One of the fascinating aspects of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the ability to apply simple, yet effective techniques to create behavioural changes and usually very quickly.
One such technique that I have used with and taught to my own clients is known as the Swish Pattern. We can use the NLP Swish pattern for weight loss by eliminating the desires for unhealthy foods such as crisps (potato chips), chocolate, cakes and even alcohol.
The swish sends the brain in a new direction, so the person ends up being compelled to eat the healthy food, rather than compelled to eat the chocolate bar. The standard swish is believed to be effective with about 70% of the population.
When using the Swish technique you need to find the “cue picture” that starts the behaviour. It is important to find the visual cues that occur immediately before the undesired behaviour. The cue picture could be seeing your hand as it reaches for the bar of chocolate, just before eating it. Once we have this picture, we make it a large, associated image that we see through our own eyes. Once we have this in place, we can set it aside for the time being.
Now, we find a behaviour that we would rather be doing instead of eating chocolate, maybe eating an apple or pear for example. The desired behaviour should be a “like behaviour”, such as eating for eating, drinking for drinking. We then see this desired behaviour in a dissociated way, almost like seeing ourselves on a cinema screen. Make this desired behaviour really compelling and desirable.
Now let’s put the swish technique into perspective. Imagine the cue picture and make sure that you are seeing that through your own eyes (associated). Make this a big picture that you can see, sense or imagine in your mind’s eye.
Now superimpose the desired picture over the cue picture and make sure it is a really small image in the centre of the cue picture. It is important that you are seeing yourself as dissociated in the desired picture, that is, as you look at the desired picture you see yourself eating the healthier option.
Once you have both of these pictures in your mind’s eye it is time for the swish. The swish is performed very quickly, about 1.5 seconds. See the picture of yourself as you want to be quickly get bigger and brighter, as the cue image shrinks and becomes dim and overwhelmed. Then clear your visual screen, or open your eyes. Repeat this process 5 times, faster each time.
When the swish is successful, it will be hard to hold the cue image it will be spontaneously replaced by the desired self-image, which may or may not be conscious. The beauty about this technique is that it is very quick and is an effective tool in your arsenal when losing weight and making healthier food choices.