NLP and Mental Health
I was chatting with a friend from Brisbane, who had called to find out how I was when I first heard the term ‘Covid fatigue’. He explained that it was about the physical and mental state of being on constant guard, since the start of 2020 when the pandemic broke out.
As a therapist, he's currently dealing with people who are exhausted to the point of fatigue. We talked a while longer about NLP and mental health before ending the call. That day I couldn't stop thinking about this new term I had learnt - the ‘Covid fatigue’ syndrome.
I realised that this had been steadily building up after the first onslaught of the pandemic. The uncertainty, lockdowns, movement control and general restrictions in daily life had taken a toll on us.
Unfortunately, in the process of safeguarding our physical health, mental health often takes a back seat. Now barely two months to the year end, with no clear solution in sight, people are feeling its effects in ways we’ve never imagined.
When we first learned about the pandemic there was a lot of fear, panic, and in a bizarre way, even excitement because it was something novel and totally alien to us.
People were rushing to stock up on food. And lots of people were busy posting funny skits on Tik Tok, memes on Instagram and social media was abuzz with coronavirus jokes. But it’s gone quiet now.
In my earlier article, “How Is NLP Useful in Mental Health”, I talked about how we use NLP to improve mental health. Now, it’s time to start the conversation about how we prevent mental health issues from becoming worse and where possible prevent new ones.
Before we go any further, if you have your basic needs such as food, water, shelter, clothes and money taken care of, consider yourself as privileged.
The Link Between NLP and Mental Health
In NLP you don’t focus on ‘WHAT’ you think. ‘HOW’ you think is more useful. The focus is on context, not content. An NLP program helps shift mindsets to dealing with problems from the perspective of context.
For example, there’s an overwhelming load of news on mass media and the internet. You don’t need to feel agitated with every little detail. If you learn how to decide what’s relevant or true within the context, your mental health will thank you for it.
A number of healthcare systems in the UK, Australia and the US have added NLP to their treatment list. We can now take advantage of NLP to improve mental health to sustain our quality of life, despite the restraints we’re facing.
An NLP program will provide you with a solid foundation on the above. When you know how the mind works, you have the trump card to manage yourself well, with knowledge to prevent mental health issues. Prevention is better than cure isn’t it?
Now is the time to empower yourself with ways to gain more control over how you handle stress at work or home, in these fast changing times. Learning how NLP and mental health impact your wellbeing is fundamental to living a healthy, balanced life.
Someone I met at an event long ago called the other day. She’s a great example of the NLP success belief that “everyone already has the resources they need within them”. She’s decided to learn NLP to improve mental health during the current work downtime that she is facing.
Next, let’s take a look at one of the worst impacts of the pandemic - the lack of interaction, the very thing our mental health depends on.
We Need Interaction
We’re meant to live in family units, communities or groups. With daily restrictions imposed by the pandemic, people are finding it harder to maintain contact and interact with one another.
Ultimately, we’re all social beings with varying levels of need to interact with other people. For example, you may have a greater need to connect face to face, compared to your friend who’s fine with a phone call.
I’m hearing from so many people that this prolonged situation is affecting people in negative ways. The elderly are finding themselves isolated.
A former participant in my NLP program years ago, told me she is unable to visit her elderly brother who had a minor heart procedure in the restricted movement rules in her country. He and his wife, both in their early 70s, live alone.
Even people I know who mostly prefer to be alone are craving company. Just knowing there are restrictions on our movements affects us psychologically, even if we don’t really feel like going out.
Some of us need daily hugs and others prefer less physical contact. I spoke to a close friend and NLP practitioner recently. Her daughter had left for college abroad.
She told me she was missing her daughter’s hugs terribly. They’ve not hugged in three months! Luckily she’s familiar with NLP and mental health, so they’re coping better than most others.
Working and studying from home is impacting millions of people globally. My niece was telling me the other day how her eyesight has blurred with the online lectures she has to do. And that she feels isolated from her friends and deprived of the college life she had looked forward to.
I’m sure you’ve heard many such stories. People are having to cope and adapt. Keeping in touch has taken different forms. Video and audio calls, text and voice messages are the norm. Though it’s not the same, making the effort and time sends the message to our loved ones that they matter to us, more than ever.
My advice, as you stay home and stay safe, is to be alert to any signs of the start of mental health issues. As we adapt to new ways of working and studying, let’s not lose sight of our mental health and well-being.
Keep a look out for these signs in family members or friends when you connect with them:
Being in the field, I know NLP and mental health are a powerful combination to pull a person out of the depths of fatigue and depression, to a more neutral space.
Do something about your situation if any of these symptoms show up. Attending an NLP program is far more gracious and impactful than landing yourself in any one of the ailments described above. You will be the better for it!
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.