NLP Training: Anchoring

Okay! Let’s get started on a simple lesson on anchoring.

Anchoring basically refers to the process by which we get conditioned to certain behaviors, and there are several kinds of anchors. Any external stimulus could be an anchor, and the key characteristic about an anchor is that when you re-present the anchor, it triggers of the emotional state that was associated with it.

espejoCreative Commons License photo credit: A6U571N

The key to anchoring is emotional intensity. Well, think of a moment when you were very excited. Using this emotion, it’s likely you can think of a situation that had that state of excitement. In your mind, you’ve successfully made a link between the state and the event. Now the question is, does it work the other way around? Think of that situation, and realize that it reconnects you with emotions of excitement.

These are basically conditioned responses. However, you can enhance its effects quite easily. All you need to do is to choose something that you’d like to use (something you can see, hear or touch) that you wish to link to the emotional state you desire.  If it is something you see, it’s known as a visual anchor and could be a photograph or even an object. If it’s something you hear, it could be a sound, a phrase you say to yourself in your head or even a piece of music. If it’s something you touch or can feel, then it could be  a unique feeling of touch that you apply to your arm, or grasping an object.  So…

Step 1: Recall with deep intensity your emotional state.

Step 2: Apply the anchor.

Step 3: Clear your mind.

Step 4: Test the anchor.

You’ve successfully created an anchor!

How did this happen in the first place? Well, simply because you were looking, hearing or feeling your anchor at the peak of  an intense emotional state. It’s a simple triggered response and all you need to do is to re-introduce the trigger to get back the emotion.


If you need to be charged up, there are certain processes that will allow you to access states of motivation and drive. You could apply this is almost any area in your life.

Generally, I’d advise that anchors are created in order to be more resourceful generally. It’s impossible to create a positive anchor when there is an adverse problem. Instead, preempt this problem and develop resources within yourself so that when such a problem does occur, that you have the inner emotional resources to pull you through