The Tools

Shifting Mental States I recently watched the Netflix documentary “Stutz” which was inspired by a 2012 book titled “The Tools” by Phil Stutz and Barry Michels. “Stutz” delves deep into the realm of mental health and self-discovery through the scope of the therapeutic relationship Phil possesses with his client Jonah Hill who also happens to be the director. I will explore the essence of “Stutz,” and the tools it introduces.

We all experience states that we shift through dozens of times during the day. States may register in our brain as feelings or in our body as sensations; even if we don’t consciously identify them, they are impacting us on some level. At the heart of both the book and the documentary lies a set of transformative techniques known as “The Tools.” These tools are designed to empower individuals to break free from beliefs and behaviors that don’t serve us. Each tool provides a unique approach to overcoming obstacles and accessing untapped reservoirs of inner strength.

1.     The Reversal of Desire: This tool challenges the notion that discomfort, or adversity should be avoided at all costs. Instead, it encourages individuals to embrace challenges, reframing them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.

2.     Active Love: Active Love emphasizes the importance of cultivating compassion and empathy during angered states, not only towards others but also towards oneself, which can be difficult for many. It facilitates deepening a sense of self-worth and acceptance.

3.     The Grateful Flow: This tool centers on cultivating gratitude, even in the face of difficulties, fear, or anxiety. It shifts the focus from what’s lacking to appreciating the abundance that surrounds us, fostering a positive and resilient mindset.

4.     Inner Authority: Inner Authority empowers individuals to tap into their innate wisdom and intuition, enabling them to make decisions with confidence and clarity.

5.     Jeopardy: Sometimes even when we know what we need, we may still choose to not utilize resources available to us. Jeopardy as a tool challenges individuals to confront their deepest fears and anxieties, ultimately dismantling the power these fears hold over their lives.

Through its vivid portrayal of “The Tools,”, “Stutz” offers accessible strategies for those seeking to discreetly shift states and behaviors at home or at work. As viewers, we are reminded of the untapped reservoirs of strength within us, and that we have far more agency than we often claim to meet our emotional needs effectively. These tools, while certainly accessible individually, can be enhanced by working through them with a mental health professional. In our practice at New Day Vitality, we facilitate spaces where clients can “Try On” tools and skills that can create a more fulfilled life.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella