Designing an NLP Technique to support a scientific discovery from the world of positive psychology is one of my favorite things. I look at it as a positive intervention.
Ever noticed that many people spend a lot of time reliving and ruminating on their bad memories? If we consider the brain a learning device, all we are doing is not just reliving the negative memories, we are also rehearsing them, and perhaps unnoticeably making them a little worse every time. Emotionally we re-experience the same emotions, each time.
NLP has many techniques to shift from the negative to the positive. But unless you design them, few techniques are actually about making the positive more positive.
This focus on the bad is not surprising – whether it is related to NLP, personal development or therapy. Biologically, we are bad weather animals. We are more likely to pay attention to the bad stuff – in that we attempt to avoid danger. Negative emotions are more clearly felt in the body. Sometimes we relive the memory because fear, stress, and anxiety keep activating it.
Also, our focus on the bad stuff in NLP, personal development and coaching is logical – as we wish to fix our problems – and through that, achieve more well-being.
But what would happen if we tried to become less miserable by enhancing the positive? Fix our sadness, anxiety, fear and anger by thinking about our positive emotions and enhancing them?
What would happen if we started to savor the emotions that are felt less clearly in the body? Meaning our positive emotions. Creating a positive chemical reaction in the body?
The below NLP technique I designed for a client who needed a simple tool for an NLP workshop. The client wanted to enhance the positive emotions of the participants.
NLP Technique: Relive Your Best Memory
- Think of a memory in the past that you would like to relive.
- Play a movie seeing yourself in the positive moment, and consider what were the emotions you experienced. What made this moment special? How did this memory positively translate into the future?
- Play the movie again, but from an associated point of view. Meaning you relive it as seen through your own eyes. You would see what you saw at the time. Hear what you heard. And feel what you felt.
- Play the movie again associated, this time stop at the point where the positive emotion was felt the strongest. What specifically do you feel in the body? Does it start somewhere? Move into a certain direction? Take this feeling, and make it more intense.
- Make the sound more intense, and amplify.
- Make the image larger, and brighter, and the colors more enhanced.
- At the end of the movie, hold on to this emotion for as long as you can, savoring how special the moment was, and the positive impact on your life.
Optional to add:
Imagine a time in the future where you could experience something similar again, and experience this associated. See what you would see, hear what you would hear, and feel what you would feel.
For those of you who took an NLP training, what would you change or add to this NLP technique to relive your best memory? Can you think of an NLP technique to make the memory even better than the original experience?