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Heart Centred Breathing to Help Restore Your Resilience

Heart Centred Breathing to Help Restore Your Resilience

How are you feeling this week? As lockdown in the UK gradually unfolds perhaps you are beginning to feel a bit better as some of the things you hold dear are starting to return.  We are planning a trip out to see friends for the first time in months this week and to sit in their beautiful garden and chill out.  Looking forward to that! 

How did you get on with the anchoring last week?  Did you experiment with the exercise?  How did it go?  We always like to get feedback.  This week we are staying with the same theme of learning how we can change our state in an instant.  Would it be helpful to learn a technique that will calm down your heart rate and your state in a moment?

The corona virus means that we are living through exceptionally stressful times.  When we experience stress our Autonomic Nervous System or ANS (which does all the things we do not have to think about) goes into overdrive.  It is that part of us that gets us ready to fight or flight.  A hormone called cortisol is released and you will feel your heart rate going up.  This is helpful if you need to run away or flight, but, not good if it is in the system for too long.  It also leads to chaotic heart rhythms.  When we naturally experience positive emotions our hearts go into a coherent, calmer state.  We can learn to self-generate this and I am going to show you how…

When we create adrenaline and cortisol in the body is starts to go out of balance and this has an effect on the brain.  The part of your brain that helps you to self-regulate i.e. the Pre-frontal cortex goes off-line.  And, chaotic signals go to up to the part of the brain called the amygdala, the home of the fight, flight emotions. We can effectively hack into our ANS and shift our heart rhythms back into balance by getting a state of coherence.  This sends a different info to the brain and the stress centre receives the info, it then de-activates and the PFC comes back online.

What is coherence?  It is a measurable, scientific state when the heart and brain synchronise.  The result is that you feel in balance and have an increased capacity to be in control of yourself.  I am going to teach you a very quick and easy technique that you can do anytime and anywhere that will help to calm down your system.  You can do this eyes open and, in the moment, when you notice you are experiencing stress. It is an optimal state of being.  This technique is called heart-centred breathing.  You start by focusing your attention in the area of your heart – it can help to put your hand on your hand and bring all your awareness to this spot.  Imagine your breath flowing in and out of your heart area a little slower and deeper than usual.  Some tips:

  • Breath through your nose as nasal breathing kills bugs, more oxygen, synchronises heart and brain. It creates a workout for the heart and lungs
  • Experiment with breathing in for 5 seconds and out for 5 seconds.
  • Keep it smooth and sustained
  • And relax your belly

It is as simple as that.  Just remember to do it!

Recover with clarity

Lindsey Agness and Team NLP

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?

Online NLP Introductory Diploma Want to learn more about how Neuro Linguistic Programming can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy? Come and join us at our online NLP Introductory Diploma. I will personally be running 3 x 1hr sessions on zoom on the 26th, 28th May and 1st June at 2pm UK time.  Cost is £27 which includes a e-manual and recording of all sessions and a completion certificate.  Unable to attend all the dates?  No worries as you will still get the full training via the recordings.  Sign up here!

Anchoring into a more positive place

Anchoring into a more positive place

How are you feeling? Are you feeling how you want to feel?  An interesting question!  This week I promised to share an NLP technique with you to help you in any moment, and especially as we begin to move from crisis into adapting to whatever comes next.  Maybe you are fearful of going back to work or having your children back in school.  For most people things happen and they react. NLP offers a better way. It gives you tools to react differently by choice, to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. You are then ready to take responsibility for your results.  This process gives you more choice from moment to moment about how you want to feel. 

Find somewhere where you are comfortable, and you have some quiet space.  Relax and close your eyes.  Take yourself to your ‘happy’ space in your imagination.  We may have been kept in lockdown for many weeks now but that does not prevent us from going to places that make us happy in our imagination.  We can tap into those really wonderful memories at any time.  For me it is always looking at the sea from a favourite place of mine, especially early in the morning when the world is still, and I can watch the sun slowly emerge from the far horizon.  I just think of that place and I immediately feel happier and more relaxed.  In NLP terms we can use vividly remembered positive associated specific memories in the past to help us change our state in the now!  Now that was a mouthful.  What is important is that you choose specific memories and you really imagine going back to that space – see what you saw, hear what you heard, notice what you notice and really get back the feelings of what you felt. 

