Happiness chemicals, you say. NLP indeed gives a happiness high if used or (self) coached correctly. What is your drug of choice?
When we think about our happiness chemicals, four immediately come to mind:
You probably heard about all four of them, and they likely blur a little together for you. In (self) coaching and personal development, you must understand each of them. Then you can figure out how to increase these happiness chemicals in yourself and others.
What is dopamine?
Dopamine is also called the “happiness hormone,” “feel-good hormone,” or “reward chemical.” It is a neurotransmitter, a sciency word for saying “messenger between neurons inside our brain.” It chats with the reward centers inside our brain and is responsible for emotional and mental responses that are pleasurable. It is responsible for creating happiness and is also associated with learning, memory, and certain motor functions.
How do you increase dopamine? Think of things like food, completing a task, reaching a goal, exercise, listening to music, sex, meditation, and NLP.
What are endorphins?
You could consider endorphin a chemical that reduces pain perception; in a sense, it is a natural pain killer. Endorphins also reduce stress and may cause a feeling of euphoria.
How do you increase endorphins? By eating chocolate, exercise, laughing, getting a massage, sex, meditation, and NLP.
What is oxytocin?
Oxytocin is also called the “love drug,” it is associated with empathy, trust, sex, bonding, positive communication, and relationship-building. They give us a sense of love, warm and fuzzy feelings.
How do you increase oxytocin? Physical touch, petting animals, socializing, helping other people, letting people know how much you care, sex, meditation, and NLP.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a mood stabilizer. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other.
How do you increase serotonin? Sun exposure, being in nature, and mindfulness. And yes, here they are again, sex, meditation, and NLP.
How to hack the happiness hormones even better using NLP?
The above explanation and suggestions likely give you a clue how you can get to work. Other than more sex, meditation, and NLP.
Here are my suggestions:
What would happen if you set increasing any or all the chemicals as a goal?
The place to start is, as we say in NLP, to make the goal well-formed:
1) It must be stated n the positive? (I want to increase my serotonin.)
2) It must be an appropriate chunk size, meaning not too big or too small.
3) It must be something you are going to do.
Making the unconscious conscious!
Ask yourself the right questions using the NLP way of questioning:
Between 1-10, 1 being very little, and 10 being the most, what is your level of each happiness hormone specifically?
How specifically could you increase them?
What (or who) specifically is causing a low level of happiness hormones?
What would happen if you increased any of these hormones?
How specifically would this change your life?
Let the body go first, rather than your thoughts!
Put your body in the space of “doing” the activities that increase happiness chemicals? Giving or receiving a massage, exercise, sex, laughing with and connecting to others, etc.
Anchoring? (A conditioned or installed stimulus-response.)
For those of you who are NLP trained, you could consider anchoring these states.
Take a moment for your imagination!
You can take brief moments in your day to imagine doing the above activities to increase happiness chemicals. In most cases, your brain can not tell the difference between what it is really experiencing versus what is imagined. Imagine what you would see, hear and feel?
If this doesn’t do the trick, then consider increasing the submodalities. The image that you see, you could make it bigger and brighter. The sound you could make more intense, surround sound, louder. Augment the feeling.
What about the life wheel?
Sit down with the life wheel. How could you increase your happiness chemicals in each area of your life to increase your satisfaction in each one of them:
3) Personal development
4) Physical and mental health.
5) Physical environment.
6) Significant other.
7) Friends and family.
8) Fun and recreation.
How specifically would you use NLP to hack your happiness chemicals or that of our coaching clients?