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The Beginner’s Guide to Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP)

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Neuro-linguistic programming is a concept that you may or may not have heard of but learning more about it could change your life.  Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP is a system that explores the dynamics between mind, language, and behavior in human beings. It is a method of helping humans achieve their best self and is predicated on the fact that human experience is fully grounded in subjectivity. Let’s take a closer look at NLP to see exactly what it is all about and how it can be useful.

NLP was developed in the 1970’s by John Grinder, a linguist, and Richard Bandler, a therapist and mathematician. Their goal was to demystify the relationship between the mind and language and their affect on human behavior in order to help humans achieve happier, more grounded and productive lives.  Grinder and Bandler believe that the neurological system regulates our bodies, language determines how we communicate with others in the world around us and our behavior is shaped by the interaction of our beliefs, neurological processes and communication. A main premise behind NLP is that if we can find positive ways to harness the power of the mind, language, and behavior we can not only shape better selves but also a better world.

NLP is at its core a holistic approach to understanding the human being. It acknowledges that each person experiences the world subjectively and thus each person has very unique requirements for finding their path and achieving their best self. The following are some of the main goals and objectives of NLP:

  • Finding and developing the models that gives people the necessary tools to heal, change and develop into a state of excellence
  • Helping people explore their identity and their unique purpose/mission in life
  • Helping people grapple with spirituality (the meta level of human experience) and allowing them to develop their wisdom, intuition and vision.

One method that NLP practitioners employ to fulfill the aforementioned goals and objectives is hypnosis. Since NLP is rooted in the belief that the mind and language are what program and shape our reality, hypnosis is an excellent method of helping people create new realities that are healthy and optimal for them as individuals. Hypnosis is a reprogramming of the mind to affect behavioral change and many hypnotherapists combine the practice with the fundamentals of NLP in order to help their patients make the necessary changes towards a happier and more fulfilling life, whether this means quitting smoking or rising out of a deep depression. A hypnotherapist with an NLP background can be the difference between being stuck in the muck of old, self-defeating habits and the discovery of new ways to perceive and be in the world in happiness.

There are many critics of the NLP model (and hypnotherapy for that matter) and they typically come in the form of mainstream medical and psychological practitioners. However, whether or not you believe in NLP or hypnotherapy as viable methods of treatment for various issues, they can never hurt you physically or mentally. Drugs, the method of treatment most frequently promoted in mainstream medicine, can have side effects and even be fatal. Thus, NLP and hypnotherapy are in the very least safe and this makes them worth checking out if you feel that you need to make some important changes in your life. Mainstream thinking doesn’t always have all the answers, and NLP is about finding the courage to acknowledge that and explore new ways of thinking and being and therefore it is worth a closer look.

Healthy Family Communication


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A good flow of communication is one of the building blocks of healthy relationships with people we care about. This is especially true of family. When families are able to talk openly and honestly with each other, they both parents and children are able to build mutual respect and trust between each other. Everyone is different and everyone has different needs, so cooperating through communication can help each person feel valued and heard and strengthen the spirit of family cooperation. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when building your family’s conversations and connections:

Be clear and be direct: One thing that trips up conversations between family members is when they are indirect and foggy; when people don’t say what they mean out of fear, shame, or distrust, it contributes to a dysfunctional family conversation that can worsen over time. Make sure that all family members feel safe enough to speak clearly and directly about their needs, feelings, and opinions in order to avoid harboring an atmosphere of resentment and secrecy.

Try family meetings: Pick a time once a week where the whole family gets together to talk about all things related to the family or life in general. This is a really good way of staying connected, especially in our furiously busy lives. Make the family meeting a place where are all members come together to authentically connect with one another.

Have a policy of focused listening: Nothing jambs a conversation like an inattentive listener. It is rude and disrespectful and leaves both parties feeling unhappy at the end of the talk. Make it a family policy to listen intently and with focus to what each member has to say-this is a way you can show your love, value, and respect for them.

Avoid yelling and shame: Do not allow shame and ridicule to seep into your family talks. Shame and yelling are counterproductive methods of dealing with issues that lead to fear, guilt, sadness, and anxiety. Keep the conversation environment positive and make everyone feel that they are in the safest place in the world to express themselves honestly-their family.

