The second in this series about how to make the principles or ‘presuppositions’ of NLP work for you, even if you’re not trained in NLP.
Let’s look at the idea that Mind and Body are not the separate yet inexplicably interacting elements of Cartesian Dualism or the ‘Mind-Body’ problem, but one system, with flows of information exchanged between body and brain at various different levels in a constant, multidirectional conversation. To set the upcoming practical exercises in context, you might want to read the earlier article about this presupposition before you go on.
So if Mind and Body are one system, and if the body is more than just a machine for ferrying the brain around from place to place, how can you make this idea work for you?
Here are some practical ways to act from this presupposition:
- Are you taking enough breaks at work? – every 90 minutes or so if possible. You will find that you get more done!
- Various studies show that exercise lifts your mood. Where can you build more exercise into your life? You don’t have to start training for a marathon if that doesn’t suit – even walking a bit more is massively better than nothing. I’ve been using Robert Ullrey’s free Couch to 5K podcast to get back into running, and I highly recommend it.
- Notice any recurring patterns of health issues in your life. If the symptoms were a message, trying to tell you something, what are they trying to tell you?
- “Fake it till you make it” – various bits of research have shown that deliberately adopting certain postures or facial expressions will tend to make you feel the way that is usually associated with this body language. For example, deliberately smiling really does make you feel better – especially if you also raise your cheeks to produce the crinkling round the eyes characteristic of a genuine or ‘Duchenne’ smile.
Also, walking like a confident person will make you feel more confident – worth remembering if you are on your way to an interview.
- Contrary to what some ‘motivational gurus’ tell you, you don’t have to feel massively motivated before you take action. Motivation tends to follow action, so the important thing is just to get started. If the thought of doing something seems overwhelming, break the task down into smaller steps, until taking the first step is a no-brainer. You’ll find that you will feel more motivated to take the next step.
- Finally, practising yoga, dance, or martial arts such as tai chi or aikido will help to strengthen the mind-body link.