NLP Anchoring

Changing States with NLP Anchors


You can change your state of mind or mood easily by using the NLP Anchoring technique. How can Anchoring help you? When you wake up feeling negative you can use an anchor to feel, for example, motivation, relaxed or excited.

An anchor allows you to access any anchored state automatically. A famous psychological experiment named Pavlovs Dog highlighted the power of anchoring; Pavlov sounded a bell every time he went to feed his dog, as the dog saw the food and heard the bell his mouth would salivate, as it would with the sight of a tasty treat. He did many times, feeding the dog while simultaneously ringing the bell. After a while Pavlov rang the bell when he had no food and the dog’s mouth still salivated.


We all have anchors instilled into us, when driving a car and we see flashing lights behind us we automatically pull over, or when a certain song comes on the radio we remember a past event such as a wedding. Anything can be an anchor from a person to a sound, from a touch to a smell, as an example someone could be in a foul mood and as sound as a certain person walks into the room, or you hear a certain song or even smell or taste a particular fragrance you can automatically feel better.


Use anchors to get over stress and anxiety


At times we all get stressed or anxious the secret here is to know when you’re feeling negative and use an installed anchor to change your state instantly. For this exercise we will use a psychical anchor – squeezing your thumb and finger together



  1. Decide on the state you want to anchor, this can be anything positive from feeling calm and relaxed to feeling excited and motivated.
  2. Recall a memory where you can experience the state, ideally this should be a strong member or if not just imagine that you are feeling this state now. When recalling the memory in your minds eye, imagine that you are there now, see the world from the eyes of the you in this particular experience (in other words you are not watching yourself being X state) hear what you can hear, see what you can see and access the feelings you felt.
  3. As you relive this experience you will start to feel the emotion you want to anchor, let the emotion build up and once it is at its most  strongest squeeze your thumb and finger together (this will be your anchor)
  4. Distract yourself by thinking about what you had for dinner yesterday or just count down from ten to one.
  5. Repeat the above steps several more times, each time making the memory more vivid by making the sounds louder and the colours brighter, the more you replay this memory the more stronger the associated feelings and emotions will be. Remember when the desired state feels at its maximum squeeze your anchor (your thumb and finger together)
  6. Break state again by thinking about the last piece of clothing you brought or by counting back from ten to one. Now, squeeze your thumb and finger together, what emotion do you feel? If the anchor is set you will feel your chosen emotion if not repeat the above exercise 5 more times.
  7. Once your anchor is set, check it over the next few days by squeezing your thumb and finger together. Then next time you feel negative, fire your anchor by squeezing your thumb and finger together, allowing you to quickly access your newly anchored and positive state.

If you need help anchoring positive states book an NLP Life Coaching Session. If you enjoyed this exercise and want to learn more about coaching yourself you will want to find out more about Employment Kings Coach Yourself Course, by clicking this link:

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