Over 40 years ago, the founders of NLP discovered that all of our experience of “reality” is dictated by the pictures, sounds and feelings that run like movies in our mind. Not so much what they are, but how they're stored.
If you take a distressing thought (for example standing on the edge of a cliff representing a fear of heights), just thinking of that thought can cause fear. But it's not the thought itself that generates the fear, it's how it is stored that triggers that feeling.
For instance, take the image of something that scares you in your mind and push it far away from you, so it becomes small. Drain some of the light and color from it. Put a frame around it so it looks like a Polaroid. This will dramatically change the feeling.
Notice the important point that we didn't change the “content” of the thought at all – it's still you standing on the edge of a cliff. We only changed the qualities of how the thought is experienced, the “structure” of the thought.
This is the simplest of what NLP calls submodality techniques.
There are dozens of submodality techniques, including:
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