What have NLP Training courses got to do with eliminating stress? Well, for me, everything. Before studying my NLP courses I was a stress ball. Even at an early age, stress would get me when I was least expecting it.

As a teenager I hated school and really wasn’t a very good pupil. I wasn’t alone though, and we had competitions to see who could cover the most ground by running away. One boy in my class got from Carlisle to Langholm by foot, that’s nearly 30 miles away. He was the school champion… I on the other hand, wasn’t a great runner and only made it a few miles. I remember my route. I would run through some thick woods which seemed to go on and on and were quite scary in the dark. I would get to this circular clearing, right into the middle and just stop and look up at the moon light. It seemed like such a peaceful place. I would often sit there in the middle and think about what life was like on one of the stars I could see. Hours would pass by and I would run back to school before anyone noticed I was gone… I often think about that clearing in the trees today, and take myself back there if ever I need some quiet time. The imagination is a wonderful thing… I go right back into feeling calm whenever I think about sitting in the middle of those woods, looking up at the stars.

There’s a wonderful quick tool in NLP called ‘The Circle of Excellence’. It’s a little gift I would like to give you for reading this article and it will help you to feel calm and relaxed next time you start to feel stressed or anxious.

so, here are the steps…
• Imagine you have a circle in front of you – it’s your imagination at work here and you can imagine your circle to be just as you want it – perfect for you. A client of mine has his circle like the circle that’s created on Star Trek when Scotty beams up the crew. Whatever your mind brings up for you will be just perfect. You can make your circle into anything you want.
• How does it look? Are there any sounds in it? Is there a temperature to it? In your circle you can add any positive emotion you choose. I want you to think of the first emotion you would like in there. I’ll take calm as an example but perhaps you can choose the feelings you would most like to have at work in usually stressful environments. Before you step into your circle with the feelings of ‘calm’, think of a specific time you felt calm. When you have a time, go back to that time in your mind and see what you see, hear what you hear and really feel what it’s like to feel calm again now…
• As the emotion reaches a high, just step into your circle and imagine turning up those feelings. Really allow yourself to re-live those feelings and just before the emotion drops away (usually around 5 to 15 seconds), step out of your circle and make yourself aware of your current surroundings.
• You can repeat this process with another specific time you felt this emotion, and you can even put similar emotions in with it. The more you put in, the more you get out so really allow yourself to re-live the feelings you choose to go inside your circle.
• You can test it too, to see if you have enough emotion inside your circle. Simply think of the stressful environment and step back into your circle and notice if you can feel the new positive emotions. When your circle is full with emotions you could imagine folding it up and putting it in your pocket. It’s always there for you to step into whenever you need it.

I imagine placing my circle down on the stage before I step out to speak to my audiences, or I place it onto the floor and step into it, re-living those positive emotions as I present to a group of people. Any negative feelings I have are quickly overpowered by my positive emotions in my circle. It works every time!