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Philip H. Mandel - NLP Coach and Hypnotherapist

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Email:
phil@magicwandcoach.com
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Stress Reduction

One of the NLP trade journals recently had an interesting article on stress management using timelines ("Stress Management: More Time for NOW", Pearson, Judith E, PhD, Anchor Point, April, 1999, pp. 11-17).

As Dr. Pearson points out, "people can reduce stress by being fully open to the present moment, something stressed out people rarely do. Instead they try to accomplish as much as possible in as short a time as possible; concentrating more on getting things done, than on the doing itself. Their sense of being gets confused with a sense of doing. In an effort to accomplish efficiency, people begin to compress their present moments."

Dr. Pearson wondered if there was some way to expand a personís sense of the present using NLP. She developed a technique and has used it successfully with several of her clients. I will share her technique with you here. Iíd appreciate receiving feedback from you as to the benefits you experience using this technique.

First, make sure itís okay with all parts of you to make a change and participate in a visualization process that will reduce stress by increasing the sense of the present.

Next, find out how you represent your timeline. In other words, is your past to your left, future to your right? Past behind you, future in front? Both past and future in front but at different angles? Take a moment to visualize your unique way of representing your individual timeline, so that you have a sense of where your past is and where your future is.

Once you have a sense of your past and your future, and where they are with respect to your body, ask yourself the following questions: "Where is NOW?" Find out where you represent "now" as part of your timeline. Is it slightly in front of you? Directly under your feet? How big is it? Is it barely an inch wide, or is it six inches wide? Just find out what it is for you, without judgement and without trying to make it into what you might think itís supposed to be.

Hold the "now" in your hands, in relation to your past and your future. If it is only a few inches wide, and if it gives you any feeling of discomfort or tension, you could benefit from an expanded sense of "now". (The next paragraph will have the most effect if you have someone read it to you slowly and softly while you do the exercise, but if no one is available to read it to you, thereís no harm in proceeding by yourself.)

Hold your "now" in your hands and SLOWLY draw your hands apart, expanding your "now" while staring at the space between your hands and being aware of your feelings as you do so. Notice any shift or changes in your body and your feelings. Continue to move your hands apart until it feels just right for you. If you move them so far apart that you begin to feel "spacey" or uncomfortable, just allow your hands to find the most appropriate distance for you. Ask inside if any part of you objects to using this new representation of "now", knowing that you can change it back to where it was any time that may be necessary. [pause]

When the spacing is just right for you, and there are no objections from any part of you, you can allow yourself to be surprised and delighted whenever you have a realization about how your "now" in this new representation has changed and benefited your life and increased your ability to relax and remain resourceful in many varying situations, over the days, weeks, months, and years to come. You can allow yourself to begin using this new representation now.

You might start noticing some relaxing effects of this exercise immediately, with follow-on effects to come in the future. However it works for you is the right way. Again, Iíd appreciate it if youíd let me know what your experience is - that is, when you have the time.

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