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…)

We Forgive for Our Own Happiness!

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 31st, 2011

Its important to forgive because the resentments that we hold onto mostly affect us, not the other person that we are angry with. Any resentments that we hold get in the way of our happiness. Much like spots on a windshield, we can’t see our lives effectively if we haven’t washed off the spots that get in the way of our clarity. Our brain records all our memories and our emotions together. You may have found yourself driving down the road and thinking about a past event, even though the event is over and done, as you think about the event, you experience the same emotions that you felt at the time. As you think of an old argument, you feel angry or frustrated all over again. It’s hard to move your life forward if you keep getting sucked into negative emotions of the past. If we carry lot of resentments, it gets in the way of our quality of life.

Another way to think of forgiving is to think of it as letting go. Even though some people may not “deserve” forgiveness, we don’t forgive them for their sake, we forgive for our own wellbeing. Forgiving the past can improve your quality of life, it can improve your happiness, and allow you greater clarity in moving forward. As we forgive others, we are better able to move forward in our lives, without getting sucked into the negatives of the past. Here’s my 6 steps to forgiveness: (more…)

Train your Brain to Stress Less!

Posted by Holly Stokes on June 8th, 2010

Stress is universal these days, and if you are a business owner, even more so.  There are some things you need to know about stress and you can  set up your brain to stress less.

When we experience stress, our body has a physiological response. It releases hormones, adrenaline and cortisol in preparation for “fight or flight.”  This was useful in our ancestral past when our threats were physical and immediate.  Now, however, it’s a different story. Fighting or flighting is not an appropriate response for co-workers, family members, traffic, clients, or traffic- our stressors of today.

So, we have learned to take it, and sit in our chemical stew while looking calm. When our body is in stress mode, it stops working on our immune function, digestion, and the healing and repair. Stress is directly connected to our health and a major factor in our top 5 diseases.

Stress is also the hidden culprit behind weight gain. For many business owners, when we experience stress, the first thing to fall off our busy schedules is fitness, self care and time for healthy meals. The double whammy of stress and our health is that if our Cortisol levels (stress hormone) remain high – it actually causes the body to gain weight and store more fat.

I know you are thinking, I don’t have time!

Running a business is like running a marathon, we are in it for the long haul. We may dream of success like a 50 yard dash, but mostly, it takes time to establish connections, build a client base and earn community trust. If we are not taking care of ourselves along the way, we will burn out. If you don’t make time for yourself now, you’ll pay for it later, with extra weight, tiredness, burnout, and even health issues.

I recommend creating a de-stress plan, picking one or two activities that you can make part of your schedule, even if its only 10 min. a day. Physical exercise (rebalances hormone levels), stretching, yoga, walking, meditation, journaling, social time with close friends, deep breathing, ..as you stress less, you’ll be feeling better and enjoying life more. More stress free tips: http://www.expandingpotentials.net/stress.html

There is another way to de-stress, that’s quick and effective. Change the stress at the roots, Train your Brain to Stress Less, and here’s the steps to do it.

It’s as simple as starting with a couple of deep and gentle breaths, allowing all the stress to fade from your body. You might even imagine a white light shining down through the top of your head pushing all the stress and tension out through the bottoms of your feet. Taking a moment to feel so relaxed and comfortable. Then, imagine breathing up through the bottoms of your feet, and spend a few minutes breathing up through the bottoms of your feet and moving your awareness through parts of your body, for example, breathing up through the bottoms of your feet, bringing your awareness into your  ankles, with the next breath breathing up through the bottoms of your feet and bring your awareness into your calf, and so on, all the way up through the top of your head.

As you breathe in through the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head, picture in your mind a visual that represents being calm yet alert. You can even say, mind focused, body relaxed as a cue. More of these anti-stress tools are in my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Slim your Body book.

If you go through this practice a few times, your brain will start to make the association between the breathing, any visuals that you use, and the feeling of the body being relaxed and the mind focused.

Then, when you are in a stressful situation, all you have to do is breathe, think of your visual, or think of mind focused, body relaxed and your body will step back into this pattern, remaining calm, yet alert. This is how to make new habits around your stress – what if you had relaxation habits instead?

Try it out, or you can also get the audio “Train your Brain to Stress Less” and more strategies from a special page on my website at: http://www.expandingpotentials.net/audio_cds.html

When we are calm, we are better able to make decisions, prioritize, improve our ability to get things done, and we have a greater sense of well-being. Make De-Stress part of your life- you’ll be glad you did.

–Here’s to your Health, Wealth, and Success!



Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer, NLP Coach