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Feeling how you want to Feel

Anchoring or making associations


Feel how you want to feel – instantly

Would you like to be able to decide how you feel or to put it another way – what state you are in almost regardless of the circumstance.  Would you like to be able to stop being controlled by your situation, be able to break that cause/effect cycle?



What is an anchor? Why is it so useful?

An anchor is simply a relationship between something you perceive through one of your senses and the response it gives you.

When I was young my Dad took my brother and I to Railway Steam engine centre at Carnforth.  This was nearly 50 yrears ago but I remember it like yesterday.  It was a magical day and everything was perfect.  We met an amazing man called Dick Warmsley who helped run the centre.   He showed us round personally taking us on lots of the engines and giving us gifts from the shop.  He gave me an original lantern from one of the trains which I still keep in the shed.  He explained how the engines worked and even showed us how to drive the train.

Well almost 50 years later if I see or hear a steam engine, smell that wonderful aromar or just pick up my lantern I am transported back to that wonderful day at Carnforth,  I smile and feel warm inside, I feel really special.


Anchors can be associated with any of your sense and once you know how, allow you to control how you feel.

Tonal: For example, the special way a certain person has of saying your name. My wife can say my name in any one of about 10 ways and with no other words, I know exactly what she means.

Or it can a particular sound such as a brass band or a particular birds call.

Tactile: The sensation of a reassuring hug can rekindle wonderful feelings.

Or a particular texture or material.

Visual: A colour or scene,  a picture or image.

Olfactory: Smelling certain foods being cooked can suddenly make you remember the school cafeteria, for example.

Gustatory: Certain foods will take us back to past events or even a favourite drink.



This simple but powerful NLP technique enables you to have access to the states and resources you want, when you want them.

To make the most of anchoring with NLP, it is important to really engage in the experience – make it wonderfully vivid in your mind – and put effort into recalling it the first few times you activate your NLP anchor.

The use of your thumb and forefinger in an example of a tactile anchor, but you can use any representation to anchor something for you or someone else.
To get a ‘strong’ anchor or an experience, it is important to remember the following:

a. Ensure you have a powerful example of the experience to work with.

b. Anchor in as many representational systems as possible: Use sounds, images, feelings, and sensations as much as you can.

c. Set the anchor just before the experience peaks.

d. When you activate the anchor, do it accurately. Be as precise as you can!

e. With tactile (using feelings and sensations) anchors, pulsing the anchor can help maintain or enhance the experience.


Now Set Your Anchor…

Step One: Lets say you wan to feel peaceful.  Think of an occasion when you felt really peaceful.  See what you saw then (looking through your own eyes), hear what you heard and feel what you felt. You may even remember a certain taste or smell.  As you feel the sensations increase in intensity, squeeze the thumb and forefinger and hold that connection until the intensity starts to fall, as soon as it does, release the anchor.  It is important to release the anchor as soon as the intensity starts to fall.

You can repeat this process a number of times until you feel you have a strong connection to this feeling.   Simply think of another time you felt peaceful and repeat the process.

Step Two: Once you have a strong feeling, ‘break your state’ (for example, remember what shoe you put on first today).

Step Three: Now squeeze your thumb and forefinger together again and you will find that the state you were anchoring to this movement will return.


The key elements – ITURN


The more intense the feeling the more effective the anchor.


Naturally occurring feeling usually produce the strongest feelings to anchor.  If you find yourself feeling really happy or confident or any feeling you may want later – anchor it.


Then remembered events which is what you were utilizing earlier if you tried the exercise.


However if you can’t remember a time you felt the way you want to you you can still create an anchor.

Lets say you want to feel confident,  Think of some who you know that is confident,  and remember how they walk, talk, act.  Try being in there shoes, walk as they do, talk as they do.  How would you stand or sit if you were confident, how would you breath, how would it really feel to be as confident as you would like to be?  Once you have built this image for yourself anchor it in the same way.


Make sure your fire your anchor as the feeling becomes more intense and release it the moment the feeling starts to diminish.


Pick a specific place to anchor the feeling that you don’t normally touch.  So a knuckle or particular finger can be ideal.


Each time you fire the anchor make sure you follow whatever you did when you set the anchor.  This is why knuckles are good because it is easy to press the same spot each time.


Practice your anchor and if you need to, top it it using the same process.


Now you know the secret you will be amazed how many anchors you have in your life.  As you watch people in the media and politicians in particular see how times you can spot them firing an anchor.

This just a taste of anchoring, it has many more applications and uses.

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