Student Review: Learning About Anchors

February 28th

In our class at the Northwest Hypnosis Institute, we’ve learned that anchors are physical or mental triggers that link behaviors to feelings. These anchors can be anything from a song, to a smell, or even a person.

People naturally use anchors or triggers everyday in life and don’t even realize it. It’s that song that reminds you of that someone special, or the smell of a certain cologne that reminds you of when your dad sat you on his lap and read to you. Triggers can also be associated with negative experiences. Such as the anxiety you feel when you pass through the intersection where you were in an accident.

Learning what triggers an anchor and the feeling associated with it is only part of what we learned in class. We learned that through hypnosis we can take a client back as far as childhood if need be and discover what is causing anxiety to a certain activity or situation and create a new anchor and trigger a more positive feeling association.

To illustrate this, Bruce had us split into groups of two to create anchors in the present for us to be able to call upon in the future. For one person in the class she anchored feeling happy to smiling, so when she feels down she can smile and the feeling of being happy will be triggered. I have anxiety when having to ride an elevator, so I anchored feeling calm to the turning of a ring I always wear. That may sound a little odd, but I learned that I have already unknowingly anchored a feeling of comfort with that ring, so we just added calm to it with the activity of turning it around my finger.

In addition to anchors that can be created or changed to elicit positive feelings, such as calmness or confidence, we learned that there is what’s called addictive anchors. These are things such as food, cigarettes, and alcohol. Things we associate with being comforting, calming or being a good time. This association is what advertisers rely on exploiting on a sub-conscious level to get us to buy their products. These are also the anchors that we as hypnosis students are learning about and how to change or even remove to aid in weight loss or the stopping of smoking or other addictive behaviors. Sometimes manipulating these triggers so they will be permanent may take more than one session.

Another way to re-enforce anchors is through ritual. Athletes and actors are commonly known to have rituals to help them focus for the game or production they are preparing for. These rituals can be as simple as the athlete making sure he puts his left shoe on first to the actress who makes herself a cup of tea to drink while going over her lines before getting into costume. Whatever the ritual, it anchors back to feeling focused and prepared.

Learning about anchors and triggers is valuable information. Being able to practice it in a classroom setting with our fellow students and hearing their ideas and feedback is what gives us the confidence and experience to build on.

If you are interested in learning more about anchors, hypnosis & NLP, please visit our Hypnotherapy Class page.

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