The representational systems in NLP are simply enough the five senses.
We represent the world using the
visual (images),
auditory (sounds),
kinesthetic (touch and internal feelings),
gustatory (tastes)
and olfactory (smells) senses.

We picture ourselves lying on a sunny beach,
hear the voice of the lifeguard yelling,
feel the sensation only sand in your bathing suit can produce,
taste the soggy egg salad sandwiches we brought for lunch
and smell the aroma of the surf wafting into our nostrils.

Our thinking consists of these images, sounds, feelings
and usually to a lesser extent, tastes and smells.

The entirety of our experiences have been recreated
through these senses in our memories and
govern our capabilities and beliefs.

Curiously enough, our predominant representational system in a given context often shows up in our language, for example: Responding to the statement:

"I think the Jensen project is going well."

Visual: Yep, looks good to me.
Auditory: I been hearing good things about it.
Kinesthetic: I feel good about the whole project.
Olfactory: Smells like a winner to me.
Gustatory: I can taste the victory.

It's no wonder smells and tastes are less commonly used considering how hard they are to work into conversation.

The qualities or attributes of the representations you make using your five senses are submodalities.

For example,
make a picture of
someone you love
in your mind.

Now, make the colors more intense and notice how it affects your response to it.

Now make it black and white and notice your response.

Return it to its original shades and hue and bring the image closer.

Now move it farther out.

Return the picture to its original state,
noticing how each of those experiments affected your response.

Submodalities are the fine tuning to your representations
and can be used to create powerful changes.

The interesting thing to note here is that once you understand that
you create your internal world,
you realize
you can change it.

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