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How to Be Happier Using NLP Techniques

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Happiness has been a topic of discussion since the early philosophers. As a practice and a state, it is just as relevant in the present day. As the COVID-19 lockdown begins to affect people’s mood, many are starting to search for new ways of coping with uncertainty, bringing balance to their mental health, finding inner peace under pressure, and improving their happiness.

Behind my thinking is the conviction that the levels affect one another; they don’t just exist in isolation. Lasting happiness can, in my view, only come from aligning the levels with one another. We want to have:

  • A guiding sense of vision

  • Our identity aligned to reach that vision

  • Beliefs and values aligned to support that vision

  • Our capabilities aligned to make that vision possible

  • Our behavior aligned to make that vision happen in the environment.

Creating this alignment is not easy. Old patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving can be deeply ingrained, and can fiercely resist attempts to change or challenge them. Any process that truly sets out to create lasting happiness must be powerful enough to transform these old patterns.

However, identity also contains huge amounts of talents that have propelled us successfully to where we are.

The process fully acknowledges these and ensures that nothing is lost as we ‘transform and include’ our old self into a new and positive version.

How NLP can create real happiness

The process also has procedures for looking at beliefs and values. Many of our beliefs are useful and positive. Others can create biases that prevent us from getting the things we really need to be happy.

With values the problem is not so much about truth or even helpfulness, but about making decisions when they conflict. For example ‘In this situation do I choose loyalty or honesty?’ (Or is there a way to accommodate both?)

One of the greatest threats to happiness is what Bertrand Russell called ‘thinking about the next thing.’ Learning how to stay present in our current activity and to enjoy the present moment is a key to happiness. In the final analysis, happiness is something you experience in the present.

No set of psychological interventions can promise permanent happiness. Loss is a part of life and the appropriate period of sadness is part of the natural cycle of the healing process. But I believe strongly that happiness is the natural, healthy ‘default position’ for human beings, to which we are meant to return after negative life-experiences have been dealt with.

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