NLP (neuro linguistic programming)  teaches you to change your state of mind or mood easily using the technique of anchoring.

Anchoring is one of the most  powerful NLP techniques.  Anchors are stimuli which can induce specific emotions, thoughts or reactions.  Examples of an anchor might be a song that takes you back to a certain time or a perfume that reminds you of a former partner.  Anchoring is the technique used to set a specific anchor using sight, sound or smell (visual, auditory or kinaesthetic) to produce a resourceful state.

While certain anchors occur unconsciously, learning the NLP technique of anchoring will show you how to set anchors that can help you stay calm and relaxed whatever other people are doing or however provoking they may be.

Anchoring in NLP

by Cormac Moore

Do you have a favorite song, that if you suddenly hear it, changes your mood? Do you have a favourite smell or scent that brings you back to a certain time and place?

On the other side, if someone says something to you in a certain tone, does it drive you mad? If someone looks at you in a certain way, does it annoy or frustrate you?

We all have these responses built into us that we have developed over the years. Anchoring is the term used in Neuro Linguistic Programming to describe the process of deliberately installing a stimulus response pattern in someone.

AnchoringAnchoring forms a large part of NLP and anchors are used in almost all approaches to change work. Anchors are set by first eliciting the desired state of mind in your client – motivation, curiosity, relaxation etc etc. This is done by using probing questions to bring a client back to an experience where they powerfully felt curious/motivated.

Installing a successful anchor is about reconnecting the person back with that experience in as much detail as possible – what exactly did they see from their own eyes, what did they hear, how loud was it, how close and how did they feel.

By observing their body language you can see where the response is building and peaking. When the response hits a peak, the anchor is installed, simply with a touch on the shoulder, or with a sound/word.

The more unique the anchor, the easier it is to stimulate in the future.

The process of eliciting the desired state should be done several times, so that you can repeatedly install the anchor so that the client will link up automatically that a touch on the left shoulder is linked with feeling driven.

This anchor can then be used to get the person back into that state at a later time, with a touch on the same shoulder.

Anchors are used to build in resourceful states of mind – like motivation, determination, curiosity and creativity. The client can then be brought back through past situations and the anchor fire, so that they re imprint how they feel about the past, and can be used to get them imaging the future while in a state of passionate desire.

Anchors are used to help change personal history, get over traumas, and build more exciting futures.

They are not a magic wand – but are effective together with the other aspects of change patterns within the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming.


Cormac Moore BSc is an Internationally accredited Master Practitioner of NLP and a recognised Personal Change & Peak Performance Coach with the IINLP. Having been trained by some of the most powerful authorities on Personal Change, NLP and Hypnosis in the world, Cormac has developed a unique and highly refined set of skills to help people make profound shifts in their lives.

Article Source:

We hope that you found this article enlightening.  We try to source the best NLP articles to keep you up to date with the latest developments.    Just visit our NLP resources  page where we also have some great books, DVDs, MP3s that you can obtain with a click.  If you are thinking of becoming or looking for an NLP practitioner, visit the NLP Life Coach Directory

Please feel free to leave any comments you wish to share with others, questions you would like answered. If you know of or have written an NLP article you think we should add to the site, please let us know.