Perth Hypnosis & NLP | Reframing Negative Thinking


While the states (your frame of mind),  you access, certainly play a big role in your well-being and health, your meta-states play an even bigger role.  There are many reasons for that.  Primarily your primary or first-level states are nearly always appropriate.  After all, all of your emotions are valid and appropriateif they come from correct assessment of the situation.  In this, you and I need our fear, our anger, our stress, our sadness, etc.  If and when appropriate, these emotions create the energy you need to respond effectively.

 What you do not need are negative thoughts and feelings as meta-states to your primary states.  That’s when and how things become unhealthy.  Bring negative states of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, understandings, etc. against your experience (whatever it is), and you put yourself at odds with yourself.  And that begins the process of neurosis!  Consider the following negative thoughts and emotions and how they set a frame-of-reference for the first-level experience:

  • “I hate feeling this way!”
  • “Why do I have to be this way?  It’s not fair!”
  •  “I’ll always be this way.  Nothing ever works out for me.”
  • “Getting healthy is a matter of luck—the right doctor, the right medicine…”
  • “Some people just have healthier genetics.  They don’t have the struggles that I do.”
  •  “I gain weight just by looking at food…”
  •  “It’s too much work to eat right, exercise regularly, etc.”

When you take a meta-level position to an unpleasant primary state and bring a state of hate, rejection, non-acceptance, a discounting state, an excuse-making/victim state, etc. to it—you outframe your distress state in a way that amplifies your distress.  The state-about-a-state that results generates a layered complexity and neurosis.  You are meta-stating yourself into illness.

 Here the way you use your self-reflexivity is creating a living hell out of what you would otherwise experience as something normal and a bit unpleasant.  This illustrates that how you communicate to yourself about your primary states can create psychosomatic illnesses.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can use your reflexivity for vitality and well-being.  If, for example, you apply an empowering state to your distress, you can generate an enhancing state of well-being.  How?  By meta-stating your everyday first-level states with such healing emotions as—love, compassion, acceptance, serenity, curiosity, hope, purpose, humor, etc.

The subjective structure of many psycho-physiological states resulting in sickness, disease, and psychosomatic problems arise because of the negative mental-emotional states that you set.  For example, the problem is not that you have a headache, it is rather that you hate your headache.  The problem lies in how you are interpreting your experience.  You are turning your psychic energies against yourself—and to your detriment.  You are layering your experience with judgment, self-rejection, hatred, guilt, shame, etc.  No wonder you feel sick; no wonder you are aging unhealthily.

In this lies the paradoxical nature of accessing states of joy, pleasantness, acceptance, humor, fallibility, affection, meaningfulness, etc. about your fallibilities, hurts, dysfunctions, etc.  As you lighten up to cease taking your first-level states so seriously, you are setting a higher level frame-of-reference around things.  This creates what we call neuro-semantic magic at higher levels.  Here there is the seeming “magic” of accepting and welcoming a headache so that the headache vanishes

Play with that one sometime.  When you experience the ache in your head, instead of cursing it, rejecting it, tightening your muscles and trying to make it go away, just sit back, take a deep breath, and welcome it into your awareness.  Notice the kind and quality of the “ache.”  Do you experience it as tightness, warmth, a pulsing, or what?  Where do you experience it most intensely?  Where does it begin to fade?  How far does it extend?  How do you experience a different intensity in it at different places?

The heart of a great many NLP and Ericksonian approaches to states of ill-health involves outframing.  This means moving to a higher logical level and establishing a frame-of-reference of acceptance, love, purpose/meaning, learning, etc.  In Milton Erickson’s classic approach to headaches, he first simply accepted its presence and encouraged a welcoming of it.  He did this by having a person curiously explore its kinesthetic qualities.

Does it throb or pound?  Do you feel pressure or heat?

Where do you centrally feel it?  Where does it begin to fade out?

And if each throb is like a kitten stomping its feet—and you imagine the kitten stomping even harder…with more force…

At a higher level Erickson, the grandfather of hypnosis, presupposed that the person could become curious about the pain.  Then by accepting the pain from the frame of curiosity, he wondered how much control can you exercise over the cinematic qualities.  Typically, the experience changes. 

When it comes to health and well-being, aging healthily, there are logical levels.  There are higher level meta-states that can build up a much more healthy mind-body system.  At the primary level—you can think and access environmental helps—sunshine, walks, good food, good medicine, restful sleep, exercise, etc. 

At the behavioral level of your primary state, you can do these things to create healthy habits.  At the first meta-state level, you can believe: “I can influence my health and aging by establishing healthy mental and emotional habits.”  As an identity meta-state, you can believe, “I am a healthy person.”  At the intentional level, “I intend to live healthily in my eating, exercising, sleeping, etc.”  Herein lies a key to aging healthily

How about one additional meta-state?  From Bob Bodenhamer who found the following quotes in the USA Weekend Magazine , in the Gaston Gazette (January 3, 1999)  It came from an Annual Health Report on brain research.   

“Recently, a Dutch psychologist tried to figure out what separated chess masters and chess grand masters.  He subjected groups of each to a battery of tests—IQ, memory, spatial reasoning. He found no testing difference between them.  The only difference: Grand masters simply loved chess more.  They had more passion and commitment to it.  Passion may be the key to creativity.” (Italics added)

The point?  To increase your effectiveness and well-being, meta-state your work with love and passion.

Curious?  Would you like to know more?  Beverley at Blue Pearl Life Design is an NLP Practitioner, and can help you to navigate through your negative states and help you to transform them into a more positive state of mind, in an effective and logical way. 

Acknowledgements to Michael Hall NLP Master Practitioner. 

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