well being.jpg

"How to work with 
lingering memories that are 
currently affecting our lives 
and holding us back from 
reaching our goals".

In this series on Introducing NLP we’re taking the theme of setting outcomes as a context in which to find out how NLP can help us to discover what we want and then achieve it. In this issue we’ll look at how to work with lingering memories that are currently affecting our lives and holding us back from reaching our goals.

I think it’s probably 100 per cent certain that everyone has some painful memories; it’s part of being human.

The memories themselves are not necessarily problematic, but how we deal with them can be.

We need to find ways to keep the constructive learnings from the past, while letting go of the pain.

NLP offers many ways of healing past hurts, such as the timelining techniques popularised by Tad James. However, even without the use of such specific techniques, just a little mature reflection and reframing can help a lot.


Events occurring in our childhood would be remembered from the perspective of a child, who was not only physically smaller but also relatively powerless and with limited understanding, so reviewing them afresh from an adult perspective can greatly reduce their emotional impact.


Our adult understanding also allows us to have compassion for our own and other people’s mistakes. It allows us to appreciate that forgiving ourselves and others doesn’t condone harmful behaviour, but brings an end to the harm by dropping our burden of guilt and resentment instead of lugging it about like a backpack of bricks.

NLP article.jpg
Psychology Session


Anxiety is very common, but it is not compulsory.

Arguably, anxiety is not an emotion but rather an ‘ineffective way of thinking’.

Anxiety is on over stimulation of the autonomic nervous system. We have cortisol, cortisone and adrenaline, these chemicals get released from our brain chemistry into the physical body when we are operating in fight, flight or freeze.

One of the ways we ‘do’ Anxiety is by thinking. It is evidence based that the way in which we think creates the way we feel.

We can give ourselves a better feeling with our thoughts and equally we can give ourselves a bad feeling too.

Notice how I emphasize the word ‘do’ Anxiety rather that ‘have’ Anxiety? It feels like we have Anxiety, and it feels like this is something we have to just get used to living with. That isn’t true.

Anxiety comes from allowing our minds to fantasize. We operate in our subconscious mind 95% of the day and only 5% of the day in our conscious mind. We allow our thoughts to delve into the past or to fantasize about an unknown future that doesn’t exist, and we can get screwed up emotionally in the ‘now’.

Our fight and flight mechanism is designed to keep us safe. It is a built-in mechanism that gives us the ability to handle the situation. For example, the guy who steps into the road and a bus is approaching, the ability to jump out of the way in that situation is a good time when we need the chemicals to deal with that situation.

The problem with Anxiety is that there is no situation to handle. Only the one we have created in our mind which then means the chemicals that are released then get stored into the body and has nowhere to go so we panic and that’s how panic attacks usually occur.


These stress hormones enter the body and alerts us that we are under threat. The blood gets perforated outwardly to our hands and feet in order to run away or fight the situation. Our hands get clammy, and our heart rate increases, in preparation to protect us to whatever is perceived to be happening in that moment. This is the body’s natural response to danger!

Our minds are on auto pilot, and we do this unconsciously. Example of this is likened to when tying your shoelace. You don’t have to think about it, you do it without being attentive to that task because you are competent and can do it without giving it all your focus. When you were a child before you knew how to tie your shoelace you would have had to give that task your full attention.


We have learned how to do emotions in the same way. We do it unconsciously and our feelings and emotions have been hard wired through the experiences of life we have experienced.



Anxiety symptoms:

  • Thinking the worse of every situation

  • Raised heart rate

  • Increase and rapid breathing

  • Feeling sick/ vomiting

  • Struggling to focus

  • Headaches

  • Struggle sleeping

  • Change in eating habits (eating more or less)


Panic Attack symptoms:

  • Feeling dizzy

  • Nauseous

  • Pain your chest

  • Struggling to breathe

  • Feeling they may have a heart attack or die


Possible causes of Anxiety and Panic attacks:

  • School / Work stress

  • Family issues

  • ACES (adverse childhood experiences)

  • Substance use (drugs or alcohol)

  • Bereavement

  • Abuse and neglect