How can you live your best life without understanding the mechanisms that facilitate how you think and perceive your environment?
We process the world around us using as many of our five senses as we can: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. These senses make up the ways that we experience our daily lives. We can shift which ones we focus on at various times. When we know how and when to do this it can help us to sleep better and reach our highest potential.
Our behaviors, patterns of thinking and the processing of our emotions build on those senses. The study of neuro-linguistic programing (NLP) has found that people mainly use visual (sight), auditory (sound) and kinesthetic (sensory/touch) systems to connect to others and to the environment, to figure out how to behave and make decisions.
When I work with people in my role as a psychologist, hypnotist and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, I pay a lot of attention to the interactions of these processing systems and to which ones are more or less developed in each individual client.
The neuro-processing systems that individuals dominantly use can have a huge impact on how they solve problems and move in the world. For instance, over the last couple of decades, nearly every person who I’ve seen for hypnosis for severe test anxiety or difficulty passing standardized exams has been especially reliant on their kinesthetic system. These people tend to be very skilled at physical and spacial things. They are, however, often at a disadvantage when taking standardized tests. Those exams don’t let them use their physical senses. Instead, during testing, they must use only what they read which is visual (what they see when reading words) and auditory (what they think and say to themselves).
When those individuals understand the way they process information, they can begin to interpret situations and questions more accurately and can make choices to support themselves in better ways practically and emotionally.
The Big Reveal: Identify what system or systems you use most often and trust the most. This can help you live your best life and be your best self.
Try this: Describe a lemon.
- Did you refer first to visual qualities like it’s color or shape or how you saw it in your mind’s eye? (Visual)
- Did you talk about it’s texture or tartness? (How it feels: Kinesthetic)
- Or think about how you might cook with it or how it grows or information about it? (Thinking about it or creating a narrative: Auditory)
How can knowing this help you to overcome insomnia and sleep better?
A lot of people with insomnia complain that they have trouble shutting down their restless thoughts. In the context of NLP, listening to the commentary in our minds taps into auditory processes. It can be very difficult to break the nighttime cycles in our heads that might include spinning to-do lists, regrets about the past, what if’s and anxieties about the future.
A great self-hypnosis for sleep strategy that many of my clients have found effective is to redirect thoughts to a different processing system.
Change the way you SEE things to calm down and sleep better.
Move from the auditory and into visual processing to let go of spinning thoughts and emotions.
Try this: Imagine a ball of light above your head, absorbing some of the busy ideas or feelings. Does the light have a texture, a color or a direction that it moves? Continue to visualize different balls of colored light all the way down your body, transforming stress or tension in each area.
FEEL your way to better sleep.
Release the racing stories in your head and overcome insomnia by using body awareness in the here and now.
Try this: Focus attention on the legs and feet. Say this to yourself,
“Legs relaxed and heavy, cradled by the bed.
Breathing in and out.
Free to rest more…and more… comfortably.”
Repeat these sentiments and, as you do, take in each word deeply, sensing its meaning. This can shift awareness towards kinesthetic processing and helps with feeling grounded in the body in the present moment. It also moves energy away from the auditory, active thinking about the day or worrying about the past or the future.
When I design self-hypnosis for sleep, anxiety, and for many other issues, I always embed hypnotic suggestions using auditory, visual and kinesthetic language. This allows for the maximum amount of flexibility in tapping into different areas of the unconscious mind. Give it a try with the strategies mentioned here. Hopefully you will find that you sleep better and have moved a step closer to living your best life!
Featured image credit: New Africa for Adobe Stock.
This post has previously appeared on drdyan.com on March 25, 2022
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The Points of Light Civic Circle Offers Real Ways You Can Change the World
Sixty-six percent of Americans don’t believe they can make a big impact in the world.
That figure is according to Points of Light’s research on civic engagement. But what if I told you there are actually many ways to drive change?
Today’s political climate can feel divided or even stagnant, but the truth is, you really can make things better, starting with your own community, one act of kindness at a time. And those aren’t just words. I’m here to share real, practical ways for you to make a difference.
The Points of Light Civic Circle helps people connect to opportunities and understand that doing good comes in many forms. It is a framework that represents your power to lead, lend support and take action for causes you care about and live your best civic life.
The Civic Circle provides actionable examples of all the ways you can change your community to reflect the world you want to see around you. In fact, you’re probably doing some of these things already. Are you helping a neighbor by picking up groceries or chaperoning on your child’s class field trip? You’re volunteering. Did you vote in the last election or help others get to the polls so they could vote? Those acts of civic duty illustrate the “vote” element. When you buy a product, do you choose to support companies that reflect your values or advance a social cause? That’s called “purchase power.” There are nine elements of the Civic Circle, and countless ways to bring each one to life.
