Have you heard of NLP?
If you have, do you know what it stands for?
Did you know that it can help with menopause?
Want to know how?
Neuro linguistic programming is, in a nut shell, the study of excellence. As the name implies, it is relating the brain and thoughts, language and human behaviour (programming).
NLP started in the 1970’s in Santa Cruz, California by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Bandler was a student of mathematics and computer science who switched to psychology and Grinder was an associate professor of linguistics. Using the work of Virginia Satir, and Fritz Perls, who were esteemed and successful therapists, Bandler and Grinder teamed up to define the techniques used by these therapists that made them so successful.
They also studied and modelled other great communicators. Gregory Bateson, Milton Erickson and Noam Chompsky to name just a few. They incorporated the work of Milton Erickson, who is known as the grandfather of hypnotherapy, into their NLP model.
So basically, they wanted to find out what successful people did and develop the ‘recipe’ for success so that it can be replicated by anyone.
Since then, other experts have contributed and expanded the work done by Bandler and Grinder and NLP continues to grow and develop through research and training.
To see more on the history of NLP go to HERE.
A major part of NLP and the study of success is how we communicate with ourselves and others. Did you know that most of our communication is done through body language? A whopping 55%! 38% is via the tone of the voice and only 7% is attributed to words. This Is not to say that words are not important…. they are.
Have you ever walked into a room where people have just had a fight? Nobody says a word, but you can tell by the body language that something has happened. You feel like you can cut the air with a knife!
To demonstrate tonality, imagine if someone was screaming at you. How would you feel? It probably would not matter what they were saying (except FIRE!), only how they were saying it.
I hope this illustrates my point that body language and tonality are huge in communication.
Having said this, words are still important.
So how can all of this help with menopause?
Here I will give you THREE strategies.
Speak to yourself with kindness
Like many women (myself included), we are often our own worst enemies! When we are not feeling so good about ourselves, we speak to ourselves in a way that we would never speak to others. Think about it. How often do you berate yourself? Do you call yourself fat? stupid? old? frumpy?
When this happens, it is important to realise you are doing it and then stop! Then forgive yourself, change the language (body, tone and words) to be kind to yourself.
For example, you may be looking at yourself in the mirror as you get dressed and say to yourself ‘I am getting so fat’.
- Pull yourself up on saying it.
- Forgive yourself by saying ‘whoops…. I didn’t mean to say that. I forgive myself’
- Replace it with ‘my body is a temple. It is beautiful and it functions well, and I am grateful that it is healthy.
- Even if you don’t believe it, do it anyway. The more you do, the more you will appreciate your self/body/mind etc. You will be changing your programming.
This attitude of gratitude and positivity will serve you so much better than the negative self-talk.
So, think about the negative ways that you speak to yourself and give this exercise a go!
Sometimes you just don’t feel good or something happens that is not so great! It is called LIFE. There are challenges to deal with. It happens to everybody. During menopause, the challenges can seem so much worse.
The thing is, it is not what happens, but your response. There is a short time period between something happening, and the way you choose to respond. Just remember, there is an upside to everything. Believe it or not!
I will give you an example:
A few years ago, I had my left shoulder reconstructed after an injury. I could have focussed on the pain, lack of movement and inconvenience of not being able to shower properly. For sure, that was all there. I was still a full-time school teacher at the time and I was exhausted from teaching due to lack of sleep due to menopause.
So, I chose to see the surgery as a way of having 6 weeks off school and to rest and recoup. With that, despite the pain etc, it was so lovely to spend time at home resting and being able to do what I wanted. I slept in, binge watched movies, meditated, walked in the park and had lots of friends come to visit.
And I chose to focus on the good things. It really made the pain etc so much more bearable. The mindset shift was incredibly powerful!
So, how can you reframe your challenges?
Change your language
In NLP, there are many language violations that people use and are unaware of.
I will deal with only one here.
I can’t afford to travel/buy a house/take time off/etc!
How often have I heard this?? HEAPS! I am sure you have too.
Wouldn’t it be much more powerful to say…….
HOW can I do what I want/travel/buy a house/take time off?
This is so much more powerful and is solution focussed rather than problem focussed. When you are only focussed on the problem, guess what? You are going to get more of the problem. You won’t be making any space for a solution. Make sense?
Think about this in relation to menopause symptoms. Instead of telling yourself and ruminating on how bad your symptoms are, wouldn’t it be better to ask yourself HOW you can alleviate them and feel great? It shifts to focus to a solution.
There are many other NLP strategies and interventions that I could mention. I have given you 3 simple tools. These are easy if you practise and they will make your life so much more empowered.
If you would like some help with making your life better by improving your mindset, book in for a quick chat with me using my online calendar https://calendly.com/gcmitchell58/quick-chat
Adlam, C. ‘A Short History of NLP’. LinkedIn, Aug 2015: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/short-history-nlp-neuro-linguistic-programming-chris-adlam/
‘Noam Chompsky’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Oct 2019: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky
James, M. ‘What is NLP?’. The Empowerment Partnership and NLP.com, 2015: Accessed 15th Oct 2019 http://www.nlp.com/what-is-nlp/
Bandler, R. ‘About Richard Bandler’ n.d. https://richardbandler.com/about-2/
‘John Grinder’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Oct 2019: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Grinder
‘Virginia Satir’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Sept 2019: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Satir
‘Milton H. Erickson’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Sept 2019: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_H._Erickson
‘Fritz Perls’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Aug 2019: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Perls
‘Gregory Bateson’ Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, Oct 2019: Accessed 15th Oct 2019: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Bateson