State Shifting

How to change your mood at will and permanently shift your baseline state.

State shifting is a mental technique of shifting your state of mind (roughly equivalent to your mood) to a preferred state. Because our thoughts, worldview, and even the memories that are easiest to access are all linked to our state of mind, state shifting is a powerful technique to gain mastery over your emotional life.

We usually shift states unconsciously as we go through the day. If we see a negative news story, we might suddenly feel sad. Once you are sad, you will often start thinking of other sad things, until it is more than just a feeling response to an event, but rather becomes a pervasive mood. Over time, this can create habitual mood states.

You can focus on emotional stimuli to deliberately shift your mood.

Training yourself to shift your state of mind at will is like gaining a superpower. Each time you deliberately shift your state, you are strengthening those neural pathways until eventually your brain will spontaneously shift. It takes a few weeks of consistent practice (MANY times a day) to wire in a new brain pathway. This is how I permanently shifted my baseline mood to consistent happiness. It’s awesome!

The technique is not that hard to learn–the hardest part is actually overcoming beliefs that one should have to “earn” happiness somehow, or that self-generated happiness isn’t “real”.

The technique is simple. More info is linked below, but briefly it involves bringing to mind something that makes you feel genuinely joyful and then focus on the feeling itself, letting it fill your whole being.

Very important cautions!

The biggest caveat I want to give for this technique is if you are feeling desperate to feel better, you could end up suppressing negative feelings rather than shifting states. Don’t do thatThis technique is not a substitute for doing emotional processing or grief work. If there are real reasons you feel sad or upset, you need to work with those feelings.

This technique is for shifting habitual negative states that aren’t related to real events. So instead of feeling bad for no reason, you now feel good for no reason.

When doing this technique, be very sure you are not suppressing negative emotions, and you are not trying to force positive emotions. There is no force involved here. It’s just directing your attention and allowing the emotions to unfold from your attention.

Learn more: