with Jeff Schoener, the NLP Wordsmythe
While the medical PR community comes up with new disorders on a continuous basis, before we get sucked in to the new millennium’s version of hypochondria, remember this vital information given from an insider in the medical profession: These disorders are merely new names given for symptoms not yet deciphered by the medical community in order for pharmaceutical companies to sell their wares. There are so many self-diagnosed disorders today that, much like the communities of wordsmiths, NLP and other brain language and belief experts, it would behoove us to make use of the etymology of language before we fall into the traps. Getting to the root of the language may actually also help us get to the root of our so-called disorders.
I would like to use as a newly common example, Body Dysmorphic Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of chronic mental illness in which you can’t stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance — a flaw that is either minor or imagined. When you have body dysmorphic disorder, you intensely obsess over your appearance and body image, often for many hours a day.” Now, can you think of how this perceived disorder goes far beyond the physical? In fact it goes beyond how one sees themselves; it’s also what we tell ourselves – how we talk to ourselves, what we hear, how we feel.
Physical dysmorphia may not just be seeing ourselves in a warped view. How do we “see” ourselves? In the physical – pretty, ugly, average, gorgeous, plain, nice but flawed? As a person – intelligent, stupid, kind, confident, shy, a success, a failure? How are we telling ourselves that we are these things? What and whose voices do we hear? Our own, a critical parent, sibling or other family member? Our old school-mates, friends, bullies, teachers? How do we feel when we do this? If it makes us feel crappy, why do we do this? Would you ever define yourself as a masochist? Most wouldn’t, yet if we break it down, sadly many of us are.
I still remember one of the very few Dr. Phil advice or techniques that I have ever agreed with. A guest on his show had issues with motivation, self-esteem and was constantly in bad relationships, come to find out her father was verbally abusive to her as a child. However her father had long been deceased, but she kept replaying his words in her head. Finally Dr. Phil said to her, “He’s been gone for many years and you are an adult woman; STOP continuing on his abuse for him!” Are we standing in our own way to well-being, success and the life we desire? Interestingly enough, I also remember many years ago, I found myself saying something negative about me, when my husband Jeff retorted to my surprise, “Hey! Nobody speaks to my wife that way! Not even you!” That woke me up and I began to pay closer attention to the conversations I was having with my Self!
When Jeff works with clients within this range of issues, he finds that,
“When perception and illusion are out of balance, attempting self control based upon internal perception leads individually to distress and depression cycles. The more the individual attempts to either control the cycle or avoid the cycle the worse the symptoms seem to get. Do not attempt to get a handle on this. In many cases my clients are battling the emotions not the issues that begin the cycle.“
So what can we do consciously to become more aware of our unconscious self-talk and beliefs about ourselves, and what can we do to change that?
- Regress in order to egress. Taking note of what you do, see, hear or feel before you ‘see’ yourself in ‘that way’ will offer you greater insight into what this is truly about.
- Pay attention. Most of the processes that drive these behaviors and emotions begin just outside of your conscious awareness. If you were to pay attention to how this cycle is triggered, the better chance you have of making it a thing of the past.
- Have faith. What occurs behind our eyes is far more important than what we think we see. Our eyes are designed to invert an image onto our retina. There is a direct translation process that happens in our brain. Seeing is not always believing, for many believing is seeing.
- Stop the blame game. If you or someone else caused this cycle, blaming will only serve to distract from the cycle and fed into the emotional drama that helps keep you stuck.
- Be more forgiving and be kind to yourself. The more anger, anxiety and frustration occur, the more one becomes locked into their emotional drama. This is not the source of the issue, only the result.
- Gain perspective and release control. By becoming more a friend to your Self, many of these issues become just a little less important.
Begin following these tips and you will start getting more accustomed to paying attention to the language used by you and by others. Using appropriate language and finding congruence between your mind, body and spirit becomes the basis of making better brain chemistry and resulting in making healthier decisions. It goes like this: The better things you tell yourself, the better your brain chemistry, the better decisions you make and the better things turn out – it’s a happier cycle! Doing the opposite will give you adverse results. So keep practicing, keep healthy and stay happy!