NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) has been a panacea for me. From the first day of my Practitioner course late in 2010, I knew it would have a deep and lasting effect on my life. One of the key skills I've taken away from it was the reframe ...
When one of your friends is feeling glum, an NLP reframe is one of the simplest ways to change a bad mood into a good one!
Reframing is something I do automatically. I use it with my friends all the time and sometimes they just phone me up feeling glum, knowing that I'll use NLP to reframe them into a more positive state of mind.
"We all have our down days, myself included and we all have excessive baggage that weighs us down!"
But when you know someone well enough, it's quite easy for you to point out the positives in their world whenever they say something negative.
And pointing out the positives can really give someone an energy boost and change their 'state' from negative to positive; from sad to happy; from dark to light.
When I do reframe my friends, I'm always looking (or listening) for the energy change to ensure that the new state has taken proper effect.
One friend rang me recently and said "I'm having such a stressful day Steffi. I've got so much on my todo list and don't know where to start!" They were feeling completely overwhelmed. I immediately said "hey, what if you do five things from your todo list this afternoon, then that's five less for tomorrow, then you can do the same again and again ... until your todo list is small enough for you to cope with? How great does that sound?" And I immediately noticed her sad voice turn to happy again as the overwhelm evaporated from her.
On a particularly sunny day, a friend of mine visited and was slumped on my sofa feeling very glum. She didn't know what to do about her boyfriend. Should she stay with him or dump him? I insisted we went and sat on the patio. "Ok, close your eyes and turn your face to the sun and just calm your mind for a few minutes" I said. She did and after a while, I could see the frown melt away and she knew what to do about her relationship without me needing to say anything further.
"You see ... not all reframes are verbal!"
Sometimes you just need to 'pattern interrupt' the negative state (which I did by asking her to come outside into the sunshine) and simply by letting the warmth of the sun give her a few moments of clarity, her entire demeanour and thinking had changed.
Other reframes could be as simple as this: "I'm so cold and sad today" to which the reply is "go put your favourite jumper on and have a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate, how lovely would that be?"
You can also reframe something as simple as "what a miserable day it is" with "yes, it is, but it'll be sunny tomorrow, then you can throw open your windows and sing along with the birds. How cool would it be to sing the birdie song again? We could have a little dance!". May sound a little stupid, but it works.
It's sometimes difficult to reframe strangers, because you don't know what's important to them, but you can certainly do it with your friends. Next time one of them is glum, don't just agree and let your own energy be dragged down, reframe them!
"How do you help your friends when they're feeling glum?
Do you reframe them or get dragged down with them instead? If you're an NLP'er what other techniques do you use to help your friends feel better? And how do you reframe yourself?