January 25, 2010

NLP - How To Anchor (A Useful State Of Mind)

Anchoring is the fancy name for it.

What is it you may ask?

It's a specific Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) technique that is useful for inducing a specific state of mind.

By linking an external stimuli to an internal response, we can bring about any desired useful state that we choose.

It is through conditioning (anchoring) that we can begin to create these strong associations and apply them in a useful way, into our every-day lives.

An example of an anchor may be that a certain smell or fragrance reminds you of a particular person. This is an anchor. It's a subconscious 'link' from your external experience... and internally represented by your familiar friend, to you.

Another example of an anchor in effect is when you listen to a certain song. That certain song may remind you of a certain person. This is because your unconscious mind and your conscious mind have made a 'link' between a certain stimulus (in this case a smell) and the response (your partner). 

Anchors can be formed both consciously and subconsciously (through both habit and repetition).

How To Create A (Useful) Anchor

Step 1. Defining Your (Useful) State Of Mind (in this example we'll use the emotion: happy)

Step 2. Visualization. Close your eyes, visualize and remember a time when an event that made you 'happy' and really re-experience it. Vividly in your mind. Play, repeat, play, repeat it over and over in your head. The feelings will begin to come back to you as if it's happening all over again.

Step 3. As you are visualizing. You want to anchor in this useful state by performing a very specific action. This might be by 'touching your index and middle fingers together with slight pressure' or even 'clicking your fingers'. 

It doesn't matter how or where you choose to anchor. As long as the action is very specific and memorable to you.

Step 4. Repeats steps 1-3. The more times you do it. The more you strengthen your anchor. You can set up multiple anchors on your body as long as the actions are uniquely different. You can also use all of your 5 senses when anchoring.. The more senses that are involved in the process, the more stronger your anchor will be.


That's the basics of a visual-kinesthetic anchoring technique. For more information on NLP techniques:

The Big Book Of NLP Techniques: 200+ Patterns & Strategies of Neuro Linguistic Programming