Case Study: Lonely Lana

Case Study: Lonely Lana

Engineering The Mind

Working with young people (and their parents) means helping them understand the basics of designing a future self who is calm, confident, enjoying successful relationships, and is thankful for learning some basic secrets of happiness.

This process applies to any age!

 

“It is impossible to control any goal that requires other people to change.”

Case study: Lonely Lana

Moving schools had been a good decision for 14-year-old Lana but had left her yearning for her old group of pals. But her mind had played tricks on her, recalling the past in a kinder light, yet in truth, she had been quite unhappy with them. The NEW friendship group felt impermeable, and she came to see me asking for help with ‘social exclusion’.

We established that a couple of girls in the group were being really kind and friendly towards her, but this didn’t satisfy Lana and she found herself:

  1. Dismissive of easily available friendships.
  2. Keeping her sights fixed on getting attention from the big personalities.
  3. Negatively mind-reading the new group’s intentions.
  4. Negatively interpreting the body language of certain group members.
  5. Feeling awkward and self-conscious
  6. Fantasising that the old school friendship group was perfect.

We summarised our initial discussion in terms of her:

THOUGHTS – the group was unsure about her and viewed her with suspicion.

FEELINGS – self-conscious, unhappy, and awkward.

BEHAVIOUR – wanting to withdraw from the group.  

Delving deeper into her thinking patterns she soon revealed some fundamental beliefs that were triggering her own unhappiness.

Trigger thoughts included:

“Making new friends is hard work and tiring”

“Why don’t they? …. (act the way I want them to act)”

“I have lost my perfect old friends”

These thoughts triggered her ‘feel-bad’ strategy.

She ran this strategy in her mind ‘on-repeat’.

Neural plasticity meant that those self-harming thoughts became automatic – because she had practiced paying attention to them.

Soon into our session, Lana realised that her true (unconscious) friendship goal had been to be the popular one amongst a large group of girls. But she didn’t yet realise that goal was impossible to achieve since it required:

  • Exhausting effort to try to change the opinions and behaviours of others.
  • The others to prioritise her needs above their natural ordering.

I invited her to understand that it is impossible to control any goal that requires other people to change.  Trying to do that had been exhausting and frustrating, wasting energy and leading to disappointment in others and (self) generating feelings of unhappiness.

EXPLORING SOLUTIONS

I wondered if Lana could amend her friendship goal to “I want to feel relaxed and authentic around new people”. That would require her to expect nothing back from them, just to be curious and interested in the evolving relationships.

After all, a goal like this means being in charge of a goal you can actually control!

EXPERIMENT

We worked hypnotically to visualise Lana pitching up at school, looking for fun people to get to know while feeling relaxed, interested, humorous and happy. This imprinted a new neurological template which she could practise (through neural plasticity) until it became her autopilot.

FEEDBACK

We reframed her thinking so that SHE could reflect on, and positively adjust, her personal thoughts, feelings, and behaviours – it’s an inside job!

SKILLS

I taught her techniques for self-regulating wayward feelings.

FEED FORWARD

We looked through time to visit her future-self. The person who is calm, confident, enjoying a range of successful relationships, and thankful for learning some basic secrets of owning next-generation happiness.

Think this is just about children? Think again!

 

Boredom Matters

Boredom Matters

“I’m bored.”

Means “I don’t know what to do”?

Which implies “I need to know what to do”?

And therefore “please help me to avoid this feeling of uncertainty.”

TIME is the commodity and EMOTION is the currency; when we have time, we want to fill it will good feelings. And we can.

Yet a cruel outcome of fast-fix good feelings is ‘learned helplessness (“I’m bored – fix my feelings”)’ nourished by passive feel-goods like TV, social media, sugar, alcohol …

Phew!
Anxiety is dissolved by passive feel-goods. But not for long because we never resolve the nagging feeling that we dislike ‘that boredom space’.

Such a shame!
So many people feeling miserable and trapped within the solutions of quick-fixing profiteers.

Because!
Our brains are so easily trained, wired and re-wired.

Rewired by passive learning (the less aware we are of the boredom programming, the easier the acceptance).

Rewired by active learning and creative engagement with boredom to experience new and novel handling of uncertainty:

problem solving – how will I make that old sofa more comfortable?
creation – what kind of meal can I make out of these ingredients?
imagination – what will my garden look like if I dig up the flower bed?
experimentation – which windowsill has best suited my house plant?
exploration – let’s visit that woodland walk I heard about.
discovery – which food upset my digestion?
role play – how does it feel to pretend to be like my favourite calm person?
learning – which thoughts motivate me most?

Boredom!
Provides training ground for THRIVING through adapting and adjusting to difficulties and disappointments. Thriving brains know more conscious CHOICES.

Boredom!
Also provides training ground for SURVIVING through having our attention controlled by someone else. Surviving brains revert to auto-pilot and can’t make conscious choices.

Boredom!
Is a curious description of a state of human consciousness where there is space to be trained into helplessness and survival behaviour, or it is a space to build resourcefulness and resilience for a thriving future.

Thrive!
Let your children – and your own inner child – handle boredom actively …

NEW! DIGITAL CALM-CONFIDENCE KIT

NEW! DIGITAL CALM-CONFIDENCE KIT

Created in 2010, these fun, easy to follow brain training activities are ideal for young families and primary classrooms.

Instant Calm – Belly Breathing
Quietly Clear – Building Confidence
Brainy learning – Balance Body & Mind
Brain balance – Finger Play
Personal power – Heartful
Choose feelings – Spinning Feelings
Perfect peacefulness – White Feather
Brain boost – Eyes Around
Chaos to calm – Glitter Ball
Power up – Power Pack
Reassure an anxious mind – Finger Chat

Welcome to these practical activities that help you minimise stress and create feelings of calm and confidence. You will find increased self-esteem
and smarter thinking are very pleasant by-products.

This kit will train your nervous system to be calmer and to stay calm and confident in challenging situations. Practising them regularly will mean that you’ll get better at being able to do them whenever you really need to.

There are 11 fun activities for you to experiment with, each one is proven to help develop resilience. CLICK HERE

Fun-Shine Alphabet

Fun-Shine Alphabet

Looking for a fun ice-breaker, pattern interrupt, or warm-up for your team of colleagues or students? Or a new idea for having fun and making people smile? Here’s a game you can play with your students, colleagues, coachees, or family. It has scope to be as purposeful as you choose!

This game involves letters of the alphabet A-Z, some pens, some paper or flip chart, or white board. It can be done individually or in groups and you can even add some flavoursome competition.

Choose one of the themes below and assign a word to each letter.

Theme 1: Positive/happy/fun words e.g. amazing, brilliant, cuddly …
Theme 2: Nouns (things) e.g. apple, bat, crib …
Theme 3: Verbs (actions) e.g. admiring, bowling, crocheting …
Theme 4: Nonsensical (made up) brain ticklers e.g. artummyful, brainbutt, crumtonly…
Theme 6: NLP nominalisations e.g. adoration, bliss, confidence …
Theme 7: Colours e.g. apple-green, baby-blue, crimson …

Or make up your own theme!

Or create a themed word-bank somewhere prominent where people can keep adding new words.

This is play, with purpose. For example, that purpose might be to:
• have fun
• engage with others
• embed learning
• calibrate people or situations
• …

#NLP #calibration #language #play #happybrain #fun #states #NLP submodalities #icebreaker #braintickle #trainingroom #teamtalk