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8 Steps to Mental and Emotional Release Using NLP


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Mental and emotional release using NLP was, at some point in my life, a saving grace. As an introvert, I spent years collecting emotional baggage. No one ever took me aside at 13 to teach me how to deal with grief, not in the sudden loss of my grandmother when my mom lost herself, nor in the loss of my other grandmother when my dad lost himself, nor the terminal illness of a cousin barely 30 years old, nor two friends who died of suicide caused by mental illness. Throw this in a blender with escaping by traveling around the world, succumbing to workaholism, lack of sleep, and an addiction to achievement in leadership, and there was a recipe for disaster.

I collapsed on the bottom of the bathroom floor, spending the 3 years battling physical and mental illness (CFS.) All because I failed in the mental and emotional release required for well-being and mental health. NLP techniques and starting an NLP training company saved me and brought me back to balance. This is a life-time ago, and I rarely talk about it these days. I identify as social entrepreneur and NLP trainer.

It wasn’t until later that I learned the 7 steps to Mental and Emotional Release from Dr. Deepak Chopra. I started to use these steps, combined them with NLP, and applied them to many students and clients with great success.

Mental and Emotional Release

Emotional Baggage

The more emotional baggage you carry, the harder it gets to travel your life’s journey to the fullest. To experience all pillars of well-being: positive emotions, engagement (flow), relationships, meaning (purpose), and achievement.

Releasing the trapped emotions inside the body is, in some ways, easier than you may think. But it requires commitment and courage to follow through. When you do it, it will transform your physical and mental health.

It requires you to listen. Not to your thoughts, but to the emotions inside your body.

Emotions Trapped in the Body

Emotions manifest inside the body, communicating into our immediate world by the experience of stress, anxiety, anger, and even physical pain.

The mental and emotional release of these trapped representations inside the body will improve not just your emotional landscape but also your mental health.

What Makes NLP Ideal for Mental and Emotional Release?

What is NLP

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) offers tools and techniques for understanding and directing human experience and behavior. NLP was created by studying successful people, from which a series of techniques and processes were developed based on the findings of these studies.

Part of NLP involves behaving, interacting and communicating with the external environment or other people. The other part of NLP concerns our internal behavior, what we do in our imagination, what happens inside the body, as well as the way we talk to ourselves.

Thinking and reflecting are not the best use of NLP in situations where mental and emotional release are needed.

8 Step Process for Mental and Emotional Release Using NLP

The inability to release mental and emotional baggage is about not knowing how to deal with pain. Pain in life is inevitable. This process is about learning how to deal with pain effectively in the end.

Note: I used a process originally taught by Deepak Chopra for Mental and Emotional Release and then redesigned the tool with NLP to facilitate the mental process as well.

1 Locate the Emotion

Start by finding a quiet and safe place without interruptions. Either lie down or sit still, and close your eyes.

Scan your body from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes on the outside first. Is there anything that comes into your awareness? A weight on your shoulders?

Observe your breathing, its depth, where you are breathing from, and the rate.

Go inside.

Scan your body on the inside, from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes, and locate where the emotion is trapped. If any thoughts come into your mind, accept and release them. There is no need for inner dialogue right now. You only need to locate the emotion in the body.

2 Observe the Experience of the Emotion

Once located inside the body, without judgment, consider if it has a shape, size, texture, weight, temperature. Is it dull? Sharp? Does it move? We call these the submodalities of the kinesthetic system in NLP.

3 Understanding What the Emotion Wants

Once located inside the body, without judgment, consider if it has a shape, size, texture, weight, temperature. Is it dull? Sharp? Does it move? We call these the submodalities of the kinesthetic system in NLP.

4 Expressing the Emotion

Express the emotion in any way you find suitable, and explore the positive need you must fulfill in some other way than keeping the emotion inside your body. Think of journaling, speaking out loud, making music, painting. I prefer to keep my clients away from talking to other people during this process. Though expressing the emotion eventually to others or even a therapist after the process can be helpful, during the process express it somewhere safely on your own.

5 Changing Your Response to Emotions - The Second Arrow

In Buddhism, the concept of two arrows is often discussed. NLP can help negate the second arrow. The first arrow is the moment in the past where the pain was created and inflicted. The second arrow is the pain you experience remembering it, thinking about it, assigning blame, feeling guilty. The reality is the event isn’t happening over and over; you are reliving the event. In this space, own that reliving the event is the second arrow. Take responsibility that the second arrow is of your own doing. It is not about shifting blame and guilt towards yourself. It is simply about acknowledging that this is something that triggers in your mind and remains trapped in your body. The reason why you hold on to the emotion is not just because it isn’t processed, but also because it is trying to meet a positive intent.

6 Releasing the Emotion by Using NLP Submodality Shifts

Think of the positive intent, and give it a color. And as you breathe in, turn the oxygen into that color and allow it to travel to the representation of the emotion. Notice if it is changing shape or getting smaller with each breath. Keep doing this until the emotion is released and transformed. If you have studied NLP, think of the “Mapping Across” technique, and allow that to inform you in this process.

7 Setting a Well-Formed Outcome

Think about the future—1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year in the future—and consider what emotion or positive outcome you wish to create in your life instead. Make sure it is stated in the positive, what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. And it is something you can do yourself, rather than make someone else do. And make sure it is something attainable in the timeframe you are setting. Consider what the first step will be.

8 Future Pace

Imagine being in the future having completed the well-formed outcome. And what you will see, hear, and feel as seen through your own eyes.

This process is more than just a set of NLP techniques for mental and emotional release; it’s a journey back to who you truly are, and towards who you are meant to be.

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