NLP Techniques for a Happier Life #1 Drain the Colour


I have been working with NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) for over 30 years, initially in the corporate world and subsequently on a person to person level. I have been fortunate enough to train at both Licensed and Master level with Richard Bandler, the creator of NLP. The skills and techniques that I learned have enabled me to enrich the lives of others. In this series I want to share with you some of the techniques that I have found effective. Of course, I have put my own twist on what I’ve learned, and every time I use a technique I tweak it depending upon the person I am working with and the circumstances.

I don’t consider myself an expert, but I know what I have found most powerful in helping people. And I know which techniques seem to ‘stay’ with people so they can use them for many years to come, and in many different circumstances.


This series of NLP techniques is in no particular order. Some will immediately make sense to you, while others will seem strange beyond belief. It depends very much on how your own thought processes work, as to which techniques both make sense and are effective. It also depends which thoughts or feelings you are trying to change.


I am sharing my experiences, because if just one technique improves the life of just one person, it is worthwhile.


Drain the Colour

We all visualise things in different ways. And we visualise different things in different ways. Think of something you enjoy and the image will be of a certain size, in a certain place and with a certain intensity of colour, sound & feeling. Think of something you dislike and the image will be of a different size, in a different place and with a different intensity of colour, sound & feeling.

One of the keys to leading a happy life is having the ability to manipulate and change these images in our heads to produce the required state of mind.


People who suffer from anxiety and panic are subconsciously ‘allowing’ the images in their heads to produce an undesirable effect. There are many NLP techniques that can reduce the impact of these images and I will cover them one by one in this series of article.



NLP techniques are no different to many other techniques in that you may not find them easy at first, and you may need to practice them.

The starting point is to imagine something ‘neutral’ i.e. something you have no particular feelings about. That could be something as simple as your front door or your car. Visualise it in your mind in all its glory, and see all the details and all the little scratches! Make this image as brightly coloured as you can, then make the image as large as you can. Because you are visualising something neutral this image will have no effect on your wellbeing! Then take the image back to its original size. And now is the very important part of this exercise: drain the colour out of the image so that it is completely black & white or sepia and cream. Soften the focus of the image too. Next make the image smaller.


OK, you have just learned 2 very important things:

You can consciously visualise things when you choose to.

You can consciously manipulate the images in your mind.


Next Steps

The next step is to apply this technique to things, people and situations that annoy or upset you. We are subconsciously visualising things the entire time and if any thought is upsetting you, you simply need to freeze it and drain the colour out of it. This is particularly effective with people!


So, the next time something is troubling you, be aware of the fact that you must be visualising it for it to be troubling you. Then drain the colour out of those images and realise how much less you are troubled by them.


Need Help?

I work from both my home in the North East of England and the Henley Clinic in Henley on Thames. I help people through use of NLP techniques and Hypnotic Therapy. I have a BSc Hons in Management Sciences and am a Master NLP & Hypnotic Practitioner. I am currently studying the Level 4 Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management, as I believe a healthy body and a healthy mind are inextricably linked.


Pamela Carvell, March 2019.


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