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…)

Weight Problems Are a Symptom

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 19th, 2011

Let’s keep it simple. Your unwanted behaviors – even if they are automatic – are simply behaviors and habits – or mental pathways. They are something you’ve learned, and you can learn something new. In fact, you are learning new things – and creating new neuronal pathways – all the time. By engaging your inner wisdom and working with, rather than against, the part of you in charge of the behavior, you will find it much easier to make the change – and keep it. 

This new approach engages your wisdom and transforms the behavior through compassion and awareness. By addressing these challenges with insight and wisdom, you can embrace your whole self in moving forward on the journey of life. Change can be easy and fun as you pay attention to your deeper awareness and motivations, re-‘source’ the negatives, and create alignment with the life you really want! 

The problem is not your behavior as much as what is driving your behavior. Weight problems are only a symptom. If you address the underlying meanings and use your inner awareness to refocus the part of you in charge of the behavior, you can adopt new behaviors and strategies – and the problem will transform!

Underneath all the behaviors that get in your way is an underlying desire for something positive. So, the next time you find yourself drawn to the old habit ask yourself, “What do I really want?” This is a great question to post on your refrigerator. Whenever you find yourself headed to get a snack, if you ask yourself, “what do I really want?” you can understand the cravings. 

The part of you in charge of the old behavior, the part that doesn’t want to change, is still trying to get something positive for you. There is a higher intention behind the behavior. Rather than having to go through the negative behavior to connect with the positive feeling or sense of something, it’s even more useful to connect with the sense of something first. I often hear that eating sweets is about life enjoyment. But, you don’t have to eat pastries to enjoy life. If you have limited your life enjoyment to foods, open your awareness to enjoying life in other ways. What lights you up? What brings you true joy? By spending more time doing the things you love, you’ll create inner alignment with your conscious and unconscious motives, so that you can finally have the body, life, and health you want!

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

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

Change Your Focus, Change Your Life

Posted by Holly Stokes on September 27th, 2011

Whatever we focus on will grow.

If you are focusing on the problem—guess what? The problem gets bigger, if only in your mind!

A common perception is that we are at war with anything we don’t like. We fight cancer and disease, we have declared war on drugs, but these problems only get bigger. We fight with ourselves trying to control cravings, but because we focus on the problems, they get larger.

If I feel down about myself and reach for a comfort food and then berate myself for eating it saying “I am undisciplined,” I will most likely feel guilty. I then feel worse and reach for more comfort food, which causes me to gain weight, feel bad about myself and so I reach for more comfort food. . . and the cycle continues.

If I give myself positive encouragement, I feel good about myself. As I feel good about myself, I have more energy; as I have more energy, I feel more motivated to follow through on my goals.

Rather than focusing on what isn’t working, focus on what is working. As you notice what’s working, you can do more of what’s working so you can get the results you want. Maybe you have learned a lot about weight release and what doesn’t work for you, and with all the learning you’ve been doing, it will be so much easier to move forward in a new way!

If you give a child a bicycle, how many chances does he get to learn to ride? He gets as many as it takes.

And if he falls off the bike, would you say he failed?

Of course not. Even though the child may fall off, he is still learning. The mind and body are taking note of the adjustments that need to be made. The brain is making calculations about balance and coordination, and the next time the child saddles the bike, it becomes easier and he is more successful. The child gets as many chances as it takes to learn to ride the bicycle.

So, really, in the picture of learning and growing there is no failure; there is only learning and results. If you don’t like your results, it’s simply time to make some changes and adjustments.

Make these agreements with yourself now:

Failure doesn’t exist; there is only learning and results.

I choose to recognize my learning so I can get better results.

I agree to notice what is working for me so I can do more of what’s working for me.

We are all learning and growing on this planet earth. No one is expected to be perfect, just like we wouldn’t expect a child to be perfect in riding a bicycle for the first time. The secret is, anything you want to feel you can access at any time even just by thinking about it. Keep your mind focused on what you do want.Practice loving who you are. If you feel positive about you, that positive energy radiates into all areas of your life.

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

Engage your Brain for Weight Loss!

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 29th, 2010

whenever I start working with a new client, I ask, “what do you want in life?” I then typically hear about everything they don’t like, “I don’t like my job” “I don’t want to be fat anymore” “I don’t want to be single”….

When we focus on what we don’t like, we tune our mind to it. We notice the problem more, we become hyper aware of it, and the problems get bigger if only in our own mind.

As we stay  focused on what we do want- we give our mind clearer directions about what we do want.  To engage your deeper mind in working for you, give it clear directions, and you can do this through the language we use. There is a part of our mind ( our unconscious mind) that doesn’t hear negatives.

I am going to ask you not to do something…don’t think of a yellow butterfly because as you do it will turn blue and fly out the window. How well did you do with not thinking of the butterfly? Consciously, we understand don’t, but our unconscious mind uses mental pictures to interpret our words. Its these mental pictures that direct our attention and focus. These mental pictures tune our mind.

Often with weight, we talk about a weight loss goal, we may say, ” I want to lose 20 lbs.” When you say that phrase, what does it bring to your attention? The 20 lbs you don’t want!

Now say the phrase, “I desire to be my ideal healthy body” when you say this phrase, what does it draw your attention to? You even picture being the ideal healthy body and you may even feel the positive feeling of well-being that comes with feeling good about you.

Paying attention to your words is only one of the tools outlined in my book, “Lighten Up Train your Brain to Slim your Body: How to change habits, cravings and addictions for lasting weight loss success.” You can read more details at: http://www.lightenup.me/book

Or you can join the 12 Week Teleclass series which covers both books chapter by chapter, plus the 6 audio set for training your brain to change old habits and cravings, live calls with demonstrations and more:  www.lightenup.me/TB12weeks

Remember: Stay focused on what you want – your unconscious mind is always listening!