Managing Your Mind With NLP – An Introduction
If there’s one thing that should be taught in schools, in my opinion, it’s NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming). It should be free and taught when we are young, and as part of our educational curriculum.
There is no better way, to easily understand how our mind works, in the context of communication, aspects of our physiology, managing emotion, and in achieving our goals.
If we all knew how our mind worked from an NLP perspective, then we would know how to communicate well. We’d also know how to understand ourselves, our behaviours, and our emotions better. And we’d be able to understand those around us too.
We’d also know how to notice when we are being manipulated, or if we are being too highly suggestible. And if we could all do this, well, the world that we live in might just be a little less crazy than it is right now.
NLP is a psychology of the mind. It’s an uncomplicated way to understand what the unconscious mind does, and how to speak its language. It helps us to understand our conscious mind better too. NLP teaches us to understand what our minds need to operate optimally. It’s essentially a map of the mind, and a bag of techniques, and tricks that can be used to optimise your life, and personal development.
In using this ‘map’ you learn why you might think, behave, understand, or communicate the way that you do, even down to what strategies you use to do … well, anything. You understand how to eliminate habits that are not helpful for you, and how to create new positive habits that will serve you well. It also helps you to understand how warranted emotion can be beneficial, and why emotion can and does become overwhelming, or out of control at times. NLP even gives you strategies to deal with overwhelming emotion too!
Understanding NLP puts you in control of your own mind, and therefore, in control of your own life.
Now, the name is slightly unfortunate. I mean, who wants to be ‘programmed’? But if we could programme positive habits into ourselves easily, and we understood the possible outcomes, and consequences before we did anything, then I’m sure you’d agree that that kind of informed programming is pretty useful.
When used responsibly, NLP can be used to programme positive pre-agreed habits, patterns, and shortcuts to success, but it would always, and should always be used after pre-agreement from the person receiving the NLP technique.
NLP is not a cult, it doesn’t trick people into anything, and ideally should be used in a positive way.
However, it can be used to manipulate too (hence how we become heavily influenced by the media, or through social conditioning etc.). When you understand how our mind works from an NLP perspective, you can become less susceptible to the unhelpful programming that is out there in our society.
Understanding the language of the mind, allows you to work with it in a way that causes optimum results – like shortcuts, which can be harnessed to achieve your personal development goals.
Harnessing these ‘shortcuts’ is often achieved through the use of words, physiology, and some forms of specific touches (known as anchors) at specific times. And when you learn how your mind processes information, and how it filters and distorts information then you learn to question. You learn to pay more attention to your own thoughts, communication style, and strategies for life too. You also start to develop stronger communication strategies with others.
There are two main reasons why it’s important to develop a better understanding of how we communicate, and how we process information;
- 1) When we don’t fully understand another person’s communication but think we do, there is room for error. Miscommunication can cause an array of problems, such as low esteem (if you’re often shut down, for example, and can never understand why) arguments, cultural problems, and so on.
- 2) If somebody knows what they are doing, they can sneak programming in that will speak to the unconscious mind, but will bypass the logical mind. This can be achieved through repetition, subliminal messages in the media and the movies etc. and by desensitizing, or creating a school of thought that encourages us to assume that we should think and behave a certain way.
Both of these problems can be countered and managed through the use of the NLP map of the mind and through a variety of NLP techniques. Afterall if you are aware, then you are one giant step closer to healing or solving a problem (even if it’s one you didn’t realise you had!).
You can find out more about Neuro-Linguistic Programming through the books The Structure Of Magic, Part One, and Part Two by Bandler & Grinder.