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Cultivating Compassion for Yourself and Others

Cultivating Compassion for Yourself and Others

What neuro linguistic programming can do for you

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

I hope you had time to experiment with the practical NLP exercises I gave you last week.  This week I have been working on helping leaders develop more compassion as they deal with many challenging situation with staff and it struck me that many of the learnings are transferable so I am sharing them here too.   First of all how can you help yourself to deal with your own feelings at this challenging time.  Maybe you are shielding or caring for someone who is, worried about the furlough scheme coming to an end, already out of work, not sure what the future holds…that is probably all of us!  Here are some activities you can do to help:

Journaling every day will give you some space to notice how you are feeling.  This will create time and space for self-refection and self-awareness.  You do not have to write very much; a few sentences will do.  Ask yourself regularly the following questions:

How am I feeling?  Many people have learned to suppress their emotions and maybe unaccustomed to noticing and articulating their feelings. However, we know from neuroscience that more fully experiencing what is going on lays a foundation for renewal and healing.   Notice the trends that start to emerge and the triggers for how you are feeling – positive and negative.   For example, maybe you feel more stressed if you haven’t had enough sleep or have drunk too much alcohol the night before or you haven’t made the time to stay in contact with your friends and family. 

How am I looking after my own needs?  Ask yourself what do I enjoy doing that helps me to manage my feelings?  And how much time do I spend satisfying those needs right now?  Here are some ideas about what you could do:

  • A daily walk or jog
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating nutritious food
  • Getting into a regular routine
  • Reading
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Taking an online exercise class

 

Ask yourself ‘What am I grateful for? Gratitude has been shown to improve well-being and mental health, renew energy and hope and encourage self-improvement.  You can start by adding to your personal journal three things you are grateful for in your life right now.

A simple practice is to engage in deep and intentional breathing.  Just a few deep breaths will help to re-align the Autonomic Nervous System when you feel stressed.  It will slow your heart rate and restores the body to a calmer state.  Take a moment for deep breathing when you notice rising fear, anxiety, or stress and before any important decisions.  Take a moment during the day to tune into yourself and use deep breathing to shift into a calmer state. 

Positive psychologists have shown that some people tend to frame the world optimistically, others pessimistically.  Optimists often have the edge as leaders who don’t naturally see opportunity in change and uncertainty can experience more stress.  When faced with too much stress the brain reacts with a modern version of the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response that wild animal inspired in early civilisations.  In organisations, this type of behaviour feeds on itself breeding fear and negativity that can spread and become the cultural norm. 

Show Your Vulnerability

Opening yourself up to other’s empathy and compassion takes courage and vulnerability.  This is all about sharing how you really feel rather than putting on an act.  This will help to maintain your emotional stability and build up a close support network that is essential especially during turbulent times.  If you are someone who experiences anxiety and emotional blockages you may find it useful to talk to others about your experiences.  Sharing deeper feelings with those you trust can help you to process and overcome blockages.  When you are willing to be vulnerable and authentic it is surprising how others are more likely to share their experiences as well which in turn makes it easier to establish a level of greater openness in day to day inter-actions.  For some of you this shift in your reactions may feel rather uncomfortable at first so some of these simple steps may help.  Start small and build up as you recognise the positive responses to your more open behaviour. 

Demonstrate Empathy

Really listen to others.  This is not about listening for you to be heard.  It is about listening for you to understand.  We call this active listening and it is more difficult to do well than you might think.  It is about being present for the other person without your focus on how you are going to respond or even defend your position.  Ask others how they are feeling on a regular basis.  Start a conversation with this and notice how they respond and start to open up over time.  When others exhibit negative emotions validate these feelings as normal.  Provide a safe space for them to express their feelings.  This will help them to move past the anxiety and re-focus faster on their work. 

Act with Compassion

Provide practical gestures when you can and check in on others if you haven’t heard from a neighbour or friend few days.  Rather than assume they are ok, actually check in on them.  It takes minutes to do and will really help. Finally, the compassionate people treat others as they themselves would want to be treated.  Take the opportunity to ask yourself what feedback would you give to you about your rating as a compassionate person? 

To your success…

Lindsey and Team NLP

If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 23rd September at 7pm.

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?

What can Neuro Linguistic Programming do for YOU?

What can Neuro Linguistic Programming do for YOU?

What neuro linguistic programming can do for you

Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

I thought this week I would remind us all how NLP can help during this challenge period.  It has helped me over the last 6 months to find my focus, build resilience and remain ever optimistic.  This has been despite major challenges in both of my businesses.  I don’t think I would have created the two online businesses that I have since the start of the lockdown period without my NLP mindset and toolkit, and of course, with the help of my team. 