We can build on what we have already done as follows…

 From your happy place I want you to imagine finding many happy memories.  Put your hand out and literally grasp each one and take it into your heart as you add it to the happy memory you started with.  See what memories pop into your thoughts and go with them.  Stick with happy memories.  Each time, remember to choose a specific memory and really imagine going back to that space – see what you saw, hear what you heard, notice what you notice and really get back the feelings of  what you felt.  You can have as many as you like.  See if you can do this for at least 5 minutes…can be longer.  Then with all these wonderful feelings in your body, apply pressure to the knuckle of the first finger of your left hand with the first finger of your right hand.  In NLP terms we have ‘anchored’ the wonderful feelings to your knuckle.  To use it in the future, press your knuckle and begin to remember all the amazing memories you accessed before.  Enjoy!  We will go through the whole process together on our Introduction to NLP detailed below. 

Recover with clarity

Lindsey Agness and Team NLP x

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?

Online NLP Introductory Diploma Want to learn more about how Neuro Linguistic Programming can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy? Come and join us at our online NLP Introductory Diploma. I will personally be running 3 x 1hr sessions on zoom on the 26th, 28th May and 1st June at 2pm UK time.  Cost is £27 which includes a e-manual and recording of all sessions and a completion certificate.  Unable to attend all the dates?  No worries as you will still get the full training via the recordings.  Sign up here!

What can NLP do for me?

What can NLP do for me?

How are you getting on?  I am enjoying checking in with you every week and getting feedback.  I have had a great week as we started our blended online NLP Practitioner last weekend on zoom, and it went really well.  One thing about this lockdown period is that we have had the space to tackle projects we have been talking about for ages.  So, expect lots more online opportunities from us!  The blended format involves learning in bite-size chunks of NLP where you get a manual, voiceover slides and then a live session on zoom with an evaluation.  We are also planning a 2-day face to face to practice everything once the world opens up again.  What is brilliant is that we have students not only from the UK but also from Spain and the Nordics.  We will be running our second cohort later this year so let us know if you are interested in joining us and would like to know more.
 
I have been asked how NLP can help you to develop not only yourself but others too.  I have used NLP in my work and my life every day since I took my Practitioner in 1997!  So, I thought I would spend the next few blogs explaining what it is all about and giving you some experiences of NLP. 

In the early 1970s, a linguist, John Grinder, and a mathematician, Richard Bandler, studied individuals who were excellent communicators and technicians of personal change. The question they asked was, ‘What is the difference between somebody who is merely competent and somebody who excels at the same skill?’ The answers produced NLP: The Science of Excellence…The Art of Change.

They observed many world-class performers, including famous psychotherapists, and discovered the beliefs, mindset and strategies which delivered their success. They explored both personal and professional change work to discover tools and techniques that deliver fast and sustainable results.  As a result, they formalised their change techniques under the name ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming’, known as NLP, to symbolise the relationship between the brain, language and the body with the results that can be achieved.  Because of these modelling techniques, NLP is often described as a kind of reverse engineering.  Unlike other approaches that tell you what you need to do, NLP is a how-to technology. It tells and shows you how to be what you want to be, have what you want to have and do what you want to do. An intoxicating combination. This means it is possible to have the personal success you want right now. For most people things happen and they react. NLP offers a better way. It gives you tools to react differently by choice, to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. You are then ready to take responsibility for your results in all areas of your life.

NLP provides a set of tools and techniques to help you deal with unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviour. Although there are many techniques in NLP, you can make amazing changes by using just one technique.  I will share some with you over the next few blogs. 

 Have a rewarding week.

Lindsey Agness and Team NLP x

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success – This is all about the 8 Attitudes that form a growth mindset that will literally change your life.  What have you got to lose?  And, more importantly, what have you got to gain?

If you would like to know more about how Neuro Linguistic Programming can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up for our free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 20th May at 7pm. Sign up here!

Staying Focused?

Staying Focused?

