NLP Submodalities: the Little Things That Make the Difference(s)

Filed Under (Life Coaching & NLP) on 18-05-2010

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I worked with a man in whose coaching process the central theme was how he could use NLP submodalities in his daily life.  So I’m inspired to offer some answers here.  But what are submodalities?   Read on.  All will be revealed – in a language that you’ll understand!

Your brain uniquely codes every experience in its structure and content using your 5 senses. These 5 senses are technically known as modalities.  Within every sensory system there are finer discriminations.  Each picture, sound, feeling, smell, and taste has content and structure.  The structure consists of its own qualities.  These finer qualities are known in NLP as submodalities. Some submodalities have qualities which are analogue [such as brightness or loudness] and others have qualities which are digital (=either / or) [such as still / moving].

So how can you use NLP submodalities in your daily life?  Here’re 3 examples:

  • having trouble getting up and kicking the body into life in the morning?  Is it annoying you and you’d like to change it for the better, but you don’t know how?

What’s the first thing you are aware of when you wake up?  Is it warm or cold?  Light or dark?  Loud or quiet?  Sharp or fuzzy?  Near you or far?  Heavy or light?  Black and white or in color?  These questions will help you realize what you’re first aware of.  Then you can work with it.  Play with it by changing each element to the opposite to see if that makes a difference for the better.  If it is warm, try changing it to cold etc. And why stop there?  The opposite may be equally uncomfortable!  So now you can go on scales of 1 to 5 and adjust your submodality to the form that will work best!  If cold was as uncomfortable as warm, try changing it to 2, 3, or 4 on the scale and see what feels best. Once you have found the submodalities that were most disrupting your get-up routine, you can change them to more comfortable levels.  Your get-up routine will change for the better!

  • do you often suffer from headaches or other aches?

Here you can beautifully explore the submodalities of your pain!  Where in your body is the pain?  How intense on a scale of 1 to 5 is it?  Is it continuous or intermittent?  Is it static or does it move?  If it moves, does the movement have a direction?  How does the movement get from the place of origin to the place of destination?  Does the pain have a color?  A sound?  A taste?  A smell?  If a color, how bright is it [on a scale of 1 to 5]?  If a sound, is it loud or quiet?  If a taste or smell, is it heavy or light?  And now how do you need to adjust any – or all? – of these submodalities to get the pain to bother you less or even diminish completely?

  • do you have ringing or buzzing in your ears?

How loud is it?  Where is it located?  In your ear?  Behind it?  Higher in the head?  Where exactly?  How loud is it?  Now imagine a sound system with round knobs for turning.  Pick one for volume.  Grab it and listen to the ringing / buzzing in your ears [or where?].  As you listen, imagine turning this volume knob down a fraction.  Did the loudness of the buzzing lessen?  Turn the knob down another fraction.  How is that now?  Better?  Keep turning – a fraction at a time and observe what happens…  Get the idea?

It feels incredibly liberating when you suddenly realize that you can do something other than pumping your body with caffein, nicotine, alcohol, or drugs to blunten pain or other uncomfortable / annoying situations – signals from your body and intuition.  Of course, every signal is a message that I sincerely advise you acknowledge instead of suppress, but things like ringing in the ears often become nothing but a cohabit.  Well, now you can do something about it – free of charge and at will!

Contact me for more help using NLP and submodalities in your daily life.

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