January can be a dull and grey month. Both in terms of the weather and our moods.

January is also the perfect time to be your own guiding light. What do I mean by that?

Well if we follow the Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) school of thought, we learn that we have all the resources we need within us. This opens up a whole world of wonderful possibilities (even in dull grey January)!

Often we have resources that we have forgotten about or that we have used in a different context but not thought to try out in the specific scenario in front of us now.

When we take time to pause, reflect and look back through our vast memory banks, we can find a time when we had an abundance of that quality, that behaviour, that feeling that feels so elusive in the present moment.  If we had it then, we are capable of having it again; another fundamental facet of an NLP approach.

Simply spending some time, thinking about the memory of that longed for feeling, will install a sense of that feeling in your body and mind. The more time you spend connecting with that memory, the stronger that feeling will flow for you.

Let’s walk through a quick example from my clinical work.

A young woman, let’s call her Clare, had recently gone through a difficult relationship breakdown. She was suffering from severe low mood and intrusive thoughts when she came to see me. I asked her how she wanted to feel. She replied, confident and happy. She felt she had lost all of her confidence through the break up.

I invited Clare to look back through her library of memories and to settle upon a time when she felt incredibly confident and happy. She chose her late teen years when she loved hanging out with her friends, had her first real boyfriend, was doing well at school and was playing county netball. As she talked about this time and connected ever more deeply with it, the positive emotions were clear to see. Her posture relaxed, her face softened and she smiled. This was the springboard for creating a tool for her to use following our session to ensure she could always access confidence and happiness for herself.

How incredibly empowering is that?

So if the January dullness creeps in, ask yourself:

What would you love to feel?

Then be your own guiding light:

When was a time in your life when you had that feeling in abundance?

Spend some time thinking about that time and feel what it feels like to be there, with that quality inside you, now.

If you feel you’ve never had the feeling you seek, then borrow it! Think of something (an animal, a colour, an object…anything) or someone (a loved one, a person from media or sport, current or historical) that exhibits the feeling you seek and build a picture in your mind of that thing or person.

The more time you spend engaging with that memory, that picture, the stronger that feeling will become. The neuro-pathways for that feeling take shape and strengthen in your mind thanks to a final nugget of NLP wisdom for today, that practice makes permanence.

So banish any January blues away. Today can be any colour you choose. Look inside and be your own guiding light. I know you can do it.

If you would love support in using memories to create feelings as a resource for now, I would love to work with you. Get in touch to find out more.

16th January 2024