what is it and how can it benefit you?

Often unbeknownst to us we can communicate a whole manner of suggestions via our body language. There is a whole science and analysis behind which way our eyes move when we try to recollect an image in our mind or how our movements reflect our feelings. If uncomfortable answering a question, for example, some people will look down, some will shift in their seat, some will make their mouth twitch in a certain way, others may fiddle with something. There are countless readings to be taken from the way we react to things. Generally these can be learned and understood utilising Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Learning to understand these non-verbal cues gives great insight into that person and their true feelings. They may say one thing whilst unwittingly relaying an array of other internal thoughts.

Everything we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste since the day we were born, combined with the culture and environment we were raised in (and those that influenced us) all creates a sensory ‘map’ within us. This is our programming. It is how we see the world, it is our perception and controls our reactions to life situations.

This perception determines how we think and act, how we behave and communicate. However, sometimes we don’t, or can’t, seem to react in the manner in which we thought we wanted to. NLP can analyse and study our programming and help us to change it for the better, or for a particular purpose. It is a method by which we can start to understand ourselves by way of detecting our unconscious biases or limitations due to our personal map. Understanding our own feelings, reactions, and emotions comes from understanding the messages we are receiving from ourselves.

In a nutshell Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a way of learning the language of our own mind and modifying our unconscious to suit our situation and improve our life. I suppose you could say re-programming ourselves to improve our reactions to certain situations.

We have covered what programming means so how about the Neuro-Linguistics?

  • Neuro refers to the brain; how state of mind can affect communication and behavioural traits.
  • Linguistic refers to how our mind and body reveal their feelings via language in the form of both verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • NLP patterns can inform us of valuable personal information that would otherwise be unknown.

What can NLP be used for?

NLP can be used for personal development, phobias and anxiety, improvement in the workplace and personal happiness. NLP uses perceptual, behavioural, and communication techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions.

Trained NLP therapists can utilise their skills to help people achieve goals which otherwise they don’t believe they can; to change your mind about whether or not you are capable of something can be altered by modifying your programming. Programming you differently.

NLP provides practical ways in which you can change the way that you think, view past events, and approach your life.

Techniques used in NLP

One technique some therapists have used in the past is to analyse someone who has successfully achieved something by studying their thought and behavioural patterns and analysing their Neuro Linguistic Programming. They then utilise their ‘model’ in order to pass it on to somebody else struggling to achieve similar types of goals.

Anchoring: This technique uses our sensory experiences and turns them into triggers for particular emotional states.

Rapport: The therapist matches the behavioural patterns of the patient reflecting their own self, therefore inspiring empathy, in order to improve communication.

Swish pattern: This helps the therapist to alter or change a subject’s behaviour and thought patterns in order to reach a desired outcome – as
opposed to previous undesired outcomes in similar situations.

Visual/Kinaesthetic Dissociation (VKD): Another method to attempt to remove negative thoughts and feelings linked to a past event in order to adapt a person’s programming, encouraging the subject not to reach back to that experience when reacting to a new situation.

About NLP Therapists

They are generally trained to be powerful and inspiring communicators, thus encouraging their subjects to communicate better themselves. An NLP therapist would have undergone all the techniques that they will later apply to their patients and so have an empathy and direct understanding of the procedures and their effects.

They will aim to alleviate any fears and phobias that exist within their patient and therefore create a stronger more confident base for that person to go forward in life.

They are motivational in their therapy and create feelings of empowerment within the patient, rectifying any unwanted behaviour patterns, and give a feeling of control over their own thoughts and emotions.

A patient will leave their sessions feeling as though they have more self-awareness having delved into their own subconscious, the aim of which is to communicate more effectively and help develop personal and work-related relationships promoting a more successful existence.

NLP has been described as “a user’s manual for the brain” and once you have a more conscious mind (not relying on your previously unconscious programming) you can understand and then go out and achieve anything you want in life.

There has been some scepticism into NLP as to the research and findings being inconclusive, however it has been popular and consistently developed for the past four decades. It isn’t like hypnosis where the subconscious is probed while the subject is unaware, there are no drugs involved, it is a conscious delve into our true selves to uncover some truths which may help us achieve the life we always dreamed of – where’s the harm in that?

NLP is the study of better communication with yourself and others.

This content was originally published here.

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