NLP for Dealing With Negative Experiences

Filed Under (NLP life coaching) on 01-06-2013

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How can NLP help for dealing with negative experiences? 

Every time you remember some situation, you’ll remember it in one of these two ways:

  • you’ll see your remembered experience as if you were there and in it, in your body, looking through your eyes, or
  • you’ll see yourself in your experience like on a movie screen, physically separated from your body.

The first way is being associated into your experience.  The second way is being dissociated from your experience.  More familiar synonyms for associated and dissociated are subjective and objective.
This is nothing new for any personal development professional.  But this blog is for people who are not personal development professionals and who most need new perspectives on and help with their everyday problems. So how can you use these perspectives to your benefit?  I know people who are excellent at associating into negative experiences.

  • Some represent people who lost someone / something tangible or intangible valuable to them.
  • Others are people who experienced trauma of any kind.
  • Another group are arguments and disagreements, and
  • another group are relationship breakups.

The disadvantage of associating into negative experiences is that you won’t access the learning from them.  Negative experiences happen and we can learn lessons from them. The lessons will make us stronger and more mature.  So the next time your emotions have settled down after a negative experience, experiment with seeing [= visualizing, rather than understanding] the movie of the negative experience in your imagination with you as an actor in the movie.  This way you’ll see it in the dissociated [or objective] view and easily be able to access the learning, because you won’t feel the emotions at the same intensity as you did when you were having the negative experience.

And what about positive experiences?

If you are [or know] the hard-to-impress type who never smiles, raises the eyebrow, or says anything positive, you probably dissociate from negative experiences easily, but also dissociate from positive ones and go through life without the good stuff really touching you.  But who says that you [or the person you’re thinking of] have to continue being like this?  If you learn to associate into positive experiences, you’ll see, hear, and feel a huge shift. And you’ll enjoy life more and start smiling, raising the eyebrows, etc.

If you’re good at associating into positive experiences, then pay attention to the details of what you see, hear, feel, taste, smell.  What’s it like?  How does it happen?  What good emotions does it bring you?  Why?  Could you make this memory a symbol [or anchor] for good feelings in future?  Could you use the anchor for times when you need to be in a good state [such as before a meeting, presentation, performance, or facing an awkward situation]?

And finally, did you know that these two perspectives of association and dissociation are often routinely used in NLP for work with grief, loss, traumas, phobias, and improving memory performance? Well, if you’d like to work on some of them or indeed get more NLP help with dealing with negative experiences, we can certainly talk about it.

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