‘Think Positive,’ we are often told. This seemingly innocuous phrase is counterproductive because it is a goal without a method. It is almost impossible to just change gears in your brain without learning and using tried-and-tested techniques.
The brain is always listening. Every single thought fires certain neural pathways. The more often you have that type of thought, the easier and faster the pathway gets. This is a basic overview of the complex science behind neuro linguistic programming and the foundation of potential change in your life.
Helen Pleic is an expert on these changes. Based in Dubai, Pleic is using the knowledge gained from her past personal varied and layered experiences to make others’ lives better. After decades of corporate experience, Pleic retrained as a Rapid Transformational, Hypnotherapist, Emotional Intelligence Practitioner and Neurolinguistic coach certified by The Society of NLP.
“We are free to create our thoughts as opposed to being reactionary,” Pleic says. “This is the starting point of making changes you want to see in your life. I help my clients find a natural reset point and take them through a process to release emotional baggage that is holding them back.” Removing these blocks can allow Pleic’s clients to experience calm and see success in whichever area they are focusing on, whether that’s career, relationships or other motivations.
Negative self-talk is a common event, but it is not a necessary phenomenon. The precise wording of your internal monologue can have a huge impact on behaviour and health. “Calling it ‘my’ anxiety is not a helpful phrase,” Pleic explains. “This idea of ownership creates an emotional attachment and makes it harder to shift because that wording designates it part of you.”
Modelling different language in order to rewire neural pathways is at the heart of Pleic’s therapeutic approach. Choosing the right words can open doors to progress in other ways too. High achieving people often do not relate to having had a ‘traumatic’ childhood. “Referring instead to ‘confusion’ in childhood is a much more palatable concept.” Pleic says.
“Calling it ‘confusion’ allows clients to analyse their past easier. I would describe a ‘perfect’ childhood as having been taught love and resilience in a way that matches your environment and leaves you able to self-validate. Any other situation that calls for you fulfilling conditions to feel love and acceptance creates a discourse in the body that has to be addressed as an adult.”
Along with a dictat on thinking positive, society puts a great value on happiness. “If we replaced that desire for constant happiness with a desire for fulfilment, life would be a lot easier for many,” Pleic asserts. “Michael Singer writes extremely well on this topic. Acceptance and therefore contentment occur when you let go of your opinions. Your take on most things in life doesn’t matter, it’s your relationship with the self and the events as distinct entities that matters.”
Pleic considers the pressure to be happy all the time one of the pervasive myths that surround attachment wounds and childhood trauma. “Anger is useful, it’s a survival mechanism,” she says. “Another myth is that change is impossible. It is absolutely possible, with the right support and guidance.” The third myth that Pleic sees is related to that support.
“Talking therapy can be incredibly helpful but it only addresses the mind. Trauma is stored in the body so talking alone will not release it. Bodywork is vital to get things moving and then hypnosis supports the release from the subconscious and nervous system. The effects of these changes will bloom as visible progress in your life.”
Changing language can break a pattern. “Many of my clients are repeating cycles that are making them unhappy. Banishing a pattern can be done through carefully chosen language,” says Pleic. “Construct constructive sentences. Be clear in communication with yourself for the best results. Be thoughtful about your thoughts.”
Profound change can come from within using the right tools. Pleic is releasing an app with free meditations and guided exercises for journaling and breathwork, as well as a 6 week challenge to reset your relationship with food. “It is education, awareness, identity work and alignment using a unique combination of hypnosis and neuro linguistic programming,” she explains.
Personal transformation work can be a strong journey and it is important to be selective in who you undertake that road with. “It is crucial to resonate with the practitioner you choose,” says Pleic. “Feeling comfortable in a safe space is key to allow your body to relax, your nervous system to reset and the work to happen. The life you want is absolutely possible.”