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.

Here are a couple of quick exercises to help change how you feel in an instant.

Dealing with nerves

Do you have something coming up that you are nervous about? As you think about that situation now, looking through your own eyes, notice the pictures, sounds and feelings that are associated with that situation. Now step backwards out of your body so you can see yourself, in the picture. As you look at yourself, notice how your feelings have already changed. Increase the distance between you and the picture and you feel even calmer now.

How was that? Easy, wasn’t it?

Dealing with procrastination

Do you ever procrastinate about a particular task or situation? We all do from time to time. As you think about something that you procrastinate about do you have a picture? By picture, I don’t mean a picture as clear as a photograph. I mean a sensation of that thought located in some direction in relation to your body. So, if I were to ask you where the picture is, to what direction would you point? You may notice it in front of you, to one side or behind you. Any location is perfect. Clear the screen and the picture. Now think of something you are totally motivated about. As you think about it do you have a different picture? What is the location of that picture? Notice that it’s different from the first picture. Clear the screen and the picture. Now here goes. Get back the picture of the situation you procrastinate about and move it into the same position as the thing you are totally motivated about. Notice what happens. You immediately feel more motivated to do the task you used to procrastinate about. That was easy too, wasn’t it? I always use this technique to motivate myself when it’s time to spring clean my cupboards at home!

These exercises demonstrate that NLP is fun and gets fast results – it provides an instruction manual for our brain. Enjoy!

    To your success…

    Lindsey and Team NLP

    If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 26th August at 7pm.

    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?

    Taking some personal downtime

    Taking some personal downtime

    personal down time

    Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

    What downtime have you taken for yourself recently?  I have just come back from a break in Scotland, hence the photo this week of my favourite Shetland cows!  We had a wonderful and magical time.  However, the reason for mentioning this is that it wasn’t until I arrived in Scotland that I realised how tired and fatigued I actually was.  Nearly five months of working long hours to recreate both my businesses and myself had really taken its toll.  I looked back on some of the tell-tale signs for me of feeling overwhelmed, lack of concentration and motivation, feeling more out of control than usual, waking up tired, not really enjoying life as much as usual and so on…..usually I am pretty good at recognising these but not so much this time.  So, what is different and what can you do about it?  

    A few weeks ago, I wrote about the covid ‘fuzzy brain’ which is a real phenomenon.  This is what INSEAD neuroscientist Hilke Plassmann has to say about it:

    ’In times like these, our brains tend to work differently…the brain scours its long-term memory systems for comparable experiences. Finding few precedents for this pandemic, it looks intently outward for guidance on what to do next.  The combination of impaired analytical thinking and heightened external sensitivity creates what can be called ‘Covid-19 brain’ – a fragile, frazzled state that keeps our thoughts simultaneously on edge and unfocused.

    So be nice to yourself. It’s important to take a time out and time off this summer, even if you cannot travel to get yourself energised, engaged and filled up. So that you are ready to solve all challenges our new normal will throw at us.

    Taking time off is one way — but an important way — to recharge, especially during challenging times. It’s a pathway to feeling more refreshed, rested, and even hopeful. Right now, I’m hearing from a lot of people that the idea of taking any time for themselves — whether it’s a day or a week — just feels weird

    However, maybe it’s time to reset our expectations around what taking time off really means, and what purpose it serves. Yes, most of us are feeling tired and experiencing emotional ups and downs. A lot of things are not in our control. But that only makes it more important to take time off — from our jobs as well as from our daily routines — to just allow ourselves to be. And to breathe. And perhaps even to process everything that’s going on in our lives right now. 

    Below are a few dilemmas I’ve heard recently, related to taking time off. Maybe some of these circumstances will resonate with you, or maybe you have different reasons for being reluctant to take time for yourself. Either way, try one or two of the strategies I mention, and see how you feel.

    • Because of COVID concerns, I’m reluctant to go anywhere. What should I do? This year, let yourself off the hook from the idea of a big travel moment, because the kind of “getaway” you can take — without actually going anywhere — might be even more restorative. Yes, we’ve been stuck in our homes for a long period of time, and it’s completely natural to want a change of scenery. But if you can’t go somewhere else, reframe your perspective on where you are. Remind yourself that you don’t necessarily have to go somewhere else to unwind. If you can’t wrap your head around taking a week off at once, opt for an extended weekend. Or even take a day or two off in the middle of the week. Think of it as an investment in self-care, minus the packing!