Building a healthy communication environment is vital to sustaining the wellness and self-esteem of all members of the family. We are social creatures and we need to be able to exchange information, feelings, and opinions in a safe and loving space. Take the time to reevaluate the way your family talks and interacts with each other-it may be time to oil the hinges on your family’s communication express. If you do, you will reap the benefits that come with a family who has a deep respect for one another and the freedom to express themselves openly and lovingly.

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Communication at the Basic Level


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At its most basic definition, communication is the exchange of information between two parties. It is a two-way system; it always needs a sender of the information and a recipient of the information. When you tell me something and I hear and receive it, that it the act of communicating. When a president addresses a crowd of people, that is the act of communicating. Writing a book for children is an act of communicating with a large group of people. This form of interchange requires that both parties are able to understand the information that is being conveyed and it is one of the foundation stones of our existence and social beings, so it is very important that we understand what it is and how it operates.

In humans, there are several types of communication methods that are used to exchange and convey information. These include:

Nonverbal: Nonverbal communication is also known as body language. It is the way we convey information without using our words-instead we use gestures and facial expressions. It can also include the kinds of clothing, hairstyles, and other physical representations that we use to send explicit or implicit information about ourselves into the world.

Oral: Oral communication is verbal and requires that we convey information by using our words along with other visual cues such as gestures, images etc. Communicating orally allows us to express our emotions in words and allows us to be more direct. It is also a vital form of interchange in the modern world-we use it for presentations, interpersonal relationships, education, and work.

Written: Written communication has developed over time and though it s vital part of the fabric of the industrialized world, it is not a necessity for human life and society to function like oral and nonverbal interchange are. Writing allows us to convey information at distances and for large audience, allows us to convey stories and fictions, and makes it possible to facilitate the needs of societies that span large spaces and have large populations.

There are many more detailed descriptions of the various methods of interchange that take place between humans and other species of animals, but the three listed above are the most basic forms of communicating styles. Communicating is at the nexus of our activity as human beings. We need to constantly share and receive information in order to build relationships, accomplish tasks, work, and at the fundamental level, survive.

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Build Better Connections With Your Foster Kids


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Being a foster parent is a demanding and rewarding job. You take vulnerable, delicate, and often sad and hurting children into your home and try your best to provide them with the love, security, and support they need to have a chance for a better life, a life that is characterized by the aforementioned values. But foster children may also harbor a lot of anger, sadness, and resentment, and thus it is not always easy for the foster kids and foster families to get along. If you are or are thinking about becoming a foster parent, here are a few tips to keep in mind that allow you to build better connections with your foster kid(s):

Develop strong communication skills: Communication is what keeps a family going, and healthy communication means being able to express both good and bad feelings to those you love without fear of neglect or retaliation. Be open to your foster children and show them that you are there to communicate with them and teach them to openly communicate with you.

Know yourself and the rest of your family: If you are bringing a foster child into your family and you already have kids, it can be a tricky situation. Make sure you have a solid understanding of your own family unit first in terms of each individual member’s identity and emotional needs before introducing a new family member into the mix.

Ensure health and safety: As a foster parent, it is crucial that you provide a healthy and safe environment for your foster kids, as well as for anyone else in the family. Healthy relationships with good boundaries are the key to helping young people mature into responsible, self-respecting adults.

Help your foster kids grieve: It is ok to talk about loss and grief with your foster kids because they are likely struggling with the loss of their own parents, whether to drugs, death, or neglect. Provide your foster kids with a safe space to share their sadness and fear without fear of judgment or criticism.

Boost self-esteem: Help your foster kids see how valuable their thoughts, opinions, and talents are and let them know how worthy they are of love and goodness in their lives. This will help them to value themselves more and contribute to a more positive sense of self.

Building connections with your foster kids is about building boundaries, love, safety, and self-esteem. Re-evaluating how you relate with your foster kids can also help you to strengthen the bonds you have with the rest of your family, as well as with friends and colleagues. Being a foster parent is a challenge, and it is important that you assess whether you or your family are up to the task before you sign-up for the task, but if you are, the love and security you will bring to a foster child’s life is invaluable and precious.

If you found this article of interest and would like to be notified as more articles become available subscribe on my website www.LifeCoachToQuitSmoking.com.  Also ‘Like’ my Facebook page to get exclusive offers, share your stories and join our community at www.facebook.com/lifecoachtoquitsmoking.