Powerful NLP Process to Transform Depression

Posted by Holly Stokes on May 4th, 2012

In Neuro- Linguistic Programming (NLP) we think of depression as a mental habit rather than a disease.

Now a mental habit sounds fairly simple to change, right? Well, yes and no. What we know now in how the brain works, we can help it set up a new mental habit very quickly, yet emotions can be tricky, they can range from simple to very complicated.

At the simple level, we have emotional habits, like feeling stressed when you open up your mail or pay your bills. Then we have emotional associations, like the emotions that different foods have, such as the feeling of warmth and family that comes with pumpkin pie.

Then, we have emotions as messengers, giving us useful information about our lives and how to find greater happiness and well being.

Emotions can also indicate automatic thought patterns that are working against us. Rather than avoiding, denying or cutting off these negative emotions, its even more useful to identify what is causing or triggering the feeling, and then change it at the underlying level.

Emotions are messengers

Emotions are messengers giving us important (more…)

Instant Confidence with NLP Tool in 5 Minutes!

Posted by Holly Stokes on April 12th, 2012

Have you ever walked into a new situation with people that you didn’t know, a new job, speaking in front of a group, or even attending a party with people you don’t know? You know that feeling of being uncomfortable, nervous and withdrawn?

I used to get the heebie jeebies speaking in front of groups. In fact, one time as a teenager, I was supposed to speak in front of my church, I had memorized a poem, and I felt pretty comfortable with it. I stood up in front of the group and about ¾ of the way in, I was so nervous that I totally forgot it. My mind was so blank – I could not (more…)

The REAL Secret

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 7th, 2011

Motivation is a key to your success. But how do you get motivated? How do you tap into your deeper self and engage your inner drive?

Chances are you’ve been holding yourself hostage with your goal, thinking you can’t feel good about yourself, or feel accomplished, until you’ve achieved the goal. No wonder you feel frustrated!

The real secret behind your goal is – it’s not really about the goal! Ask the magic question: What is this going to get for me? As you answer this question, ask this question again. Keep asking the question until you follow your answers to your plan’s higher purpose, or a ‘sense of something.’ You will find that your goal is really about a feeling, the higher purpose of your goal. And here is the secret behind the plan’s higher feeling: you don’t have to wait until you’ve achieved the goal to connect with this feeling. You can have it now!

In order to keep yourself moving forward, connect with the positive feelings you are really looking for, or what you think the goal or plan will bring you. For example, if your higher purpose of the goal (losing weight) is to feel better about you, as you focus on feeling better about you now, you’ll be more inspired to make the healthy choices that nourish and support you. The secret is, we don’t have to do anything to connect with these positive feelings – we can connect with these positive feelings now!

Many of us tend to have negative habits in how we see ourselves. For example, when you look in a mirror, what do you think to yourself? You might notice your imperfections or focus on what you don’t like. You may criticize and belittle yourself, and then expect to be motivated when you just undercut your own efforts. How do you feel when you are criticized? It probably makes you shrink back, feel small and withdrawn. Criticism saps your energy and causes you to feel down or depressed. If you are creating self-resentment through criticism, you are destroying your own motivation.

Now notice the times you were encouraged, supported and appreciated for your efforts. Were you motivated to do more, even excited and enthused? Did you stand a little taller, feel more positive and inspired to reach out beyond your old comfort zone?

As you notice what you are doing well, and appreciate yourself and your body, you will have more fuel for staying on track and motivated. If you want to find more motivation and enthusiasm for the change you are making, focus on the positives. To connect with the positive emotions you are truly looking for, you don’t have to do anything, you can feel them even as quickly as thinking about it!

This is an excerpt from my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Lose Weight, see more details here: www.lightenup.me/book

New Video: Train your Brain to Curb your Cravings!

Posted by Holly Stokes on September 26th, 2011

I just uploaded a new video to youtube: Train your Brain to Curb your Cravings. We just took the video on Saturday from the class, and we are running a 6 week Train your Brain to Lose Weight series on Sat. Oct. 1 in downtown Vancouver: 205 E 16th St. uptown Village, email to reserve your place if you can join us.

Watch  the video to discover how our brain can get in the way of our weight loss goals and what you can do about it – to train your brain to work for you rather than against you!

