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Don’t think of a bar of chocolate

Don’t think of a bar of chocolate

Bar of chocolate

Steps to keep your weight where you want it to be! 

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

How did you get on with the tips last week to keep well?  If you missed it here is the link to our free online course on ‘Keeping Well’ that includes a video and workbook.

This week I want to explore another challenging topic of lockdown – how to keep your weight at the level you want it to be.  Have you put weight on during lockdown?  Research from the covid symptoms study app shows that 29% of those surveyed had put on weight since the start of the pandemic. The factors that may have contributed to weight gain during lockdown include increased snacking (35%), decreased levels of physical activity (34%), increased alcohol consumption (27%) and a less healthy diet (19%). 

How might this affect future health? 

Once weight has been gained it is hard to lose and research from many other studies shows that each kg (~2.2 lbs) of weight gained annually over 10 years was associated with a 49% increase in risk of developing type 2 diabetes and a 5 kg (~11 lbs) increment in adult body weight was associated with a 12% higher risk of heart disease over 10 years. Sarah Berry, Associate Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London  comments: 

“Typically people snack 2-3 times a day and this accounts for 22% of total energy intake. The increase in snacking during lockdown, especially with unhealthy, highly processed foods is likely to be a contributing factor in our observed weight gain of the UK population.’’

Replacing unhealthy sugary snacks with healthy snacks, and limiting late-night snacking, is a simple dietary strategy to improve health.  If you have sugar cravings it’s important to remember that highly refined sugar, such as that found in biscuits, cakes, etc., is not food at all, it is a chemical. Sugar makes you fat, ages your skin, rots your teeth, disrupts your digestion and is extremely addictive. It doesn’t really have much going for it, does it?  

This Thursday at 8pm I am running our first Team NLP Members group of the year and the focus is on keeping a healthy weight.  It is only £50 a year and we post a developmental video and hold a live meet up every month.  If you feel like joining our tribe will give you the motivation you need to keep going find out more here :

Your brain is very clever and sets out to get you whatever you focus on. For example, if I say to you ‘don’t think about a blue elephant’, what happens? Exactly. The same works for weight. So, if you focus on what you don’t want (‘I don’t want to be fat’), your focus is still on being fat. And, because everything we focus on grows in our awareness, being fat is most likely what you get. However, the opposite is also true. If you carry a positive image of yourself in your thoughts and are excited about your future, you will feel much better about yourself and will be much more motivated to achieve what you want.  

Here is a technique to help you banish those cravings for unhealthy food:

Step 1: Think of a food or drink that you hate – one that really revolts you. You can make it so that it’s gone off for even more effect! You should be on the point of retching as you think about it now.

Step 2: Now vividly imagine a plate of that food or a glass of that drink right front of you. Imagine smelling it and then putting some large mouthfuls right into your mouth and on to your tongue. Notice the texture of it in your mouth. As you start to feel awful, squeeze your thumb and index finger together. Keep your fingers squeezed together until you start to feel better (typically up to 15 seconds). Repeat several times, ramping up your revulsion each time. When you are nauseous, stop and relax your fingers.

Step 3: Now think of the food or drink you crave and notice that you have a picture of it in you eating or drinking it in your mind.

Step 4: Now make that picture of you eating or drinking it much bigger and brighter. Imagine turning up the dials on the colour, brightness and size, and bring it closer and closer to you.

Step 5: Now this is the exciting part! While you have the picture of the food or drink you like in your mind, squeeze your thumb and index finger together. Remember the taste and texture of the food or drink you hate and imagine some of it mixed in with the food or drink you love. Notice how the food or drink you like begins to change now. Imagine eating both foods together, especially the taste and the texture. Keep eating them both in your mind and imagine swallowing them down and how awful they taste. Keep squeezing your thumb and index finger together as you eat. Continue until you can’t eat any more it’s so awful. Then stop.

Step 6: Think about that food that you used to like and notice how you feel differently about it now. You can repeat this process as often as you like until you have completely eliminated your desire for that particular food.