This blog is the first in a five-part series that will help you find real and manageable ways to activate the Civic Circle through apps, documentaries, podcasts and books.
We also offer other resources to help you connect with all the ways you can become empowered to be the change you want to see in the world. Check out our videos that provide an in-depth look at each element of the Civic Circle. And don’t miss Civic Life Today, our digital magazine series. Each issue takes a deep dive and provides materials, ideas and inspiration so that you can become civically engaged. Get started today, and launch your own civic engagement journey with these tools.
Are you an Amateur or a Pro? 30 Differences to Help You Decide…
My client, Sebastian, thinks he’s behind on “life”.
He thinks he missed the memo the rest of us received on how to live a happy life.
I know better.
Sebastian hasn’t fallen behind and there is no such memo.
We’re all just trying to figure it out.
Unless we’re not. And there are a lot of people who simply are not trying to figure it out.
My friend and Professional Coach, Elaine Taylor-Klaus, calls them Status quo-ers — as opposed to Growers.
Anyone who makes a serious commitment to working with a Professional Coach is by definition a “Grower” and Sebastian is no exception.
Growers want to know, feel and live more. They push every boundary and sometimes fall off cliffs. They say “yes” to way too many things and often feel overwhelmed and over committed. They have a congenital distaste of the status quo and will sabotage any situation if it feels like “settling” to them. They’re insatiable and often don’t know what exactly will assuage their hunger.
Growers often appear to the world as troubled, frustrated and critical.
Inside they feel unfulfilled and misunderstood.
The truth is that they can’t help but be driven by Oscar Wilde’s belief that,
Growers will break every piece in the china shop when they find themselves just existing and not living as they see fit. And they suffer for it.
That is… until they turn pro and transform their life!
Steven Pressfield famously states in his book, Turning Pro,
Sebastian thinks he’s falling behind because he’s still living life as an amateur at 34.
To put the above into context, I didn’t turn pro till well into my 40’s!
Best move I ever made!
So what’s the difference between living life as an amateur vs. a pro?
Although there is no one size fits all manifesto on “how to turn pro”, here are thirty distinctions I’ve learned which apply to ANY Grower who is truly committed to living a life of purpose, fulfillment and ease.
- Amateurs look for hacks and shortcuts — Pros do the work.
- Amateurs speed up — Pros slow down.
- Amateurs are busy — Pros are focused.
- Amateurs sell first — Pros serve first.
- Amateurs think it’s about them — Pros know it’s never personal.
- Amateurs think life is short — Pros know life is actually really freakin’ long.
- Amateurs are reactive — Pros are responsive.
- Amateurs live with constant misunderstandings — Pros take the time to get clear.
- Amateurs don’t know what success looks like (to them) — Pros know their definition of success and aren’t afraid to change it.
- Amateurs don’t know their core life values — Pros do.
- Amateurs want to feel happy — Pros want to feel alive!
- Amateurs play to “not lose” — Pros play to win.
- Amateurs are harsh — Pros are fierce.
- Amateurs secretly enjoy being in the “Victim Mindset” — Pros are a “Hell No” to that!
- Amateurs wonder what people say about them when they leave the room — Pros know.
- Amateurs have false and limiting beliefs around money — Pros don’t.
- Amateurs are constantly searching for life balance — Pros are living an integrated life.
- Amateurs think everything matters — Pros know what few things actually do matter (for them).
- Amateurs set boundaries defensively — Pros simply honor their “operating system”.
- Amateurs think help is a four letter word — Pros actively seek opportunities to help and be helped.
- Amateurs don’t have a relationship with their “Future Self” — Pros are best friends with their “Future Self”.
- Amateurs confuse knowing with doing — Pros receive knowledge and apply it (EVERY moment of EVERY day).
- Amateurs love information — Pros love insights.
- Amateurs have intentions — Pros have commitments.
- Amateurs have expectations — Pros have agreements.
- Amateurs compare — Pros create.
- Amateurs live from probability — Pros live from possibility.
- Amateurs are focused only on the “Goal Line” — Pros are focused on both the “Goal Line” and the “Soul Line”.
- Amateurs set goals with contingencies — Pros know contingencies are just excuses and NOW is the time!
- Amateurs create from the past — Pros create from the future.
Now that you are aware of the 30 differences between an amateur and a pro, where do you see yourself?
And I’d love to know why. Get in touch with your answer.
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