NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a name that encompasses the three most influential components involved in producing human experience: neurology, language and programming.
The neurological system regulates how our bodies function, language determines how we interface and communicate with other people and our programming determines the kinds of models of the world we create.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming describes the fundamental dynamics between mind (neuro) and language (linguistic) and how their interplay affects our body and behaviour (programming). Let’s look at the words in a little more detail:
Neuro refers to the brain and neural network that feeds into the brain. Neurons or nerve cells are the working units used by the nervous system to send, receive, and store signals that add up to information.
Linguistics refers to the verbal and non-verbal communication content that moves across and through these neural pathways.
Programming is the way the content or signal is manipulated by our brain to convert it into useful information. The brain may direct the signal, sequence it, change it based on our prior experience, or connect it to some other experience we have stored in our brain to convert it into thinking patterns and behaviors that are the essence of our experience of life.
Our experiences and feelings affect the way we react to external stimuli. For example, if you were afraid of snakes, the impulse you would get if you saw a snake or even hear a sound close to resembling that of a snake would be a feeling of total fright. Why?
Because at some stage in the past the experience of a snake would have caused a negative “state” in your neural network and this negative memory imprint would be recalled to filter your current experience of the snake.
In processing information from external stimuli, our brains use our experiences (good and bad), our biases, our opinions, our value systems, and beliefs to convert it into useful information that we can use that directs our behavioral responses