brain, mental, health


As a certified NLP Practitioner, I am often asked, “What is NLP?”

The letters NLP stand for neuro-linguistic programming and was coined within the early seventies by John Grinder, an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Richard Bandler, a student of psychology at the university. They began their work by studying Fritz Perls, a psychotherapist and originator of the Gestalt school of therapy, and Virginia Satir, a well-known family therapist.

The intention of these earlier therapists was to model outstanding therapists and identify their patterns in order that other practitioners could use these patterns to generate similar results. It may be said that NLP is about identifying excellence through an exploration of patterns and then devising means for others to use those patterns to achieve similar results.

person in black pants and black shoes sitting on brown wooden chair
Photo by cottonbro on

NLP Stress Management Technique

NLP also draws on earlier work, such as Ivan Pavlov a Russian physiologist known for his conditioned reflexes (1904). In NLP this is called anchoring. NLP anchoring is where a therapist repeatedly pairs something that provokes stress with a relaxation technique in order to create association in the student.

In fact, teachers are able to apply the conditioned reflexes of Pavlov to create a positive environment in the classroom. Thereby helping students to overcome fear and anxiety. In other words, NLP takes theoretical results developed by others and makes them available to all of us so we can improve our lives and well-being.

Most importantly, NLP is more than just techniques. There is much curiosity about how people who are high achievers accomplish what they actually set out to do. Also, it is a practice that assists you in discovering the thinking and communication patterns that prevent you from being successful.

NLP Success Formula

So NLP shows you how to achieve the results of successful people by the process of discovering the patterns of people who achieve their goals in life, and making these effective ways of thinking and communicating available for others to use for their own benefit or to assist others.

What is NLP? This is a student modeling a successful businessman.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

These days NLP is being applied in all areas of human behavior – education, health, sports, business and, perhaps most important, is interpersonal relations. This method may help relationships such as family, kinship, friendship, marriage, associates at work, clubs, neighborhood, communities and places of worship.

Let Us Break Down And Analyze the Neuro-Linguistic Programming:

Neuro refers to neurology or your sense organs. It is about how you take in information. For example, you use your eyes to see things in your world. You also experience or perceive events through your other senses: aural (hearing), kinesthetic (tactile touch or emotional feeling), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell).

Linguistic refers to the language – pictures, sounds, feelings (kinesthetic), tastes, smells and words – that you use to remember and make sense of a particular experience (or to predict a future experience). For example, can you recall your breakfast this morning? When you remember having breakfast, can you see a picture in your mind, or can you hear sounds (perhaps there was music on or you were engaged in a discussion with your family)? What about tastes and smells? And how were you feeling – happy, tired, excited?

Visualize Success with Neuro Linguistic Programming

Think about a noteworthy event in the near future. Do you visualize yourself being successful? Or do you visualize failure? The pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, smells. and words that you use to describe your future experiences have a bearing on what actually happens. We create our own reality!

Programming refers to your habits, patterns, programs and strategies. If it is a workday, do you follow a particular routine as you get ready for work? Perhaps you like to lie in bed an extra five minutes after the alarm goes off. Do you shower or bathe right away or have breakfast first? If you take time to look at what you do, I am certain you will see a pattern that you follow in getting ready for work. If for some reason you do not follow that pattern, do you find yourself feeling that something is missing?

This is a dog looking for his missing owner. What is NLP?
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We have patterns, habits, strategies and programs for everything you do. Some of these patterns serve you, but others do not – resulting in unwanted outcomes. You may be fully aware of some of your patterns. Or you may become aware of others only when someone else brings them to your attention. You may choose to quickly forget about these patterns because you want to avoid addressing that part of your life.

Self Awareness and Behavioral Patterns

Meaning there are still other patterns that you are not aware of at all. Yet they continue to influence how you look after yourself, communicate with others and perform your daily tasks. If the patterns serve you – that is, generate positive results in your life – great! However, if you find that some patterns do not serve you. Would it not be useful to identify those patterns and to change them so they work to your advantage?

Ask yourself this question: Who put your patterns, habits, strategies and programs in place? Of course, you did. So who can change them? Only you. But first, you must become aware that you run these patterns. This is one of the biggest benefits of this form of meditation. By becoming aware of the patterns, habits, strategies and programs that you have been running unconsciously. Then using these techniques to change them in order to achieve the outcomes you desire.

Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is a a whole new way to get much more of everything you want.