NLP for Dealing With Negative Experiences

Filed Under (Life Coaching & NLP) on 11-04-2010

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Every time you remember some situation, your brain will give your memory one of these two structural forms:

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

The first form is that of being associated into your experience.  The second is that of being dissociated from your experience.  More familiar synonyms for associated and dissociated are subjective and objective. How  can you use these two perspectives to better deal with negative experiences and strengthen your positive ones?   For any personal development professional this is nothing new.  But this blog is for people outside the personal development field who most need new perspectives on their everyday problems and help with dealing with them. 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 having 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 are meant to happen for we’re meant to learn lessons from them. These lessons will make us stronger and more mature.  So the next time your heat-of-the-moment emotions have settled down after a negative experience experiment with seeing [= visualizing, rather than understanding] the movie of your 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 the emotions will not be present in the same way and at the same intensity as they were when you were experiencing the negative episode.

And what about the 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 you [or the person you’re thinking of] have to continue being like this?  If you learn to associate into positive experiences, a huge shift will occur. [Feel free to write me about it!]

And 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 into your body and mind?  Why?  Could you make this memory symbolic of [=an anchor for] your future good feelings?  Could you use this 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 on the final margin, did you know [if you’re not a personal development professional] that these two perspectives of association and dissociation are often routinely used in NLP for work with grief, loss, traumas, and phobias, and improving memory performance?

Contact me for more NLP help with dealing with negative experiences.

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