How was the last week for you?  Well we achieved our goal of getting the bikes out of the garage and seeing if they were roadworthy after many years.  To keep myself accountable, I am here to report that we managed to cycle from our home to the local bay and it was really good fun.  Finally, we have found a form of exercise that we can do together. 
 
This week I have personally had my most challenging week – not sure why.  My energy took a dip for a couple for days.  I just ran out of steam.  I took on board some of my own advice and am now gratefully back on track.  So, this week I thought would share some of the things that I practised on myself.  What I realised was that the balance of my life had become rather skewed.  Too tempting to just carry on working without any different focus at the weekend.  This weekend being the bank holiday was an opportunity to re-focus.  Here are a few ideas to help us all keep going. 

First keep your boundaries around your working day.  Review your routine…is it ok or has it slipped? Make sure that you have time for yourself whatever your situation.  Even if you are in a studio flat, find a way to create some kind of separation.  Put away your work stuff.  I saw a photo this week of someone who had just put a blanket over their workstation…what a great idea! 

Secondly, have a clear start and finish time – get into work mode, however, you do that.  For me, it is making sure I look good enough to have my zoom video on!  Take regular breaks and ensure that you eat well.  Ask yourself what can you do more of?  How can you promote your own well-being?  It is easy to start to get into bad habits of going to bed late, watch too much TV etc.  This week I have been watching more webinars just for me and making time before I start work for an exercise class.

Thirdly, set an outcome or positive intention for the day, no matter how big or small it is.  And make the time to pat yourself on the back when you have done it.

 Finally, when you are out, remember to smile and say ‘hello’ to others.  It is a way of keeping up a social connection.  It is surprising how many people will also respond with a smile and a ‘hello’ back.  In NLP we call it the mirror neuron response…more about that another time! 

 Have a rewarding week.

Lindsey Agness and Team NLP x

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success 

If you would like to know more about how Neuro Linguistic Programming can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up for our free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 20th May at 7pm. Sign up here!

The Choice for Change?

The Choice for Change?

How was the last week for you?  At home we are experimenting with new things to do and the bikes were finally rediscovered after years of neglect at the back of the garage.  So, this week’s goal is to get them road worthy again and then actually go out for our first bike ride in probably about 25 years!  I will let you know how it goes.

This week I have also been listening to all the hypotheses about what will happen when we come out of this lockdown situation.  I was reminded of an activity called ‘The Change Line’ that we used to run at large change management events when I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  We would separate the group into two and get them to stand in two long lines opposite each other.  Each person was effectively paired up with their opposite number.  Then we started the activity.  Round one each person would turn around and change six things about themselves.  After a few minutes they turned back around and the person opposite had to describe what had changed.  The first round was relatively easy.  Then we started with round two….

With round two each person must change six more things about themselves.  During this round they usually learn to become more innovative with their changes.  What might have been removing a jacket in round one becomes a new hairstyle in round two!  Again, they turn back around, and their partner opposite describes what has changed.  Round three is usually the most fascinating round as six more changes are required.  Often people start to swop things with the person to their left or right, exchanging clothing, glasses, shoes and so on.  There is a lot of collaboration and community spirit in this round.  As facilitators we debrief the process and bring out the implications for a change project at work.  Then we ask everyone to sit back down in their chairs.  What the delegates do not know that this is the most interesting part for us.  Can you guess why?  In many years of doing this activity, only once has someone kept all the changes they made.  Most people put everything back exactly as it was and return to ‘normal’. 

I have been reflecting on this for our current situation.  How many people just want to put their lives back exactly how they were?  And how many of us will be more courageous and ask ourselves a much more interesting question?  What have we learnt that is good about this period of our lives and how can we keep the changes going for ourselves, our families, our work, our communities, and our planet?  Which camp are you in?

Stay safe

Lindsey Agness and Team NLP x

Download your FREE copy:
Principles for success 

If you would like to know more about how Neuro Linguistic Programming can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up for our free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 20th May at 7pm. Sign up here!

And, if you already know that you want to use NLP to get more of what you want out of your life, it’s your last change to sign up for our inaugural blended online NLP Practitioner which kicks off on the 9th May. Cost is discounted to £1200 for this pilot group and payment plans are available. There are just a couple of spaces left. Here is the link to all you need to know