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A Fun Way To Silence Your Inner Bullies

A Fun Way To Silence Your Inner Bullies

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to turn off some of those critical voices inside your mind? Sometimes they just go on and on, don’t they? If you have some challenges with negative self-talk, or if you get stuck on remembering hurtful things people have said to you in the past, this quick and fun NLP technique just might work wonders for you.

The aim of this exercise is to help you rapidly achieve more peace of mind, and to gain more mastery over your emotional state, all of which will improve your overall level of happiness and sense of emotional well-being.

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NLP is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It was developed over the past few decades by Richard Bandler, John Grinder, and then others. It’s used in a variety of professional fields such as sports coaching, education, and trauma recovery. Ideally, NLP works like a skeleton key for reprogramming your brain and nervous system.

The programming part of NLP works very much like programming computer software. Though not a perfect metaphor, by thinking of your brain as a computer, you can install a new program, uninstall an obsolete program, or modify an existing program.

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Programs are designed to help us do specific things like be a thrifty shopper. Another example could be a gaming program that helps kids wind down after school. The goal of working with programs in an NLP context is to find the ones that aren’t getting us what we want, and then modify those programs in some way. If a program is causing more grief than it’s worth, it can sometimes be uninstalled. If the program seems to be hard-wired in and resistant to being altogether removed, another option is to try and overwrite the disc with a new and improved program. But that can involve some more complex processes than we are delving into today so we’ll save them for another time.

Today we’ll play with modifying an existing program. One that’s causing us some discomfort. One that starts up at the worst times and replays over and over. We might even scramble it and throw it in the recycling bin. Here are the steps. It only takes five minutes and a playful imagination.

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NLP Technique for Scrambling Negative Self-Talk

  1. If you were to imagine your favorite actor or actress speaking to you in a really seductive “bedroom voice,” what would that be like?
  2. As you enjoy this experience, allow yourself to become aware of where the voice is located. Notice all the qualities of the voice including: volume, tone, pitch, and pacing.
  3. Put that aside for a moment.
  4. Now consider how it feels and sounds when you are thinking negatively about yourself and saying critical things to yourself. Listen to your self-criticism…
  5. As you replay those harsh critical comments, what happens if you now change the tonality into the “sexy bedroom voice?”
  6. As you replay those harsh critical comments, what happens if you now change the tonality into a silly cartoon character like Donald Duck or Scooby Doo?
  7. Replay some of your typical negative self-talk with this new cartoon tonality and see how your feelings lighten up!
  8. To get even better results, keep playing with the volume tone, pitch, and pacing. Try speeding it up and raising the pitch really high like Alvin the Chipmunk. After playing with that, try slowing it down to the point that it is deep and warbly, like its battery is dying. If you have a sense of space, try imagining the voice moving far, far away into the distance and maybe even drifting out of the atmosphere into space…

Keep playing with the sound quality until you feel a positive shift inside. Take a listen inside and see if that negative commentary has now been scrambled and neutralized. If a lot of emotional energy is released, you might perspire or feel the need to sit down for a moment. If so, that’s perfectly natural and happens to many people. Pause for just a moment now and see how you feel.

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To find out if this worked well for you, try to recall the upsetting sound as you used to hear it. Do you still hear it in the same old way? More importantly, check to find out whether or not you still feel upset when you replay it. The negative emotional charge should be gone.

If you find that this technique does in fact work wonders for you, keep it in your tool box for future use. For example, suppose your boss or family member says something critical to you. If you have any difficulty letting it go, you can use this technique to scramble the audio, turn down the volume, and get back to enjoying some peace of mind.

Featured photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/klearchos/ via flic.kr

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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