Mind and Body Are Interlinked

This Month’s Presupposition of NLP is:  “Mind and Body Are Interlinked and Affect Each Other.”

The Presuppositions of NLP tend to be useful beliefs that are necessary, or at least expedient, to learning or becoming proficient as an NLP Practitioner.  For almost any skill set, job description, or capability, a set of beliefs and behaviors can be identified that help to codify what is critical in the acquisition of expertise.  These beliefs may be thought of as ‘rules of thumb’ or ‘heuristics.’  They are held as highly useful strategies for learning any particular skill.  Presuppositions focus attention on the ‘difference that makes the difference’ in acquiring, or modeling, excellent behavior.

Mind and Body are interlinked and affect each other.  Stated another way:

“There is no MIND; there’s only BODY!“…

…but wait a minute,

“There is no BODY; there’s only MIND!” 

Can both things be true?  In her book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay describes an idea held in common with NLP and holistic health in general, that specific language is both generated by physical ‘dis-ease’ and causal to the development of specific ailments.   Hay lists specific affirmations that are designed to alter or reverse dis-ease states that she believes are at the cause of all kinds of physical problems.  Since the introduction of her book, lots of research has shown many correlations between ‘mind talk’ and physiological conditions.

Medical Doctor and best-selling author, Depak Chopra, suggests that the unconscious mind may be eaves-dropping on the immune system.  Philosophy PhD and professor, William Poteat wrote that, “persons are neither (simply) minds in bodies nor (simply) bodies with minds, but instead they are ‘mindbodies,’ both minds and bodies at once, one and the same, inextricable in every aspect.”  Poteat suggests that it is only in the inter-relation of the two, that all other places and things can make any sense at all and that “the mindbody is the sentient, motile, and oriented self — the active center of every person’s life.”

Language Creates Behavior

NLP Practitioners understand that people who have lots of negative talk tend to develop problem symptoms that match the type of language they habitually use in interacting with other people and self talk inside their own heads.  The term, ‘organ language’ refers to talk that references different parts of the body as in “It’s a pain in the neck,” or “It’s like a punch in the stomach,” or “I can’t digest what you are saying,” or “I’m heart-broken.”  If you think about what the unconscious mind does with these repetitive messages, it makes sense that the physical body might manifest such a message into a real dis-ease.  In his Generative Grammar theory, Noam Chomsky (Linguistics and Psychology) suggests that language generates our experience and creates our reality.  If we change negative messages to healthy talk, behavior changes and a person’s life benefits.  In short, NLP Practitioners take on the belief that a person can program for success in life.

The Chemistry of the Mind Body

Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transfer information as impulses along nerves throughout the body.  They constitute the primary method by which the brain communicates with the body.  A thought can reach even the most remote parts of the body through activity of neurotransmitters.  Dr. Candace Pert of the National Institute of Health refers to this interaction as the ‘mindbody’ in her discovery of opiate receptors and endorphin activity.  She said the mind and body are acting as a whole and the relationship between neurotransmitters suggests that there’s basically no separation between mind and body.

We Are Neuro Linguistic Beings

Basically we can’t rightly think about mind and body separately. One great things about being human is that the body itself is a very effective biofeedback instrument.  One outcome I want for my coaching clients is to be able to trust themselves and their responses.  You wouldn’t be having a fearful or suspicious thought if it were not supporting some positive intention.  The thought and the feelings that come along with the thoughts are trying to do something for you. In NLP, we say that “every behavior you have (including thought patterns), is there for a positive intent and purpose and it serves you.”  You would not have created the behavior if it were not trying to serve you in some way.  In the case of a fearful response, it is part of the standard equipment that comes with the human body.  The response is trying to protect you from something.  It gets your heart pumping, adrenaline flows, and blood is mobilized from digestion and other activities to the extremities of your body so you are ready act.  That is part of what medical people call ‘fight or flight syndrome.’  It is a healthy, natural response.

The problem is only when we can’t distinguish between what you can and should take immediate action about and when you should check and realize there’s nothing that needs to be done now about it and you should loosen your defenses and relax.  Since protecting yourself is a imperative of survival, the fear response is very strong and depending on your basic programming, you may not know when to stop being hyper-vigilent.  Here’s the point.  When you can learn to check for danger and find there is none at this moment, you should be able to relax.  It’s not good for your body to keep feeling that way and producing the chemical responses necessary to be constantly aroused in such a detrimental way.

The Human Bio-Feedback Instrument

You can simply think of a mildly fearful experience and notice how your body immediately responds.  It doesn’t generally feel good to be fearful.  Notice where you feels the emotion in you body.  Where does it most seem to be expressing itself.  The chemistry in your body gives you the biofeedback mechanism to know how to feel if you want success, peace, confidence or any other positive state that you congruently desire.  If the feeling in your body is not good, positive and life affirming, stop doing that.  Start focusing on something that has good feelings attached to it.  Mind and body affect each other.

ACT AS IF

Don’t forget to ‘act as if.’  If you don’t immediately know how to change your feelings.  Think of a time when something happened that was wonderful.  Think of a specific time when you felt that way.  Keep thinking about that moment and remember what you were seeing, hearing, and feeling internally and externally.  External would be remembering the air on your face and any tactile sensations or textures that you like.  See what you saw.  Listen for what you heard.  Feel the way you did then in that moment, now.  Keep using your brain and nervous system to enhance the positive experience.  Think of a color you really like and surround the moment in that wonderful color and remember the tone of voice when you heard something that caused you to feel really great.  Act as if you are fully in that moment as if it were now.  You are learning to use the mindbody connection to get more of what you really want in life and it is one secret to successful experience in life.  And don’t forget to remember to have fun as you practice this skill.

AND, if you’d like extra facilitation, call Bill for private coaching sessions at 602 321-7192.