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.

5 Ways of Showing Your Gratitude


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Being thankful and showing those around you gratitude is a healing and fulfilling way to approach living your life. It makes you happy, keeps you balanced, and humble and fills those around you with a sense of worthiness and warmth. Showing gratitude is a simple task-gratitude can be a simple thank you when someone lets you borrow their pen in a science class or the gesture of holding the door open for a mum struggling with her grocery bags. Gratitude is a good tonic for many of the ailments in life; it can help keep you balanced and centered in times of great struggle. Practicing gratitude everyday is good for your heart and your mind. Here are five easy ways that you can show gratitude in your life every day:

Offer a little extra help: Offering help does not have to be a huge exertion. If someone drops something, pick it up. Let them know that they are worthy of help and a little extra attention-no matter how small the action, it is the intention behind it that counts.

Make thank you your favorite phrase: Do you say thank you enough? Think about it. Making thank you a hallmark of your social interactions will make people appreciate you and want to spend time with you because they know they are appreciated.

Praise someone: Give an extra compliment to someone, a coworker or a friend. Let them know that you value what they do, what they say, and above all who they are.

Listen: You can show that you appreciate someone by really listening to what they have to say. Sometimes people just want to know that they are seen and heard, and if you authentically listen to what they have to say, you will boost their self-esteem and self-worth ten-fold.

Replace criticism with gratitude: Did your spouse leave the towel on the bathroom floor again? Did your coworker start chewing his food too loudly during a meeting? Instead of criticizing the habits that annoy you, try to focus on showing gratitude to the people in your life, even when they annoy you the most. You will feel better and more centered if you dwell on the positive instead of the negative.

Gratitude is a major factor in keeping us connected to those around us. As human beings, we are relational and the main purpose in our lives is to keep ourselves connected with those around us, as this facilitates our ability to receive love, safety, and comfort. Showing gratitude is a way of making the people around us feel that they are worthy of love, safety, and comfort. Gratitude is a humble way of nurturing the seeds of human relationships that lead us all to feel better about ourselves and our place in the world.

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