Anchors (Anchoring) | what are?

Anchoring is an Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique that works on the premise that certain memories and emotional states are triggered as a result of specific stimuli that are present within the internal or external environment. In other words, anchors are in some ways captured feelings, emotions, and memories of events, places and things. These feelings, emotions and memories might lie dormant for long periods at a time, however at one point or another they could come to the surface in response to very specific stimuli present within the internal or external environment.

The brain establishes emotional anchors when a stimulus is consistent, unique and simultaneous. This stimulus can be anything from people, objects, events, the weather, and literally anything that comes through sensory experience.

The brain of course doesn’t anchor everything. It chooses what things to anchor in relation to the level of importance you give to those things. And your brain determines what’s important by the amount of emotion you associate to certain things. Therefore, when you have a very strong emotional experience, the brain will try to make sense of this experience by associating this emotion with specific things within your environment. In other words, it looks for patterns and cause-effect relationships. As such, your brain associates certain things within your environment as the “cause” of your emotional feelings, which are often tied to the pain-pleasure response.

Once the emotion has been linked to a specific trigger, you no longer need to make an effort to experience this emotion because the trigger is directly interpreted by your nervous system — thereby bypassing conscious thought. For instance, you may receive a touch on the shoulder, and this automatically puts you in a very different state-of-mind that’s based on how you have been conditioned in the past.

Anchoring occurs at an unconscious level throughout your life, however it’s also something you can do consciously and with purpose to help you establish more productive and helpful habits that support the goals and objectives you would like to achieve. You can for instance purposefully create an anchor that will help trigger productive and learning states, or you can create anchors to help you overcome your fears, insecurities, and other unhelpful emotions.

Three types of anchoring techniques are mentioned within the MasterMind Matrix. These include Resource Anchoring, Anchor Chaining and Collapsing Anchors. Let’s explore each of them briefly below.

  • Resource Anchoring: This is a method you use to anchor powerful emotions or states to various parts of your body such as your fingers. For instance you can anchor motivation, creativity, energy or confidence to any of your fingers. Once anchored, your fingers will work like switches that automatically allow you to experience empowering states when you need them most.
  • Anchor Chaining: This is a technique you can use to get you into a positive state-of-mind. This works in a similar way to Resource Anchoring however it involves a series of progressive steps (states) that you move through to obtain your desired state. See: Chaining Anchors
  • Collapsing Anchors: This is a technique you can use to eliminate negative feelings or emotions and replacing them with more resourceful states. The technique involves firing off two opposing anchors at the same time. As long as the resourceful anchor is stronger than the unresourceful anchor, then you will effectively short-circuit the unresourceful anchor, leaving you with only positive feelings. See: Collapsing Anchors

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