For us to understand what Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) means, we have to look at the individual terms. The Neuro is in terms of Neurology, Linguistic refers to language and Programming refers to how they function. NLP Is a behavioural technology which deals with the language of the mind. It deals with change in perception in a given situation and developing choices of responses. In other words, NLP gives practical ways in which you can change the way that you view the past, think and approach your life. By practical, as mentioned in the latter definition, it means NLP focuses on the “how” unlike psychoanalysis which focuses on the “why”.
NLP does all of the above by the following methods:
Taking Control and Improving Your Mind
NLP works to ensure that you are the master controller of your mind and eventually your life. Your emotions, thoughts and feelings are not things that you have or that are, but things that are being done by you. Their causes can be very complicated, resulting from for instance, beliefs from your society or events that you have experienced.
Some Tools and Techniques used in NLP includes:
- Anchoring: An anchor is an association that evokes a particular emotion within you. We can evoke any emotion of our choice. For example, if I wanted you to be happy, I could evoke that emotion within you by simply saying, think of a time in your past when you experienced happiness”. If you reflect on those past experiences those emotional states will be anchored. The most important aspect of anchoring is making sure that at the peak of your emotional thoughts you engage in an action like clapping your hand, nodding your head or pumping your fist. If anchoring is done with the aforementioned actions consistently, it will become programmed into your mind.
- The Map Is Not the Territory Technique: As human beings, due to our various perceptions and meanings of people, we don’t respond to reality, rather we respond to our various internalised map of reality.
- Reframing: Turning the frame so that the way you look at it can be changed is the principle of reframing. For instance, Let’s say you were always shouted at growing up in childhood, as a result of that experience, you associated shouting to meaning you are not good enough. That association is based on the frame or perception that you are making of that experience, which is as a matter of fact reframe-able by simply viewing that experience as a gift. Because they shouted at you, maybe it gave you the momentum to grow and become stronger.
- Undermining the Critical Voice: Some of us will admit to hear a critical voice in our heads during inopportune moments, saying things such as, ‘you are not good enough for that’, or ‘don’t waste you time trying what you cannot achieve’. Next time you hear such, imagine it sounding ridiculous and silly.
- Running the Movie Backward: Are you struggling to get over a bad experience? If yes, this is the best technique. For instance, after the experience is terminated, imagine the whole scenario happening backward, until you are at a time before it happened. Finally, think of a different and better end to the experience, one that gladdens your heart. You will notice that the way you feel about it has changed.
Conclusively, Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a powerful technique which puts you in total control of your mind. Some may call it ‘mind-tricks’, but it is a therapy that aids a better synchronisation between the mind and the body.