In this article, We will learn the basics of NLP programming. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological approach that involves analyzing strategies used by successful individuals and applying them to reach a personal goal. It relates thoughts, language, and patterns of behavior learned through experience to specific outcomes. Proponents of NLP assume all human action is positive. Therefore, if a plan fails or the unexpected happens, the experience is neither good nor bad—it simply presents more useful information.
How it affect us
A core concept of NLP can be summarized by the saying, “The map is not the territory,” because it highlights the differences between belief and reality. It points out that each person operates within their own perspective rather than from a place of objectivity. Proponents of NLP believe everyone’s perception of the world is distorted, limited, and unique. A therapist who practices NLP must therefore understand how a person in treatment perceives their “map” and the effect this perception may have on that person’s thoughts and behavior.
The NLP techniques that were discovered can be powerfully effective in changing how we experience the world. Since our thoughts and feelings shape our reality, this means that these NLP techniques can actually transform your entire life.
Here are five of the most impactful NLP techniques when it comes to changing your behavior and helping you manifest a better future.
Top 5 NLP Techniques That Will Transform Your Life
Have you ever been in a situation that gave you a bad feeling? Maybe you have experienced something that gets you down every time you experience it. Or perhaps you get nervous in certain work situations where you have to speak publicly. Maybe you get shy when you want to approach that “special someone” you’ve had your eye on. While these feelings of sadness, nervousness or shyness seem to be automatic or unstoppable, NLP techniques of dissociation can help immensely.
- Identify the emotion (e.g. fear, rage, discomfort, dislike of a situation) that you want to get rid of
- Imagine that you can float out of your body and look back at yourself, encountering the entire circumstance from an observer’s perspective
- Notice that the feeling changes dramatically
- For an extra boost, imagine that you can float out of your body looking at yourself, then, float out of this body again, so you’re looking at yourself, looking at yourself. This double dissociation should take the negative emotion off almost any minor situation
2. Content Reframing
Try this technique when you feel that a situation is negative or helpless. Reframing will take any negative situation and empower you by changing the meaning of the experience into something positive.
For example, let’s say that your relationship ends. That may seem awful on the surface, but let’s reframe it. What are the possible benefits of being single? For example, you’re now open to other potential relationships. You also have the freedom to do what you want, when you want. And you’ve learned valuable lessons from this relationship that will allow you to have even better relationships in the future.
These are all examples of reframing a situation. By reframing the meaning of the breakup, you give yourself a different experience of it.
In expected situations, it’s natural to panic or focus on fear, but this just leads to more problems. In contrast, shifting your focus in the way just described helps you to clear your head and make responsible, even-handed decisions.
3. Anchoring Yourself
Anchoring originates with Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov who experimented with dogs by ringing a bell repeatedly while the dogs were eating. After repeated rings of the bell, he found he could get the dogs to salivate by ringing the bell anytime, even if there was no food present.
This created a neurological association between the bell and the behavior of salivating called a conditioned response.
You can use these types of stimulus-response “anchors” yourself!
Anchoring yourself helps you to associate any desired positive emotional response with a particular phrase or sensation. When you choose a positive emotion or thought and deliberately connect it to a simple gesture, you can trigger this anchor any time you’re feeling low, and your feelings will immediately change.
- Identify what you want to feel (e.g. confidence, happiness, calmness, etc.)
- Decide on where you would like to place this anchor on your body, such as pulling your earlobe, touching your knuckle or squeezing a fingernail. This physical touch will allow you to trigger the positive feeling at will. It doesn’t matter where you choose, as long as it is a unique touch that you don’t touch for anything else.
- Think of a time in the past when you felt that state (e.g., confidence). Mentally go back to that time and float into your body, looking through your own eyes and reliving that memory. Adjust your body language to match the memory and the state. See what you saw, hear what you heard and feel the feeling as you remember that memory. You will begin to feel that state. This is similar to telling a friend a funny story from the past, and as you “get into” the story, you start to laugh again, because you “associate” to the story and “relive” it.
- As you go back to the memory, touch/pull/squeeze the area on your body that you chose. You will feel the feeling swell while you relive the memory. Release the touch the moment the emotional state peaks and begins to wear off.
- This will create a neurological stimulus-response that will trigger the state whenever you make that touch again. To feel that state (e.g., Confidence), just touch yourself the same way again.
- To make the response even stronger, think of another memory where you felt that state, go back and relive it through your own eyes, and anchor the state on the same spot as before. Each time you add another memory, the anchor becomes more potent and will trigger a stronger response.
- Use this technique any time you need to change your mood.
4. Getting Other People to Like You (Rapport)
This is an easy set of NLP techniques, but they have the power to help you get along with virtually anyone. There are lots of ways to build rapport with another person. One of the quickest and effective ways comes from NLP. This technique involves subtly mirroring another person’s body language, tone of voice, and words.
People like people who are like themselves. By subtly mirroring the other person, the brain fires off “mirror neurons,” pleasure sensors in the brain, which make people feel a sense of liking for anyone mirroring them.
The technique is simple: Stand or sit the way the other person is sitting. Tilt your head the same way. Smile when they smile. Mirror their facial expression. Cross your legs when they cross theirs. Mirror their voice, etc.
The key to creating an unconscious rapport is subtlety. If you are too overt, the other person may notice consciously, which would most likely break rapport. So keep your mirroring natural and calm.
5. Influence and Persuasion
While much of the work of NLP is dedicated to helping people eliminate negative emotions, limiting beliefs, bad habits, conflict and more, another part of NLP is dedicated to how to ethically influence and persuade others.
One of the mentors in the field was a man named, Milton H. Erickson. Erickson was a psychiatrist who also studied the subconscious mind through hypnotherapy (the real, scientific stuff… not the silly entertainment hypnosis you see in stage shows).
Erickson was so adept at hypnosis, he developed a way to speak to the subconscious minds of other people without needing hypnosis. He could literally hypnotize people anytime, anywhere in everyday conversations. This Ericksonian method of hypnosis became known as “Conversational Hypnosis.”
This is a very powerful tool that can be used to not only influence and persuade others but also to help other people overcome fears, limiting beliefs, conflict and more without their conscious awareness. This is especially useful when getting across to people who might otherwise be resistant if they know (think teenage children who don’t want to listen).
How it works?
NLP might appear like magic or hypnosis. During therapy the subject goes deep into their unconscious mind and sifts through layers and layers of beliefs and perceptions to become aware of an experience in early childhood that is responsible for a behaviour pattern. NLP works on the principle that everyone has all the resources they need to make positive changes in their own life. NLP techniques are used as a tool to facilitate these changes.
NLP Therapy can be content free. That means the therapist can be effective without knowing about the problem in great detail. Hence the therapist need not be told about the event or even the issue, thereby ensuring privacy for the client. Besides this we also have a non- disclosure agreement in which the interaction between the client and the therapist is kept confidential.
NLP believes in perfection of nature in human creation. Hence NLP encourages the client to recognize their sensory sensitivities and use them to respond to a particular problem. In fact, NLP also believes that the mind is capable of finding even cures to ailments and diseases.
NLP techniques involve noninvasive, medicine free therapy that helps the client discover new ways of dealing with emotional problems such as low self-esteem, anxiety, lack of confidence, destructive relationship patterns (coping with breakup), and are successful ineffective bereavement counseling.
NLP has its roots in the field of behavioural science, developed by Pavlov, Skinner and Thorndike. It uses physiology and the unconscious mind to change thought processes and therefore behaviour.