Breathing Through Conflict

It happens to all of us. Some situation in which we find ourselves seems to spiral out of control, with tensions and emotional energy increasing in intensity. Perhaps you're in a meeting, and conflict arises. Maybe you're working on a project and suddenly there's a problem going on. Or maybe you've found a mistake on your grocery receipt and the customer service staff do not want to help you.

If you've been learning and applying NLP for any length of time, you've probably learned about rapport. One of the techniques for gaining and maintaining rapport is to notice and match the breathing rate of the person with whom you wish to be in rapport. But what happens when the situation is changing so rapidly that anything short of instant rapport will not suffice? What if there are multiple players with whom it's difficult to gain rapport? What if you're dealing with someone who seems to always take the opposite direction to which you're trying to lead?

One tactic I would suggest is simply "holding the center".  Nothing too mystical here - just watch your own breathing and maintain it. Keep it nice and slow and easy. As you breathe, you might notice that it slows down on its own slightly and some of the tension in your mind and body can be let go. Your own stress levels diminish, and you are more able to see the way out of your situation.

Check your posture - tension in the shoulders, back, and neck can aggravate a tense situation and might even encourage you to escalate the conflict rather than tone things down.

An image I like to use is standing in the center of the hurricane. The thing is, you're not an island that's stationary and about to be pummeled by the other side of the eye. No, you are a moving column that has your own spin, and by being flexible yet holding fast to the center of all that stormy activity, perhaps you can slow the winds over time and diminish the conflict. The winds are calm in the eye of the storm. Breathe and maintain that calm. Perhaps rapport can come after that.

Posted by Steve in Hypnosis, Meditation, Peak Performance | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Health

Ready? Each step is the same, and you repeat them every day. Drink a cup of tea!
According to the Daily Mail, researchers are stating that intake of tea, even black tea, is a healthful practice with diverse benefits such as increased concentration, dental health and cardiovascular benefits.

I don't know how far we should go with this practice, but it's here in this article. 
I tend to drink quite a bit of tea, along with coffee (which doctors usually want us to drink less of) so maybe it will balance out somehow?

In any case, the process of brewing tea can be brought into your meditation practicce. The Japanese call it "tea ceremony".  While I am not a tea ceremony practitioner, I can advocate that the steps in making tea lend themselves to that quiet concentration that we strive for in daily life. Bring your full attention into the process of gathering your materials, boiling water, brewing and drinking the tea.  Use hyperaesthesia to amplify every sense and bring yourself totally into the present moment, and enjoy the calm of sipping your favorite tea blend.

Posted by Steve in Health and wellness, Meditation, Nutrition | Permalink | Comments (0)

iPod Video: A Portable Yoga Studio?

A few months ago I wrote about the potentials of the iPod as a self-improvement device or meditation machine. Audio books, seminar recordings, meditation sessions, and hypnosis mp3 files could be arranged in a subsection of your iPod library, enabling a portable audio dojo right in your pocket.

Imagine my surprise when I found this press release from YogaYak about going one step further: using the video iPod to create a portable yoga studio!

PORTABLE YOGA: YOGA CLASSES FOR CELL PHONES & IPOD AT WWW.YOGAYAK.COM (PRLEAP.COM) is an online yoga studio offering video classes in Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama and a free community Forum. For $9.95US per month, our members gain access to our complete library of classes for PC’s, Mac and now, video classes for IPod and cellular phones. Our classes are also available in MP3 format for those wanting a selection of audio classes.

For travelers, business people, commuters, students or anyone wishing to take their yoga practice with them, offers an exciting and low-cost way to bring meditation and yoga into daily life.

We take information with us virtually wherever we go, and we are always on the move; we take our stress with us wherever we go and now, with we can take yoga, meditation and a deep breath with us wherever we go and whenever we need it. is run by Yogayak Productions Ltd.; a Vancouver, British Columbia based company. We are committed to bringing quality multi-disciplinary yoga instruction to the online community.

Posted by Steve in Health and wellness, Meditation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Does Stress Really Make You Sick?

Following up on the quarreling couples article, I have news of another study showing that stress impacts the immune system. Courtesy of Life Extension Daily Update on December 5th, Agence France-Presse reports on an Australian study showing the link between stress and the release of neuropeptides that weaken the immune response.  Researcher Fabienne Mackay was quoted, saying:

"During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it inhibits the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens in the body," she said.

"That stress makes you sick is no longer a myth, it is a reality and we need to take it seriously."

Mackay was also quoted discussing the need for relaxation techniques and even yoga to help combat stress and its numerous effects on our health. As hypnotists, we already have the skills to keep stress levels down; how many of us actually use them?

In my own experience, I usually take a "trance break" either midday or in the middle of an intense work period in order to keep the stress down. Since I've undertaken this practice, sometimes using the Betty Erickson technique and other times simply using my own rapid induction anchors on myself, I have noticed a qualitative change in my stress responses. I also believe these breaks are consistent with Herbert Benson's "Breakout Principle" and enhance my creativity.

If we combine regular physical activity, a healthy lifestyle, and self-hypnosis, we may have the beginnings of performing at our peak.

Posted by Steve in Health and wellness, Hypnosis, Meditation, Peak Performance | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Is the iPod Nano the Ultimate Hypnosis Mind Machine?

Today we're going to take a look at the options we have in terms of hypnotic trancework on the go. With the advent of highly portable digital audio
players and electronic audio files, we're now free of some of the limitations of listening to CDs or cassettes for doing autohypnosis.

If you're reading this site, chances are pretty good that  you like me  have a sizeable collection of hypnosis tapes and CDs that either
take up a bunch of shelf space in your home, or even more likely, clutter up your living space. I propose that a simple solution to this
comes in the form of Apple Computer's iTunes software.

iTunes will run on Windows and on Macintosh, and you'll find its interface is the simplest of all the digital music library programs
on the market. Converting your collection will be easy- simply pop the CD in your CD-ROM drive and click the Import button in iTunes. Yes, it's that simple.
You can then easily organize your hypnotic tracks by author, by subject, by length, etc with the use of playlists. Now you're free to pack those CDs up in a box in your closet,
where they will be out of your way and you can now use that free space for hypnosis and NLP books instead.

Now that your collection is digitized, it's not exactly portable unless you've done the importing on a laptop. For the ultimate in portability,
check out the latest in digital music players, the iPod Nano. The Nano has several distinct selling points:

Battery life
Short charging time
Color screen for viewing imported images

The iPod Nano can hold 2- or 4- GB of audio. Now, there are plenty of players on the market that hold up to 60 GB, but for our purposes
we're looking for durability and battery life so this is where the Nano will shine because it uses flash memory instead of a hard disk. Flash memory
has lower power consumption and is more resistant to shock than hard disks, although recent reports indicate that the first batch of iPod Nanos may require screen protectors due to scratching.

You can sync your iTunes library with the iPod Nano similarly to the import operation above: easily and automatically.

Additionally, you can sync music and audio books (including hypnosis audio books!) that are available for purchase right from the iTunes Music Store.
The pricing you'll get by downloading these audiobooks will be cheaper than purchasing CDs in the local book store, and you're not burdened by a physical box
laying around your home or office.

If you're a fan of binaural beats, you can download the bwgen software (again, available for multiple operating systems at and create your own
binaural beat audio tracks for use on the iPod.

Posted by Steve in Hypnosis, Meditation, NLP / Hypnosis | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack