Neuroscience and NLP

NLP Coaching utilizes the latest scientific discoveries about the way the brain works in order to provide you with the most effective tools to transform your thoughts and your life.

One of the basic understandings in NLP is that: "The map is not the territory." This notion comes from Alfred Korzybski,a mathematician who published a thesis called 'Science and Sanity' in 1933. In it he wrote: "A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness".

He was referring to the fact that our perception of "reality" however necessary in life, is to life, is not actually reality but merely our own version that is based upon our previous experiences and what we are paying attention to. Because human beings can only focus on 7 + or - 2 bits of information at once, and there is so much more information in our sensory awareness at any given time, we cannot possibly have more than our limited "map" of reality as we know it. What ever we think we know (consciously) there is always more going on than we think.

Neuroscience research has shed a lot of light on the relationship between perception, emotions, and physical health and wellbeing. Mind and body are indeed connected! Where we put our attention, the thoughts we think, and the beliefs we form have a direct impact upon our brain chemistry, which informs who we are, what we know, how we feel, and how we behave.

The discovery of the Quantum Zeno Effect in the world of Quantum Physics has serious implications for NLP Coaching. The Quantum Zeno Effect states that rapid repeated observation of molecules will hold them in a stable state, decreasing the naturally occurring process of change.

What this means for neuroscience and coaching is that what we pay consistent attention to will create more stable (fixed) brain connections which will get bigger and stronger making it more and more likely that we will continue to see things in that way to the exclusion of all the other possible ways. This is how we get stuck in negative patterns and have so much trouble believing another way is possible.

As David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz state in The Neuroscience of Leadership:

"Applied to neuroscience, the QZE states that the mental act of focusing attention stabilizes the associated brain circuits. Concentrating attention on your mental experience, whether a thought, an insight, a picture in your mind's eye, or a fear, maintains the brain state arising in association with that experience. Over time, paying enough attention to any specific brain connection keeps the relevant circuitry open and dynamically alive. These circuits can then eventually become not just chemical links but stable, physical changes in the brain's structure.

Cognitive scientists have known for 20 years that the brain is capable of significant internal change in response to environmental changes, a dramatic finding when it was first made. We now also know that the brain changes as a function of where an individual puts his or her attention. The power is in the focus.

Attention continually reshapes the patterns of the brain. Among the implications: People who practice a specialty every day literally think differently, through different sets of connections, than do people who don't practice the specialty. In business, professionals in different functions - finance, operations, legal, research and development, marketing, design, and human resources - have physiological differences that prevent them from seeing the world the same way."

The good news is that as soon as we begin to focus in a new more positive way, those connections start to get bigger and stronger, and the old negative ones receiving less attention weaken. NLP Coaching is very effective at shifting attention and creating positive brain chemistry.

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