it to yourself again and again, with conviction. Your brain listens to this internal voice and will respond by producing the appropriate chemicals (neurotransmitters). This is a basic tool used by many sportspeople, who constantly tell themselves they are winners. 

2. Think of someone who displays or embodies the state of mind you want to adopt. Imagine them. Imagine them standing next to you. Imagine that feeling rubbing off on you. And finally, imagine you are them. Enjoy feeling how they feel. The more powerfully you use this visualisation the quicker and deeper the effect will be.

3. Remember a time when you felt how you want to feel now. Remember the time and the feeeling as powerfully as you can. Where were you? What were you wearing? Who were you with? What sounds were there? How did you feel? Run the movie in your head as brightly and loudly as you can. Immerse yourself in it. And come back to the present with that powerful state of mind.

4. Use a trigger from the past, when you were in this state of mind. A simple example of this is to play a song that makes you feel happy. Or a piece of music that makes you feel confident. Your mind has ‘anchored’ the music as a ‘trigger’ to help you brain replicate that feeling. The concept of ‘lucky pants’ is another example of an anchor/trigger!! The simple action of changing into a tracksuit in the evening is for many people the trigger to their brain to ‘switch off from work’. And is a far more healthy option than the classic of needing an alcoholic drink to unwind!


Happy, healthy, successful people tend to control their own state of mind, rather than believing that other people and external events are the cause of how they feel. Like many things in life, if you are not naturally like this, it does take practice. But, using the techniques described above can eventually become a way of life.
Written by Pamela Carvell, 2017. May be reproduced or used in part, so long as full credit is given to Pamela Carvell.

Image is from a 1967 book by Charles M Schulz called Happiness is a Sad Song.