The 2 States Of Consciousness You Flip Between All Day: Uptime Vs. Downtime In NLP — Perception Academy
There are two categories of states that we flip between all day long, and this process occurs largely unconsciously: uptime & downtime states.
In this article I am going to share with you what those two states are and the pros and cons of each.
My hope for you is that by the end of this article you will have a higher awareness of which you are in at a given moment, and gain some more intentionality to be able to switch into the mode that would be most appropriate given the circumstances that you are in.
Defining Uptime and Downtime
In the field of NLP we refer to these two categories of states as Uptime vs. Downtime.
Downtime states in the field of NLP are states where our attention is focused inwardly, shifting our awareness from the outside world of the senses to our inner world of the mind.
Uptime states in the field of NLP are states where our attention is focused outwardly, present, in the moment, in our senses, in the environment. Here we have shifted our awareness from the inner world of our mind to the external world of the senses.
An Example of Unresourceful Downtime States
Do you find yourself having strong negative emotional responses even though the environment around you is calm? If there is no threat in the physical environment but yet you are caught up in your emotions that is being caused by what you are doing in your mind in a ‘downtime state.’
Your responses are not being caused by the physical environment; that response must be due to the way you are thinking yourself into that state.
In the fields of General-Semantics & Neuro-Semantics we refer to this as a “semantic-reaction.”
How to Shift from Downtime to Uptime
There is a quote from the famous gestalt therapist and one of the original NLP models Fritz Perls which is to “lose your mind and come to your senses” is a call to go to an uptime state and to come to the present.
If you ever find yourself in a downtime state that is unresourceful, some great questions to pull you into an uptime state would be:
- What do you see in the room around you?
- What is the brightest color in the room?
- What is the faintest sound you can hear right now in this moment?
- What is the temperature on your skin at the present moment?
- What is the warmest part of your body right now?
- How does the air smell right now?
- What is the taste in your mouth at this immediate moment?
These kinds of questions will lead someone into an uptime state, a present state awareness, which would be really valuable if you’re caught in an unresourceful ‘trance state’.
The Neuro-Semantics of Uptime & Downtime
In terms of the field of Neuro-Semantics we would refer to uptime states as ‘primary state’ experiences where we are responding to the world and we would refer to downtime states as a ‘meta-state’ experiences where we are responding to our responses, our own thoughts and feelings in our inner world as opposed to the external environment.
Using Uptime States Resourcefully
The skill of effective listening depends on bringing in an uptime state. For example if you are having a conversation with somebody you are going to want to, for the most part, remain in an uptime state, paying attention to the other person.
If we are lost in our mind thinking about what we are going to say next, what happened yesterday, or what we have coming up in the future all of the sudden our consciousness gets pulled inside into a downtime state and now we are no longer listening to the other person.
Uptime states are also valuable for moments where we need to perform. Whether it’s a sports performance, a presentation, a dance or any other kind of performance you are going to want to, for the most part, remain in an uptime state.
Occasionally you may go inside (downtime) to access some information, but you want to come back outside (uptime) in order to respond effectively to your environment. You could imagine if a boxer in a ring would want to keep their awareness focused outside of their head as much as possible because if they go inside their head for too long to think about what they are going to do next they are likely to be jolted into an uptime state rather quickly with a quick punch to the face!
Using Downtime States Resourcefully
We can also use our downtime states resourcefully. Just like you can be in the safety of your home but be in a turbulent state internally, you can also be in a calm environment and access powerful resourceful states disproportionate to your current environment.
You can go inside and access some really powerful, resourceful, healing, and self-transcendent states, which I highly encourage doing on a regular basis!
We can use our skills of going uptime and downtime as tools to perform better, get better results, to feel more fulfilled in our lives or we can use them to our own detriment. Which way are you using these powers?
Are you going inside when you should be outside and outside when you should be inside? Do you have an appropriate balance about when you should be outside and when you should be inside? How skilled are you to switch between these modes of consciousness at will when appropriately?
Do you have these appropriately automated so you unconsciously flip between them as appropriate?
I trust that you will now have more awareness as to when you are outside and when you are inside and some more power to switch between them appropriately.
Feel free to leave your questions and comments here and I wish you an empowering journey along your Neuro-Semantics mastery pathway.
Originally published at https://perceptionacademy.com.