Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Behaviour Change!! Make it Happen - with NLP!
NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is focused on enabling you to get what you really want.
In NLP we're taught that NLP helps you to become excellent in anything you want to be excellent at!
Sounds amazing AND slightly crazy or maybe even impossible right?
For those of you that have attended my conferences or interviews you'll know I'm often talking about using NLP or Hypnotherapy in my coaching, so it may seem a little less weird by now.
In today's article I’m going to explain a little bit about how change takes place with NLP.
For most people, our most basic cycle of behaviour is that when we decide to do anything, if we enjoy it- we'll generally repeat doing it.
This decision to repeat it can be a fully conscious decision, but equally can also be a very unconscious one too!
NLP recognises that a lot of our thinking and behaviours take place in the unconscious parts of our mind.
Things we take for granted i.e. not having to think about - such as breathing.
Another example is when we are typing.
As I'm creating the very sentences I'm typing to you right now, I'm not having to do any very deep thinking of each letter or word I type, nor think at the same time about each letter of the keyboard... these are memories stored away that I've repeated well enough over time that I no longer have to consciously pay my attention.
Frankly if I had to, I may well have made this article end at the title!
The unconscious and conscious minds work and live together
For a moment, think about any habit you currently have. Did you actively decide to develop it as a habit on the very first try?
Examples might be eating too much chocolate or smoking, fizzy drinks, alcohol etc.
Its happened unconsciously, developed (even reluctantly) over a time as it was repeated.
Its the repetitions over time that develops it beginning to happen unconsciously - so it becomes difficult to stop because it eventually happens on auto pilot.
The weirder part is that at any given moment you can make a conscious decision to stop and do so straight away!
The issue is though, our brain (being the wonderful computer that it is, recognises patterns so) on auto pilot keeps running the same response to a previous pattern.
For example, I would have a cigarette after a meal. I used to have to vet up go outside and smoke and I enjoyed that. I then found myself reaching for them not too long after each meal and before i knee it- ta da!! Habit formed!
So even after deciding to quit I still found myself rummaging around my pockets or handbag with an urge to go outside.
I.came to realise it was that part i enjoyed, getting up and going out, so eventually managed to make going for a walk after meals would give me a great feeling too.
The point though, is that even after deciding to quit... as long as the pattern before it is the same, the brain recognition kicks in and will complete the rest for you, without you needing to think about it.
Habit Formation – the dopamine reward
One of the reasons habits form is because once you've done it once- it sets off a reaction in the brain and the brain says " Oooh! Great!, it worked!” dopamine is released in the brain and guess what?! ...Dopamine is addictive!!!
It’s a chemical and with a swift whoosh! Like a sudden rain shower, it rains into the brain and all over the body making you feel good
Your Reward Centre
Actually what’s happening is that this is part of the function of the Reward Centre in the brain, the Pleasure Centre take over.
Dopamine is a reward that is being released. You are rewarded for your behaviour by feeling good.
Smoking cigarettes, consuming other substances and overeating involve a natural intake and generation of chemicals in addition to the dopamine reward that consuming them will bring.
Behaviour in general doesn’t necessarily have to have that consumption of chemicals to generate the feeling of reward.
All that is needed in an action the "great" feeling and you're rewarded.
NLP and the Magic of Rewards
When you decide on a goal, plan it and then go ahead and- the achieving makes you feel great too!
That's Dopamine in action again!
NLP helps to replace unwanted behaviours with behaviours that we do want instead.
It takes people through thought patterns of change.
NLP helps people replace unwanted and unconscious thought patterns with conscious and well informed and thought through alternatives.
Achieving in this way also releases dopamine in the brain and therefore we’re more likely to repeat these behaviours in the future instead- because we are getting this great rush of feeling good (rewarded withdopamime).
That is just a little insight into a part of how NLP can work for you.
There are hundreds if not thousands of techniques in NLP for helping people.
It can be used in so many ways too whether for communication, fears, phobias, habits etc.
If you would like to learn NLP you can enjoy free Master Classes or even train to become a Master Practitioner by clicking the link below
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Wishing you a great day....
OM, Over and Out!