Have you ever struggled with your emotions? Have you ever tried to change your mood because you knew a better state of mind would better suit whatever it was you were doing?
Years ago I learned a really important lesson: “The more you FEEL GOOD, the more happy and easy your life will be”. I know this sounds absurdly obvious but this statement is actually had and continues to have a very profound impact on my life and it can do the same for you.
If you feel good more often, you likely have an increase in overall happiness. This is common sense. Did you know that “feeling good” as oppose to “Not Bad” or just plain old “BAD”, significantly increases the chance that you will make better decisions?
If you think about this for a moment, it makes sense. Bad feelings tend to corrupt people’s ability to make good decisions. Good feelings tend to increase people’s ability to make good decisions! So why is this important?
Every decision you make from what clothes to wear, to how well you brush your teeth to the things you say to people carry with them short term and / or long term consequences. These consequences will either make your life easier and happier or they will make your life a harder and less enjoyable. Some consequences will show up very quickly and other will show up over time.
The bottom line is, your life, as it is now, like it or not, has been greatly constructed on the back of the good decisions and bad decisions you’ve made to this point.
Anchoring Can Help You Build a Happier Life Now, and for the Future
So what is an Anchor anyway? An anchor can be described as conditioned stimuli that can help you “FEEL the way you want to FEEL, when you want to FEEL it”.
It helps to think of an Anchor as physical button that you can push, that will instantly change the way you feel. Imagine what you could do, if you could create several buttons that are plugged into your neurology that command you to “FEEL the way you want to FEEL, when you want to FEEL it” when the button is pushed.
In NLP, we use Anchors for many different reasons however one of my favourite ways to use them is to improve my mood – my mental and physical state so that I am more likely to naturally and easily make better decisions. I personally use Anchors in this way because I also enjoy feeling good as oppose to feeling bad.
How can you start using anchors to build a better life?
Do you remember Pavlov’s dogs from Psychology 101? If you don’t that’s ok because it’s a simple process.
Pavlov would put food in front of his dogs, the dogs would salivate, and then Pavlov would ring a bell. Now Pavlov didn’t do this just once or twice, he did it over and over again. Eventually, he could get the dogs to salivate simply by ringing the bell, with no food present.
Once the dogs learned to intimately associate the sound of a bell with their natural ability to salivate, Pavlov could get these dogs to reliably and predictably salivate, on command, with just a bell… zero food.
Anchoring is almost the same thing but for humans. If you do it right, you can anchor yourself, using a sound, a smell, a visual or a physical sensation to program yourself to salivate or to feel something very useful and powerful that will change your life forever.
Now with humans, I find that the best way to anchor is to use more than one modality. For example, I like to anchor myself using a sound and physical sensation.
I usually pinch or press down firmly somewhere specific on my body for one second as I repeat a word or a phrase to myself in a very specific way. This way I have a feeling and a sound to help create a powerful anchor.
Now the trick is picking the right emotion or feeling to anchor. I often go with powerful and confident but you can pick anything you like. For me, powerful and confident really helps with a wide variety of situations like public speaking.
So this is what you do… 10 Simple Steps…
1. Find a quite place where you will not be disturbed and you will not disturb others.
2. Decide on a feeling or emotional state that you think would really benefit you if you could turn it on and feel it in every pore of your body, on demand.
3. Decide on how you will anchor yourself. If you use my strategy, you will require a “Power Word” and a location on your body that you will firmly press on for one second. TIP – It is critically important that when you anchor yourself that you use the exact physical location on your body and the exact word with the exact volume and intonation every time you anchor yourself. When it comes time to fire off the anchor, you will want to reproduce the exact physical sensation, in the exact location with the exact sound that you used when you created the anchor.
4. Get yourself into the physical and emotional state that you want to anchor. TIP – I like to use music, my imagination, pictures, body movements, I do whatever it takes to reproduce the emotion that I want to anchor. Sometimes I will jump around like a buffoon screaming I am the ruler of the world, just to get my juices going. My point is, use your body, use your surroundings, and use anything and everything to help you re-create the state you want to anchor.
5. Once you are feeling the feeling you want to feel and you are just about to reach the climax of this state, anchor yourself using the method that you have chosen. TIP – You want to make certain that you anchor yourself just before you reach the apex of the emotion (as the emotions is still increasing in intensity in your body) you want to avoid creating an anchor as the feeling is losing intensity. It is really important that you create the anchor as the intensity is still increasing!
6. Once you’ve anchored the emotion, shake it off… return yourself to a neutral state
7. Repeat the anchoring process 10 times or until you can fire off that anchor and your body begins to instantly respond by calling up the emotion that you anchored
8. Fire off the anchor to test to see if it works. If you begin to feel the feeling you were going for when you fire off the anchor, you’ve succeeded. TIP You may not feel the feeling with the exact same intensity, that’s ok as long as the feeling is strong enough to counteract a bad mood or negative experience
9. Use the anchor in everyday life to help improve your moods and help you make better decisions.
10. Every now and again, go and re-anchor the feeling just keep it working nice and strong.
Anchoring takes practice, the more you do it, more you will be able to create powerful anchors that you can use for a variety of reasons. Believe me when I tell you the possibilities are endless.
When I first started, my anchors where week, they barely did the job. I would have to go back and re-anchor the feelings very often. After a couple months of practicing building anchors, I found it easier to do and my anchors became very powerful. I now have anchors that I build years ago that work just as good as they day I made them.
Encourage yourself to learn the process and keep at it because once you get really good at anchoring yourself, you can make doors swing wide open for you by using just a little bit of creativity. You can also feel good more often and begin transforming your life into the masterpiece that it deserves to be.
If you are interested in some advanced training on anchors and other NLP techniques, be sure to check out the (new and improved) Super Mind Academy below.
Be well, InJoy,
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