Hope to see you on Thursday.

Take care and keep safe out there from Lindsey and Team NLP 

Keeping Well in 2021

Keeping Well in 2021

Keeping well in 2021

Steps to take to boost your well-being in this 3rd lockdown.

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

Happy Sunday to you all.  Very spooky in my last blog that I spoke about the famous song ‘You will never walk alone’ as a source of my inspiration then the sad news that Gerry Marsden, the most famous singer of this track had passed away.  The track was played throughout the day on TV and I hope you had a chance to listen to the lyrics too.

This week I want to explore how to ‘Keep Well and Keep Going’ in 2021.  Here are some of our ideas plus some practical exercises you can do for YOU plus a link to sign up to our free module that we have been offering to our corporate clients as well called ‘Keeping Well’.  It is written with Team Leaders in mind and there are lots of tips that are relevant to all.

Download our ‘Keeping Well’ video and e-book for free here!

What is your trusted source of information?

It is important to manage the news you get about the pandemic, and, focus on some of the positive news that has emerged during the pandemic. Here are some useful trusted news sources as well as some uplifting stories. Think about limiting your access to your trusted media source to once a day and actively seek out positive stories relating to human endeavour during the pandemic.

Reducing Anxiety with Thought Challenging

Thought challenging is a simple yet powerful cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) technique for reducing anxiety.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. NLP can help you to change how you think (Neuro) what you say to yourself and others (Linguistic) and what you do (Programming). These changes can help you to feel better.

Unlike some of the other options, it focuses on the “here and now” problems and difficulties. Whilst it is often useful to discuss the past and understand how our pasts have influenced our lives and how problems have arisen, NLP mostly focuses on looking for ways to improve your mental wellbeing now.  NLP is now being delivered online by Team NLP using our team of coaches if this is an option you wish to explore? Contact us on info@teamnlp.co.uk for more information.

RESOURCE TIP

► NLP says that it’s not the event which causes our emotions, but how we interpret that event – what we think or what meaning we give that event or situation.  Its most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.  Anxiety is best described as the unhelpful thinking patterns you experience when your mind fixates on threat, uncertainty and negativity. Thought challenging helps by broadening your focus to include the bigger picture.

RESOURCE TIP

► Below are two thought challenging techniques. Keep practicing them and discover what works best for you.

The ABCDE Technique

Attention – When you feel distressed, stop what you’re doing and pay attention to your inner dialogue. What is your mind telling you?

Believe? – Do not automatically believe your thoughts!

Challenge – Defuse anxiety by broadening your focus. What’s the bigger picture? Is the thought fact or opinion? What might you think if you were feeling calmer?

Discount – Acknowledge that anxiety has been is dominating your thinking and let the unhelpful thoughts go.

Explore options – What would be helpful to focus on right now? What options do I have available?

The THINK Technique

True? – Is this thought 100% true? If not, what are the facts, and what is opinion?

Helpful? – Is paying attention to the thought useful to me or others?

Inspiring? – Does the thought inspire me or does it have the opposite effect?

Necessary? – Is it important for me to focus on the thought? Is it necessary to act on it?

Kind? – Is the thought kind? If not, what would be a kinder thought?

Reducing Anxiety through Distraction Activities

If your mind continues to spiral with unhelpful thoughts, distraction can be an effective tool for nipping it in the bud. It’s important to note that a distraction activity must be very attention absorbing to effectively reduce anxiety. When an activity isn’t working well, spend some time reflecting on why this could be and how you could make it more attention grabbing in future.

Distraction activities have the added benefit of helping you feel happier, more motivated and more energised, as well as combatting feelings of boredom.

Low activity and social disconnection are the two most fundamental maintaining factors of low mood, motivation and energy.

Here is a tick list of positive distractions. Which ones appeal to you? Tick them and plan to make them happen.