     

    • My finances are tight. How can I make the most use of my vacation time to recharge my batteries here at home? Plan your ultimate staycation — make time for the things you love and rarely get to do. I have made a commitment to myself to read more and I am going to enjoy the Susan Hill, Simon Serailler detective books on my kindle.  Giving myself time will sustain the benefits of my week away in Scotland.  That’s the plan anyway!

     

    • My children have been home schooled for months now. How can I make time to replenish myself?  With a busy schedule and lots of people to take care of, finding time for yourself comes down to being intentional about even the smallest chunk of time. What can you arrange for yourself?  And, then take that time for yourself without feeling guilty about it.

     

    • I’m self-employed, so there is no “time off” for me as I’m worried where my next client is coming from. How can I “get away”?  In this case, scheduling self-care like it’s your job is a great way to ensure it happens. Then, in those moments when you’ve planned to unplug, try to physically separate from your work to get the most out of your downtime. If you work out of a home office, for instance, shut the door and go to another room, or take a walk if that’s a possibility. One of my students has a great strategy…actually cover up the PC with a blanket, close the door (if you can) and walk away. 

    To your success…

    Lindsey and Team NLP

    If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 26th August at 7pm.

    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?

    What are you fearful of?

    What are you fearful of?

    What are you fearful of

    Our weekly Team NLP blog where you’ll find inspiration and actionable advice on how to build healthy habits, resilience and connections in our unprecedented times.

    How are you getting on?  This week I want to focus on what keeps people living in fear which I believe is very relevant now as we move our lives towards a new reality.  For many people life goes on pretty much the same and for others there are new choices to be made – how do I find a new job or career, how do I keep my business afloat, how do I stay motivated when everything around me is changing, how do I keep my relationship going which has been difficult to maintain during lockdown?  As humans, it’s the emotion of fear keeps most often keeps us stuck.  We are scared of moving into the unknown, of doing something different.  What we are not so good at is determining the real from the imagined.  Fear comes from limiting beliefs that we have about ourselves and our abilities, and of course, our situation.  However, what we forget to separate out what is FACT or EVIDENCE and what we MAKE UP in our heads.  So, what happens is that we often build up the consequences of us making a change to mean something far worse than the actual reality of the situation.

    Here’s a great acronym for fear:

    False

    Evidence

    Appearing

    Real

     Our minds are brilliant at creating the worst case scenario in our heads, and then that’s what we begin to focus on as our reality. Soon we forget that it’s not real. We make huge assumptions about what may or may not be true based upon the story we have created in our heads. 

    It takes one of two things to move people out of their comfort zone. Either you have a goal that is so compelling you will take the risk of going for it. Or, in contrast, the pain becomes so great that you are finally tipped over the edge to do something differently. 

    Which one influences us often depends upon the way we are motivated. In NLP we talk about people being ‘towards’ or ‘away from’ motivated. Think about it. Do you move away from what you don’t want or move towards what you do want? Are you a ‘stick’ or a ‘carrot’ person? For example, if you want to lose weight, do you move towards a goal of being fit and healthy and have a motivational image in your mind of you in that skimpy new outfit, or do you move away from being fat and focus on an image of you overweight and bulging out of that special outfit?

    One of the limitations of ‘away from’ motivation is that it often dwindles once short-term improvements are gained. For example, a person will start off well, take action and before too long are moving in the right direction. As they begin to notice improvements in their life, they become comfortable again. As if by magic, their motivation vaporises and their action dwindles to nothing. This is the reason why so many diets do not work, because as soon as your target weight is reached you feel comfortable again and are tempted to slip back into old habits. The alternative is to move towards a healthy lifestyle where taking exercise becomes part of a way of life.

    Ask yourself the following question and make a note of your answers:

    ‘’What do I want in my life?’’

    Notice how many of your answers start with what you don’t want as opposed to what you do want. If the majority of your answers focus on what you don’t want you are more ‘away from’ motivated. For example, ‘I don’t want to be poor’ is an example of an away from motivated goal.’ If your answers focus more on what you do want you are more ‘towards’ motivated. For example, ‘’I want to be fit and healthy’’ or I want abundance in my life’ are examples of a towards motivated goal.’

    The good news is that you always have other choices even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. If you don’t believe you have other choices at the moment, I want you to humour me and pretend that it’s true. What difference would that make to you?  What action would you take? 

    To your success…

    Lindsey and Team NLP

    If you would like to know how NLP can help you to emerge from lockdown with renewed clarity and energy sign up to our next free webinar ‘Change Your Life with NLP’ on the 26th August at 7pm.

    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?