State Management: Pass or Fail?

by Megan K on January 5, 2011

If State Management (or how you handle your moods) were a college course would you pass or fail?

In the fitness world personal trainers don’t spend much time talking about emotional states, but I think that is a mistake. Your mood can dramatically impact your performance and progress, in all areas of your life, including the gym.  Because of this, state management is of critical importance.  If you want to get better in all areas of life, including the gym, you need to get better at managing your emotions so that you can capitalize on the little time you have on this Earth.

Not sure if you’re any good at state management? Ask yourself: Are you able to handle the frustrations and upsets that life brings you as well as you manage the more enjoyable times?  Does your productivity crash when things are not going well?  How do you bring yourself out of a bad mood? Are there behaviors you revert to when you’re in a funk that actually make you feel worse? What could you be doing instead?

Because “everything in life either makes you better or worse” (Frankie Faires) we must be able to manage our emotional state.

When I first met the Gym Movement Creator, Frankie Faires, we spent a lot of time talking about biopsychology. To this day it remains our most discussed topic of conversation.  He explained to me that just as all movements can make us better or worse, everything in our environments’ can as well. In order to change one’s state there are different experiments that can be run: biomechanical (exercise or movement based), biochemical (food or substance based) and biopsychological.  For example a person could test biomechanical options like going for a run, taking an exercise class or having sex.  Biochemical options could include drinking beer,eating pizza or a “high quality” nutrient dense meal.  Biopsychological options include watching a funny movie, listening to good music or talking with a friend.  Whether we know it or not, we use these techniques to manage our emotional states on a regular basis.  But we may not have realized that like movement we can test to see if they will make us better or worse.  So how do we do that?

If you are familiar with the Gym Movement testing protocols then you have the basis to begin the testing process.  Food can be tested just as activities can be tested.  If you are unfamiliar with the protocols then ask yourself questions like these: how will I feel after I do _____activity? Will I feel better if I eat some pizza?  Will I feel better if I go for a run?  If I am choosing to modify my state using biochemical means (food or substances) then is something else a better option?  Would I feel better if I ate some shrimp and veggies instead?  Listen to your instincts.

In life there are many situations that are oustide of our control.  We can’t always chose environments, people, movements or even foods that only make us better so we must practice our state management so that when we do find ourselves in a “bad mood” we can take action and modify our behaviors and manage our states.

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