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Learn how to chane your state and influence others to your desired outcome using NLP... Phone 07 5562 5718 or send an email to book a free 20 minute telephone or Skype session with Abby Eagle. NLP Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Meditation. Gold Coast, Robina, Australia. Online NLP Coaching sessions on Skype and by phone also available.
(By Abby Eagle) Have you ever stopped to wonder about how you think? Not what you think but how you talk to yourself in your mind?
And have you considered that the way you talk to yourself could also affect the way that you feel and the way that you communicate to others?
For example, if my friend John goes into a business meeting with the thought that he won't be given enough time to make his presentation then he will probably look, sound and feel tense. Afterwards he might feel angry that he was not given enough time to make a good impression.
On the way home if he holds a conversation in his mind with his wife about that meeting then when he does speak with her he is going to sound upset and angry. Makes sense doesn't it? It is not rocket science. Thinking angry thoughts means you will feel angry and will sound angry when you talk to others. On the other hand if you think playful loving thoughts then not only will it feel better but others will also enjoy being around you more.
So what to do? How to make the shift from the negative to the positive? Is it going to take years of therapy? Hey, I'm serious about this. The other day I had a client tell me that when he broke up with wife after a 29 year marriage he went to a Psychologist for help. The Psychologist said to him, "A 29 year marriage! That will take 3 years of therapy." Five years later he was still going for weekly sessions.
NLP gives us a set of tools and techniques to help you change your mind and your state but some of them take years to master. What I am going to give you right now is one of the simplest procedures that you can put into practise right now.
Let's use anger as an example. Let's say the dog next door barks and you say to yourself in an angry tonality, "That damn dog!"
Let's play with that statement. What would happen if you raised the volume and you shouted it? Would that give you more or less anger? What if you whispered the statement, "That dam dog."
I don't know about you but sometimes I think whispered anger is more scarey than loud anger.
So what if we speak that statement quickly? Would that sound more or less angry? What if we slow it down and say it very slowly? Would that make it more or less angry? What if you whispered and slowed it at the same time? But I can think of many examples where slow whispered anger was more scarey than loud fast anger.
But what if we change the tonality and say it playfully, would that sound and feel different? Of course it would! It would change not only how you think about the dog but how you feel about the dog.
So what have we done so far?
We played with some distinctions in the auditory channel. That is volume, tempo and tonality. The words remained the same but how we said it was different. You will find that tonality is the key to changing your state. And because the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic cortexes's cross over in the brain (synesthesia) when you change a distinction in one modality then distinctions in the other modality also change. So if you shouted the statement it might give you a big feeling and a big picture in your mind. When you speak rapidly it will also speed up the feeling in the body. Speak slowly and it will help you to relax. Change the tonality and it will change everything. And you don't even need to change what you say. Words are important but how you say it is even more important. Though what you will find is that when you change the tonality the words will be different. It is like the tonality creates the words - like a dictionary of words are associated with a tonality, such that when you change the tonality you find yourself speaking different words, quite naturally.
The best way to shift tonality is to do it directly. That is, to think back on a time when you got angry, identify what you said to yourself in your mind, for example. "That damn dog." Then to build an imaginary control panel in your mind, as follows.
Lift up the hand that you use to write with, then imagine that you can put your hand on the controls of an imaginary graphic equaliser. Imagine that you have at your finger tips a slider control or dial. As you tune into the self talk move your hand in a way that indicates that you want your unconscious mind to slow down the self talk. Then move your hand in a way that indicates that you want your unconscious mind to change the tonality from anger to kind, loving, friendly, playful. Then move your hand in a way to indicate that you want the unconscious mind to turn the volume all the way down. This is a fancy way of saying to the unconscious mind, "No, not these thoughts."
The next step is to suggest to the unconscious mind to access a state of playfulness. This is what I say to a client. "Do you know who Tweety Bird is? You know, the Warner Brothers cartoon character? I'd like you to put in Tweety Bird and turn up the volume. Hear yourself saying much the same words but notice it makes you feel differently does it not?
And it works - in a few moments the meaning of the thought changes and the client looks, sounds and feels so much more positive, relaxed and playful. The next step is to future pace (mentally rehearse) the learnings into the appropriate future contexts, which just takes few minutes.
This procedure which I refer to as The Mind Director is a fast way of instructing the unconscious mind. "Not this negative tonality but instead this positive playful tonality." Practise this procedure for a while and you will find that you naturally learn how to turn down the negative thinking, access a resource state, put in a positive coaching internal dialogue and directionalise your brain towards achieving your most cherished desired outcomes.
I tell you personal change work is not rocket science - you just have to know how.
In the previous example you learned how to change the tonality of the self talk to playful and as such change your state of mind. In the following procedure you will learn how to apply NLP meta states, that is new layers of mind to the current way of thinking.
So if we take the example of the neighbours dog. Let's say the usual response to the barking is anger. What if you were to bring a sense of playfulness to the sound of the barking, would that change your state? Just think about it for a moment. Bring a playful frame of mind to the sound of the barking dog. As you do so the meaning of the barking will have to change. It might still annoy you but it will be playful anger.
In meta stating we learn how to bring useful frames of mind to events in the world and to how we think about our self. Meta stating is not new. In the Buddhist tradition for example, people practise holding thoughts of kindness and compassion, and then bring the kindness and compassion to self and others. In the Christian tradition, people practise 'love thy neighbour'. But in my experience as an NLP Coach I have found playfulness to be the most powerful resource state.
The Mind Director procedure with the control panel works by changing how you think the thoughts or say the words.
Think about this for a moment. It is not so much what you say - the words that you use but how you say it.
When did you last enjoy a film with the sound turned down? Even the silent films from the 1920's had a piano accompianment. Try it. Start watching a blockbuster film then turn the volume down. Then turn it up... then listen to it with 3D sound... wow! 90% of the meaning that we get from a film comes from the sound track. What does that tell you about how you talk to yourself? If you want to feel confident, relaxed, powerful, whatever state you want... just build in the appropriate sound track in your mind.
The meta stating procedure works by how you think about an event in the world or about your thought processes or about yourself. For example, during a business meeting the team leader might say, "Let's put it out on the table, let's step back and take a good look at it. Now what do you think?" From this perspective the team members can be more detached from the content and arrive at a better solution. Meta stating is not new we just need to apply the procedure when we need it most.
So how do you know when to meta state or make any change for that matter? Awareness! By bringing awareness to our thoughts and events in the world - by being conscious of how we create our reality. Awareness is the key. Awareness is the ultimate meta state. And by the way, one of the key methods for practising awareness is the witnessing style of meditation.
Your contribution to this article is welcomed so please take a moment to leave your comments below. And if you are interested in NLP Coaching then please contact me using the contact form on this page.