Bulimia is simply this, an automated pattern of consciousness, a bad habit.
The brain automates patterns of thinking so we find ourselves, much of the time, thinking the same kind of thoughts in the same kind way, having the same kinds of hopes, fears, regrets, having the same kinds of conversations with same friends. Consciousness, for most of us, most of the time, is like going to the movies. You sit down and begin to watch the film, and soon you lose yourself inside the story. With thinking, it is like the thoughts happen to us rather than us deliberately thinking them and we get lost in our own ‘movies’.
Now this is all very well if our thoughts make us feel wonderful, optimistic, powerful and resourceful. But when they aren’t, as in the case of bulimia, then it’s time to learn to be the ‘director’ of these ‘movies’, rather than just the ‘star’. NLP gives you the ability to do this.
Exercises to reprogramme the mind to stop being bulimic. (NB the following is MUCH easier when someone is guiding you through the process and simultaneously using other NLP techniques such as various forms of ‘anchoring’)
I always tell people to be patient as they begin to learn to do the following. I remind them that when they were younger they learned to rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time. To begin with, it was impossible, they just ended up rubbing their tummy and rubbing their head. Then, after a while, suddenly they were capable of doing it, and once learned, they will always be able to do it. And I remind them of when they did ‘join the dots’ as a child. To being with, it was just a page of dots and numbers as they began to join them up with a pencil. Interestingly, you never have to get to the last dot before you see the picture. Suddenly, there it is, the wizard’s hat, the aeroplane, or whatever.
Then I get them to think of a time, in the future, when typically they would have done bulimia. I get them to rapidly and IMMEDIATELY step out of the thought and see themselves, way in the distance, about to engage in the behaviour. I get them to look at themselves in the far distance and simply change the picture (the thought) into what they want, to see themselves looking absolutely happy, totally radiant, and behaving exactly how they want to (I know it’s not ‘real’ but the building you live in wasn’t real before the architect thought of it – and the building would never have come into existence without an architect’s thought). The thought HAS to come first.
Then, when they see themselves looking radiant and behaving perfectly, I get them to zoom in on the image, enhancing it as they do so until it’s huge, sparkling and larger than life, until they are looking at it with a thought like, ‘Oh God, I wish it could be this easy’. Then I get them to step into thought and experience it from the inside as vividly as they can. Then I get them to let it go.
I know it’s not ‘real’ but the building you are in only exists because the architect made pictures of it in their head.
Imagination must come first.
Then I get them to think of another time in the future when typically they would have done bulimia and IMMEDIATELY distance the thought, change it to what they want and repeat the process of zooming in, stepping in etc.
I get them to come up with three of four future examples and work through them one at a time. To being with, it often feels very step by step, mechanical and awkward. Think about it though, changing gear was like this to start with.
Given that EVERYTHING you repeat automates – inevitably – once a person has done the exercise enough times their brain begins to make it easier and easier and faster and more automatic. And the brain automates to the new, imagined, pattern of thought. It’s much easier than you think.
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