What is NLP?
N = neuro/the human nervous system including the brain and senses.
L = linguistic/language.
P = programming.
According to NLP the human nervous system has its own natural language system that codes and organises the content of our thoughts and actions. This natural language system is sensory and it is this sensory information that automatically lets us know what to think, do and feel.
For example it is the sound of the voice that you talk to yourself with, the tone, pitch, speed and intonation of this self-talk voice that lets you know how to feel, rather than the content. Try criticising yourself in a Donald Duck voice. It feels surprisingly good.
How can it help me?
Often times we do our very best to drop old habits and try a new way - with no success. It almost seems to be beyond our control, as if we were on auto pilot ... and there are other times when changing is as easy as 1,2,3 ... The thing is that 90 % of the things we do, we do automatically, eating, walking, talking and so on. Initially, when learning, we do it consciously (remember learning to ride a bike). When we become good at it we switch to autopilot and then off we go, our conscious minds freed up to learn our next new trick.
Meanwhile, back in the brain, these newly learnt behaviors are stored and organized so that they can keep happening automatically.
And sometimes some of the things we learn pass their use by date - riding your bike? No.
Cuddling your teddy? Yes.
NLP therapy could be viewed as cleaning out old brain software, or simply weeding - compost the weeds because everything is of value. And then, most importantly the old is replaced with the new, which will get you what you need. Because getting you what you need is at the heart of NLP. Everything we do, even when it doesn't work, is an attempt to get ourselves what we truly need.
How does it work?
The way each of us 'do' our thinking processes is as unique and individual as the way that we walk or talk. For example two people walk into a party of strangers and have 2 very different experiences; one may ask themselves, "What interesting people will I meet tonight?" and as their mind explores this question and possible answers the person feels excited as their body fills with 'happy' chemicals endorphins.
The other person may ask themselves, "Will they like me?" and as their mind explores this question and possible answers they begin to feel anxious as their body fills with 'fear' chemicals adrenalin. As most of our thinking is unconscious we are not usually aware of the thoughts causing the discomfort and it is usually just the resulting feelings that we notice. So the challenge has always been how do we change something that we are not aware of.
NLP has uncovered what appears to be the brain's natural language system so we are now able to 'speak' directly to the brain. Using this natural language system it is possible to identify and change the unconscious thoughts and actions that are not helping, and to design and create new thoughts and actions and even beliefs that are in alignment with what it is that we really truly need. NLP is a powerful tool with which you can have huge influence.
"We can't change our past, but we can change how we think and feel about it."