  • Browse free online courses
  • Write a poem or short story
  • Make a cookbook of your favourite recipes
  • Make a list of things you’re looking forward to when the pandemic is over
  • Become a volunteer listener (or chat to one) on 7Cups.com
  • Watch a live stream gig
  • Watch TED Talks
  • Use the Netflix Party extension to watch Netflix with your friends online
  • Do a home improvement project
  • Do some gardening
  • Make a list of topics you’re curious about and research them online

Developing a Regular Exercise Routine

“Walking is man’s best medicine.”

~Hippocrates~

Exercise reduces the overall activation of your amygdala and sympathetic nervous system – the parts of your brain and body that generate your stress response.

Research suggests that aerobic exercise (such as walking, cycling, and jogging) provides the same benefits as non-aerobic exercise (such as yoga and Pilates).

Studies also suggest you need around 21 minutes three times a week to experience the benefits. So, you don’t have to spend hours doing it – it’s something most of us can fit in to our lives when it becomes a priority.

It’s important to find something that you enjoy when it comes to building an exercise habit. Now more people than ever are interested in fitness, you have endless options.

Download our ‘Keeping Well’ video and e-book for free here!

Enjoy!

From Lindsey and the Team at Team NLP

Walk on with hope in your heart…

Walk on with hope in your heart…

walk_on_with_hope_in_your_heart

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

Happy New Year to you and your families.  I was listening to one of my Christmas presents this morning – a CD by Andrea Bocelli called ‘Believe’.  It’s an inspiring set of tracks just right for this moment in time.  One line struck me in particular and made me feel quite emotional.  It was taken from the track by Rogers and Hammerstein called ‘You will never walk alone’:

‘Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone’’

It’s a well-known track used so much in sporting events to bring crowds together.  For me today it was a reminder that whatever is going on it is a time for hope and to keep going.  It inspired me and I hope it helps you too in some small way.  My mantra for 2021 is to find hope and joy in everyday life around me while life settles back into a new normal around us all.  I am very thankful for my connection to NLP as it has helped me to keep going over the last year.  It helps me to become my own observer and to notice and check myself if my mindset shifts out of the positive energy that I do my best to cultivate.  NLP has taught me how to choose how I feel and to know that I have full control over how I respond to a situation even though I do not have full control over what is happening.

Ingrid Fetell Lee talks about how we can access joy through tangible everyday life.  It starts with the senses – with colour, shapes, feelings, tastes, and smells.  These moments of joy are often hidden in plain sight.  She suggests that we pursue the instinct to discover joy in everyday life.  Here is her TED talk:

In fact, Ingrid says that:

‘’I began to see the world as a reservoir of positivity that I could turn to at any time’’

It is worth 14 minutes of your time!

And I am personally running our last live ‘Introduction to NLP’ webinar this Wednesday, 6th January at 7pm as we will be offering a recorded learning session in future.  Join me here !

I am fortunate enough to live on the coast.  Most days during the Christmas holidays, Jonny and I have been starting the day by driving the 5 miles to Deal which is a traditional seaside resort.  We have walked to the end of the pier to buy our hot chocolate, and, as we turn back to look at the Deal coastline, the colourful houses, all different heights, and shapes with the big sky fill us with joy no matter what the weather.  I have found that certain places like Deal, have a kind of buoyancy – a bright corner café, a local gallery, a walk by the river – and I started changing my routine to visit them more often. On bad days, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I discovered small things that could always lift my spirits. I also began to incorporate what I learned into my home buying small and precious pieces that led me to feel a sense of excitement as I put my key into the lock each day. Over the last few months, it has become clear to me that the conventional wisdom about joy was wrong.  It is all around us.

 Beach 

So, at Team NLP as we start our journey into 2021, we will continue to feel hope and joy in our work.  We are continuing to move all our programmes online to make them accessible to anyone who wants to use 2021 to begin their personal development pathways.  Our next NLP Practitioner starts on the 21st March.  More information is available here.

And I am personally running our last live introduction to NLP webinar this Wednesday, 6th January at 7pm as we will be offering a recorded learning session in future.  Join me here !

Take care and very best wishes for 2021 from Lindsey and Team NLP