NLP Training always comes with an enormous amount of improvement in the amount of gratitude we experience. And having just finished the Bali NLP Training, we have a lot to be grateful for. Did you know gratitude not only logically increases our happiness, but that there is a scientific base for it?
The reason why I look at gratitude as a muscle is that through exercising it, is because you can become better at it. It becomes automatic to use it when you need to live life to the fullest (like muscle when carrying a heavy load).
It is interesting that a typical NLP training, or a blog about neuro-linguistic programming, doesn’t mention the specific concept of gratitude. I think this is partially because of the developers of the method and the NLP training they offer. Partly because science has made huge developments since the creation of the method. Often it is said about NLP and NLP training that “why would you run your brain like a horse and carriage, rather than a Ferrari?” Ironically, this is truer than ever because of the latest science. The tools of NLP are now discovered by scientists, but our community of trainers fails to keep educating themselves. This is largely because scientists have pushed back on us, calling us pseudo-scientists for decades, to now discover we were right all along.
I always maintained a positive attitude towards science and love to incorporate it into NLP training. I have gratitude for the study of successful people, and where scientists are now taking us forward to from here. This is the moment where gratitude should be discussed in the world of NLP training, and reflect in the teaching of it, the patterns and techniques. To make sure we keep driving a Ferrari.
Gratitude increases our:
- Mental health
- Physical health
- Positive emotions
- Regulation of negative emotions
Gratitude is an emotion but offers a direct link to increasing and providing synergy with other feelings such as joy, contentment, and kindness.
When life is full of negative emotions, science has proven the following for cultivating gratitude:
- Grateful people regulate stress better and have better coping strategies, as we are more likely to take action and change things, as well as finding the positive in the negative.
- Gratitude offers a positive shift in our mental make-up, and we draw all sorts of benefits from this. One of which is the synergy when positive emotions occur, as we “broaden and build” on these.
- When we express gratitude to others, they are more likely to support us and to give us an active helping hand. Being part of a community is pivotal to fend off depression and increase our survival.
- Cultivating daily gratitude causes the brain to react less actively to negative events.
- It increases a positive attitude towards life, especially when life is hard.
- Gratitude makes us more patient. Not only does it increase our positive emotion of patience, it improves our day and that of others. There will be less navigation of conflict, which catalyzes negative emotions.
How, specifically, can you use your NLP training to improve gratitude?
Technique 1: Association
Think about a context or an event in the past and float your mind or your awareness into the you at that moment in time. What did you see, hear, and feel? Make it as real as possible. Doing this exercise daily can allow you to change your neuro-plasticity to seek gratitude more actively. For instance, you could do this exercise at the end of your day over something in your day that you are grateful for. If that is too much of a commitment, you can do this weekly or monthly.
Technique 2: Stepping into the Shoes of Another Person
Step into the shoes of the person who you should be more grateful for. We call this the second perceptual position of NLP. Imagine in detail how being of service to you was an act of self-sacrifice and putting themselves aside. Not only do you get to experience the positive emotions that being of service brings, it will facilitate looking at yourself with more love and compassion.
Technique 3: Setting a Well-Formed Outcome
A well-formed outcome is a goal, for those of you who have taken an NLP training and are reading this blog, you know the steps. For anyone else, just consider your normal way of goal setting, where you put daily work into achieving something. Why not set a goal to be more grateful three months from now than you are currently? Which means, on a daily basis, you actively exercise the muscle of gratitude for it to become stronger.
Technique 4: NLP Timelines
A beautiful exercise to do every 6 months, once in December at the end of the year, is to write the story of your life from a place of gratitude, both positive as well as negative events. Imagine looking through your own eyes the day you were born, and see what you saw, heard, and felt. Travel through both key moments as well as small acts of love and sacrifice by others through your childhood. Onwards to early-adulthood, adulthood onwards. You can travel even into your future self, all the way to the end of your life. Where all hardships you experienced have become a lesson, and growth of resilience.
Me personally? On this day I have gratitude for the NLP training we just completed in Bali with 26 students.