3 Positive Outcomes in NLP that Can Help You Overcome Depression




Everyone has bumps in the road. But using the right techniques can turn those mountains into molehills. Learn how Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), can change your future outlook.
“If my mind can conceive it, my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali 

Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. The heavyweight boxing champion was an Olympic gold medallist in 1960. He turned pro after that, and four years later he won the title of heavyweight boxing champion of the world.

So, what was this legendary boxer’s secret?

Of course, he had immense athletic talent, but visualisations and affirmations also played a huge role in his success. They paved the way for him to become the champion everyone knows and admires.

He visualised and affirmed every aspect of his fights – starting with the pre-fight press conferences. He would look his opponents in the eye and make one of his famous predictions. This is a technique many fighters use to psych out an opponent, but Ali said it with complete belief and certainty.

After a press conference, he continued with his visualisation routine. He visualised the days and weeks ahead, and himself building up to the fight. Ali left no stone unturned.

He saw himself preparing, training, and sparring. In his visualisations, he was getting stronger and more skilled.

His visualisations for the day of the fight included every detail, feeling, and emotion connected with the scene. Ali lived every punch and shuffle in his mind, culminating in his ultimate victory. When he arrived at that moment, he freeze-framed the image and bathed it in blinding white light.

He called each victorious culmination his “Future History,” as if it had already happened. That’s how strong his belief and passion was in the visualisations he created.

He maintained his winner’s mindset even after he stopped boxing. Muhammad Ali announced his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis in 1984, a mere three years after he formally retired from boxing. But that diagnosis didn’t slow down this world-class champion. Until the day he died of Parkinson’s-related complications, he dedicated himself to volunteer work and activism.

Ali’s method of visualisation is one of a variety of NLP techniques. Many people use them to change their mindset and their view of situations. Top communicators like Tony Robbins and Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. use NLP to help persuade others.

Like Muhammad Ali, you can use the power of visualisation to turn images into a reality.

Find out how NLP techniques can impact your future by delving into the present.

NLP and Depression

Many people feel depression at one point or another in their lives. For some, the depression episodes are short-lived and life returns to normal afterwards. For other people, though, it’s a chronic battle to keep these destructive thoughts at bay.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a common mental disorder. It affects over 300 million people globally.

Some people develop depression because of traumatic events and situations. Depression symptoms may resolve after a few weeks. But many people re-traumatise themselves repeatedly by reliving the trauma.

Those mental experiences are very real to the traumatised person, and they relive the experience as strongly as the original one. In other words, they get stuck in these memories. And each time they do it, that catastrophic mental imagery can thrust them back to the first time it happened.

But there is hope…

There are NLP techniques that help set positive expectations into a person’s mind. Other techniques can help resolve disturbing memories and stop that toxic playback.

For some techniques, the process involves imagining and visualising a positive outcome for an event or situation. The individual uses all of their senses to experience that event. But instead of focusing on a negative outcome, they see themselves emerging victorious.

Some NLP techniques also implant positive images, sounds, and feelings in the brain. You imagine everything to have a positive outcome. And the positive sensory input makes it more likely to happen.

In the words of Muhammad Ali, it becomes the individual’s “Future History.” All they need to do is make it happen.

Outcomes to Influence With NLP

So how does NLP work?

It all starts with the NLP coach. First, they teach you to recognise the non-verbal cues your body uses to tell you that you’re feeling anxious. From there, the coach helps you understand your behaviour and how to modify it.

Outcome #1 – Work Success

Are you having trouble at work? 

Perhaps you have aggressive colleagues. And their way of communicating makes you feel anxious and nervous every time they come around…

These feelings can hamper your ability to do your job properly.

An NLP coach can help you manage those potential triggers by using language patterns called pacing and leading.

With pacing, you talk through the negative behaviour and then use a “Phrase Anchor” to change direction. The “Phrase Anchor” is the signal to change out the old behaviour for a new one. Ultimately, this can lead problematic people and situations, such as your aggressive colleague, into new behaviour patterns.

Want to see it in action?

Politicians do it all the time.

Take a look at Barack Obama’s speeches while on the campaign trail. When he suggested that the country was going in the wrong direction, he was pacing. This was the behaviour he wanted to change.

Next, he applied a “Phrase Anchor,” like the word “change,” for new behaviour. You can see it in his slogans, such as “Change we can believe in” and “Our time for change.”

The audience was “led” to think that “change” meant voting for him.

NLP techniques can help with career planning, too.

Westminster Academy (London) specialises in International Business and Enterprise. They brought in an NLP coach to help with staff anxiety over potential job loss and planning for the future.

Fifteen participants attended the NLP-based support seminar. They explored topics like resistance to change and potential emotional impact from job loss. The seminar gave them a safe environment to explore their fears and anxieties, as well as plan for the future without judgement.
Outcome #2 – Health (Physical & Emotional)

Your belief system can shape and change who you are, both inside and out. Some changes are involuntary responses to the environment and stimuli around you.

But you can make other, purposeful, changes using NLP techniques like modelling.

Athletes like Muhammad Ali use these NLP techniques all the time. The techniques help them achieve optimal health and performance… And it works for emotional as well as physical health.

One NLP coach had a client who experienced a serious horse-riding accident a couple of years prior. Her injuries had left her with severe injuries to her neck. From that moment on, she had panic attacks whenever she rode horses. It got to the point that she couldn’t ride in the field or participate in events, even though she had enjoyed these activities before her accident.

The client’s stress and anxiety bled into other areas of her life as well. But after two weeks of NLP sessions, she was on a new horse and riding with confidence. The coach reported that the panic attacks subsided because the client had new coping strategies to help her manage her emotions.
Outcome #3 – Relationships

Depression can take a toll on your relationships. You may not have the energy to engage with people the way you used to. Or you may go through mood swings, with irritability and grouchiness taking centre stage.

Sanjit was feeling all that and more when he finally met with an NLP coach. His daughter referred to him because she felt that he might be depressed. He was argumentative with everyone around him, causing his wife significant distress.

Also, he didn’t feel motivated to do anything. He spent his days indoors in front of the TV and wasn’t working.

When his coach met with him, the coach reported that Sanjit was in a low mood. He was also fearful but showed very little variation in his facial expressions. He never smiled.

During the first session, Sanjit kept his conversation focused on past terrible events. He talked about losing his job and feeling hopeless to improve his situation.

The coach started using NLP techniques to reduce the negative effects of those traumatic memories. He also helped Sanjit come to terms with those events, and eventually helped him clear the trauma.

Subsequent NLP sessions worked towards getting Sanjit back on his feet and improving his outlook on life. By the last session, he was ready to set some future goals.

By addressing the underlying causes of Sanjit’s depression, the NLP coach was able to break him out of that cycle. Sanjit felt less angry and anxious about his past events. And eventually, he stopped taking his negative feelings out on those around him.

Taking the NLP Road to Positivity

Everyone experiences a bump in their journey at one point or another. Some of those life challenges are short-lived and have minimal impact. But other “bumps” can put you in a depressive state that’s hard to break free from.

But you can change your outlook, and therefore your situation. And NLP techniques can help with that.

You have the power to turn your past story into your “Future History.” If you need help rewriting yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out and make it happen.

Are you ready to take your life in a new direction? We can help with that.

Email us to book in your free one-on-one coaching session at [email protected]

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Peter Conna

About the Author

As a business mentor, Peter Conna inspires business owners to apply rapid growth strategies in their businesses. Perhaps more importantly he helps bring more balance to their personal lives, especially their health and relationships.

About the author, Peter Conna

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