NLP State Management
- Chris Harrison
- 10th May 2009 - Updated 11th July 2012
In NLP a state is basically the mental state of someone, such as whether they are relaxed, focused, motivated, or any combination of such states. Controlling these states is the basis of NLP State management.
With all your work using NLP and hypnosis, you'll find that NLP state management is very important as most conditions that your clients have are state dependent. Before working with NLP states it is a good idea to read the lessons NLP Memory Manipulation - Change the Content of your Memories and NLP Submodalities - Change your Reality.
Changing and Amplifying States
If you refer back to the submodality lesson you will remember that if you recall a specific memory you can intensify the feeling by adjusting specific submodalities - for most people brightness, image distance, and image size are the most important visual submodalities. By important, I mean that these are the submodalities that make the most difference to the state. This is the basis of NLP state management.
For most NLP state management exercises it is necessary to have the strongest possible positive states to work with, and using submodalities is the easiest way to achieve this.
Anchoring is covered in the article Creating Powerful NLP Anchors. Anchoring powerful states takes some practice, and is essential for working with states.
Creating a New NLP State
This is where it gets interesting. The following NLP state management exercise will rely on an understanding of submodalities, anchoring, and time lines. If you do not understand any of the steps, then please refer to those lessons - I want to keep the instructions simple here rather than complicate them with information that is available elsewhere.
What we're going to do is create a brand new state. The first step is to pick four states that you would like to base the new state on. Perhaps you have a job interview coming up and want to create a killer 'job interview' state. For this I would pick something similar to the following, but it is important that you use whatever states you wish. So for this example, I will use the following states: Relaxed, Confident, Focused, and Eloquent.
So here goes...
Remember a time when you were really relaxed. Build that state using submodality changes until the state is really powerful, then anchor the state repeatedly on your little finger. You want to create this anchor is such a way that you can fire this anchor along with similar anchors across your other three fingers. Gripping the knuckles between the thumb and index finger of your opposite hand works quite well.
Once you are confident that you have a strong anchor, break state then perform the same operation with the second state, only this time creating the new anchor on your second finger.
Continue in this way until all four anchors are set, then test each one. Finally, close your eyes and fire all the anchors together. Notice this new feeling, revel in it for a while.
When you are ready think of a time in the future when this resource would be useful. Imagine that time and as you do fire the anchor. Do this as many times as you wish. Finally visualize your time line and concentrate on the present moment. Fire the anchor and move your awareness gently off into the future along your time line, keeping this powerful feeling going with you, allowing the feeling to settle at any points in the future when it may be appropriate to have this feeling.
NOTE: Now I know that the last section (the time line section) doesn't really make any logical sense - it's an internal representation - how can I know when this resource will be useful? It doesn't matter - you are just sending your unconscious the message that you want this resource in the future.
Good Luck with this exercise - and use your imagination to access the infinite number of possible new states as you experiment with NLP state management to improve all areas of your life!