NLP Swish Pattern Exercise Demonstration for Hypnosis and Life Coaching

by Richard Nongard

What is an NLP Swish Pattern?

People often “see” (think) uncomfortable or distressing mental pictures, which may increase stress and anxiety levels, and PTSD sufferers can actually become paralyzed (emotionally and physically) by the images in their head.

A “swish pattern” is a special yet very simple and effective technique for helping clients to instantly replace a negative visual image with a positive image, with the goal to reduce anxiety and create emotional stability, or to seek and maintain calmness and manage stress during times of confusion.

How Does a Swish Pattern Work?

The Swish Pattern is a short 5-part exercise, that works along the lines of the basic “when you're depressed, draw a happy picture – and take it out and look at it when you're feeling down” concept from therapy.

The following is a brief explanation of the demonstration exercise:

  1. Think of an event or pattern of behavior that you associate with being negative, distressing, uncomfortable or unhappy.
  2. Close your eyes, and imagine an image or picture that is Opposite of the distressing concept, in as much detail as possible. Black and white to color, harsh to soft, violent to calm, ugly to pretty, etc.
  3. Open your eyes. Now think: What triggers the negative images? Is it an emotion, a place, a sound?
  4. Close your eyes again, and point (physically and in your mind) to the lower left hand corner of your mental vision range. Your old negative, distressing image is currently filling the screen, while the new positive image is hiding under your finger in the lower left hand corner, the size of a postage stamp.

    Now, take your finger and swoosh-slide it up, over and across. As you do, the new positive image grows and expands and ultimately covers and replaces the old negative image completely.
  5. Open your eyes, but continue thinking for a few seconds about the new positive image, and let the change to calming peace overtake you.

In the future, if you begin to feel uncomfortable or distressed, simply close your eyes and use your finger to swish your happy, stress-free image over the negative image, effectively wiping it out of existence, bringing calm, peaceful feelings to the forefront of your mind.

Where Can I Find More Information on NLP Swish Patterns?

For a more thorough education on swish patterns and other NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) techniques useful for positively impacting life coaching, hypnotherapy and counseling clients, check out the Complete NLP Practitioner and Life Coach Certification Training Program at, or call (918) 236-6116.

For a video demonstration of the exercise, check out : "swish pattern” on the FREE VIDEOS link at