If you change the way you look at things,
the things you look at change
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a set of language and sensory based interventions and behavior modification techniques intended to help improve someone’s self-awareness, communication, perception and thought patterns.
Has this ever been you?
“I’m never going to be happy again.”
“I can’t do it, I’m not good enough.”
“Why would I even try, I’ll just mess up.”
Are those thoughts true? Dr. Lisa Coyne states that, “We have evolved to experience our thoughts as literal truths”. She goes on to say that it’s our response to that negative, critical mindset that can trap us.
Have you ever been trapped by your own negative thoughts? Do you want to gain control over them but you aren’t sure how? That is where NLP can help, rather than focusing on the “why”, NLP focuses on the “how.”
How can you react differently to your thoughts and emotions?
How can you change your mindset so that life is happening for your, not to you?
4 Tips to Stop Negative Thoughts with NLP
Look at this phrase:
I Can’t Do It
Look at that same phrase changed slightly:
I didn’t change what the phrase meant except changing can’t to can not. But did you notice how you felt reading the second phrase? It’s not quite as negative and almost appears that the NOT sitting by itself, could just be wiped away. I didn’t tell you to wipe it away, but it was most likely a thought you had when you read it in the second form.
When you are having the negative thought, imagine you are lying in bed. Close your eyes and then imagine you are now looking at yourself laying on the bed.
Then zoom out so you are seeing yourself from outside your window. Go further away now to the end of the street. Now over the town—now above the state. Keep going further away until you see the world below you and you are viewing yourself and your negative thought WAY down below. It’s too far away. You can’t see yourself or the thought any longer.
What just happened? You are detaching from the negative thought. No, it’s not magically gone from your thoughts when you “come back”, but you have now put your thought into perspective.
3. Dismantling Your Inner Critic
Change your thoughts so that your inner critic shows up differently. What does the voice sound like? Is it yelling at you, is it loud, harsh, nagging? Whose voice does it sound like?
Start to change the tone of the voice in your head so it’s softer, calmer, and there is a kindness in the negative thought. Maybe even change it up to give it a fun accent.
Now, change the volume of the voice. Start turning it down until you no longer hear it.
The anchoring method is beneficial for pulling up certain emotions, or putting yourself in a particular state of mind. It works by associating an emotion with a physical action.
This technique is beneficial when you are finding that you are overwhelmed with the negative thought that you don’t want to be thinking and you want to trigger happiness or a state of calmness.
What you do here is think of a moment when you were either feeling happy or calm. What do you see? What do you hear, feel, smell? What colors do you see? What does the weather feel like on your skin?
To anchor that feeling, keep thinking of everything you pictured above and while you are thinking of all of those sensations begin to press your index finger and thumb together tapping them.
What you are doing is creating a neurological stimulus response, which will allow you to channel that feeling of calmness when you repeat this.
Eventually instead of having to close your eyes and think of that moment, you will be able to repeat the physical action of touching your fingers together.
This can be other stimulus such as rubbing your ear or I like to tap on my leg lightly.
Mindset Is Everything…
NLP works from the starting point that you don’t get to control everything that happens to you in life, but you can take control of your thoughts and how you respond to situations you are presented with.
These tips are just a few of the different ways of cognitive restructuring, which help you identify and change negative thoughts into more positive responses.
There are hundreds of different types of NLP techniques that can be used to increase self-confidence, conquer phobias, reduce PTSD, and help gain control over unwanted emotions or negative thoughts.
Whether done in therapy, coaching, or on your own, restructuring your thoughts takes effort and only you have the power to change them.
With anything in life, you can’t expect that you can change your thought patterns overnight, in a week or even a month. You must be willing to put in the work and consistency to see lasting change.
I can tell you from personal experience, I’ve done it! I have shifted my mindset and use these techniques above. Not that I don’t still have negative thoughts, that is a part of life, but I do the work to not let them control me.
Remember, You Got This!
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