Don’t Set a Goal…Without Reading This!

Posted by Holly Stokes on February 13th, 2010

Don’t Set Another Goal Without Reading This. If you are like most of us, you might think of improving your life, but balk at setting a goal. We know goals are important, but something gets in the way. Sometimes we shoot ourselves in the foot even before we get a goal off the ground.
Let’s explore the Goal Setting Cycle. The thought to create a change may happen, and if we are feeling inspired, we might even set a goal. If we are really detailed, we might set a SMART goal: making it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and put it on a Timeline.
Then, a few days roll by, and maybe we do pretty well, but then after a few more days we procrastinate, don’t have time, and other things take priority – until we’ve totally fallen off the wagon. But that’s not it – that is not the end of the Goal Setting Cycle! We then berate ourselves for not staying on track, maybe even call ourselves names and feel bad about not following through. Finally, we tuck it into the graveyard along with all the other goals that have fallen by the wayside.
The next time we go to set a goal, we get visitations from all the Ghosts of Goals past. “Remember what happened last time” echoes in your head, or “You’re just lazy, undisciplined, it won’t work.” Because of our history, we might even give up before we start. When you think of goals, what comes up for you? Quite possibly, it’s all the goals sleeping in the graveyard rather than the cheerleading squad.
The problem with setting goals is that we have rigid ideas of success and failure attached. If we do not fill the goal 100% – it’s a failure (even though we might have made progress). Here are my top tips to Transforming Goals into Action!
Tip #1: Call it a Plan! Plans change, they have flexibility and wiggle room, and we don’t have the same ideas of success and failure attached. It’s easier to set a plan rather than a goal.
Tip #2: Get specific – How will you achieve the plan? Can you break it into small action steps
Tip #3: Put it in your Planner – If it’s not written down- it’s probably not going to happen. I even need to schedule my playdates!
Tip #4: Focus on What you REALLY want! The real secret behind the goal is – it’s not really about the goal. It’s really about what the goal will get for us. If we aren’t looking for this piece, we are missing the battle, and we might find ourselves struggling over and over without ever really feeling satisfied or accomplished. How discouraging is that? It’s like having a carrot out in front of us, and then never being able to eat the carrot.
• Ask The Magic Question: What is this going to get for me? And thinking of that, what will that get for me, ask the question a few times to find the higher sense of something.
• if your plan is to make more money, what will that get for you? Pay the bills without worry, relax more, stress less, and what will that bring? more peace of mind. If I start to make more money and then decide to buy a car, it may not serve the higher purpose of the goal if I make more financial commitments and increase my bills.
• For example, my weight loss clients, the goal may be to lose 20 lbs. But its really about what we think that will get for us, When I ask, what will losing 20 lbs get for you, the answer: I will fit my clothes better, and what will that get for you? I will feel more comfortable in my body, I will be able to move more and feel better about myself.
The REAL secret is – we don’t have to wait until we’ve done x, y, or z to connect with this sense of something, we can do it now. Think of the things that bring the sense of something. Relaxing can be as simple as a bubble bath, peace of mind can be a 15 min. walk during lunch break, appreciating yourself can be reviewing a list of what you like about yourself.
• Find the Higher Purpose to Really Empower your Plan (remember., we are not calling it a goal anymore) What is it the plan will bring you? If you ask the magic question a few times, you will find, the higher purpose is really a “sense of something.” Feel better about myself, more freedom, enjoy life more.
Tip #5: Reward Yourself! What we really want is what we think the tangible goal will bring us. If we aren’t paying attention to what the goal will bring us, it can be like spinning in a hamster wheel, setting a goal, falling off the wagon, beating ourselves up, until we don’t want to set another goal. Give yourself rewards along the way to celebrate your success, and make sure your rewards fit your positive intention. For example, if I want to make more money to have peace of mind, my rewards should be tailored to the activities and rewards that bring me peace of mind.
To Recap! Call it a plan, make it specific, put it in your planner, know what you really want by asking the magic question, and being aware of the plan’s higher purpose, then reward yourself along the way! You can hold the carrot out in front of you – and eat it too! You’ll be more satisfied, energized, and inspired to create the change in your life that you want!