Anchoring is one of the most well know techniques in NLP. Anchoring enables your to change your state or mind easily when you want to.

So why would you want to learn about Anchoring?

Ever had a morning when you didn’t get out of bed the right side? And your day just goes from bad to worse as you stub your toe, spill your coffee/tea on yourself, the traffic to work was bad, you have an argument at work with a colleague … and so the day goes on? How would it be if you had something that could change your state in a moment? How would you like to be in control of your emotional state … and if you want to change your state you could? Ever made a good decision when you were angry? (I can’t). You see the thing is that if you can be in control of your state, then you can be in control of your behaviour … and that ladies and gents is a great place to be!

A lady I know completed her NLP Practitioner course and decided to put anchoring straight into use. She had a grandson who played football, but he used to get really nervous about scoring a goal when he was on the pitch. He needed a bit of confidence. So in order to provide this on the pitch whenever he wanted, his Nana provided him with a confidence anchor – cool eh?! she discreetly used his ear lobe as the anchor (a physical trigger), so that if ever he wanted to feel confidence all he had to do was gently squeeze his left ear lobe. You want to have seen what a difference that made to the lad!

The NLP technique Anchoring is used by people from all walks of life; from sports personalities, to coaches, parents ….. and more. Anchoring is one of the many techniques we teach on our NLP Practitioner course and has proved to be extremely useful for huge numbers of people over many years.

Anchoring has been around for many years. Back in the 1890’s Pavlov was undertaking experiments into dog’s digestive systems, when he discovered that he could use a Bell (an auditory anchor) to make the dogs salivate (click here for an overview of what he did). This was one of the earliest stimulus response experiments undertaken and helped psychologists start to understand more about the brain.

How do you Anchor?

It’s all about states and timing and we teach delegates how to do this on our courses. You can have naturally occurring states (such as laughing at a joke), recalled states (which is anything that has happened in the past) or constructed states (this is where you try to create a state, but this isn’t as effective for anchoring; so we don’t use this on our courses). We only anchor positive emotional states. On our courses we use recalled states that our students do well and we teach our students how to anchor these and everyone walks away with a wonderful resource anchor they can use whenever they wish. However at this point you may not have been onto one of our courses, so I want to give you some nuggets you can use now, by utilising naturally occurring states.

So how could Anchoring be useful to you as a parent?  I know of someone that used anchoring perfectly with his daughter – interested to know more?


Now, as many parent’s will appreciate a child sometimes cries when there isn’t really anything wrong with them. I must point out that I am not advocating ignoring a child’s needs, but you know the time when they have a little cry for no real reason, perhaps just to get attention or to get their own way. Well, first an anchor needs to be set up and what happened in this example, is that every time the little girl laughed he touched the child’s nose (the same part each time, the tip of her nose). This meant that over a period of time there were many different naturally occurring states of laughter, happiness, etc that had been stacked up on the end of her nose (by stacking, I mean to add lots of different examples to the same spot). What then happened is that if the child started to cry, the parent’s mission was to touch the child’s nose and the child would start to smile, giggle and it stopped her crying (so much so that as she grew up, she used to cover her nose so he couldn’t get at it!). A lovely true story.

Now I know many of you reading this blog have not yet been trained by us in how to anchor; so if you wanted to try this with your child, it might not be completely accurate at this stage -but I’m pretty sure you could get some results if you give it a go. If of course you want to learn this great technique properly, be sure to book yourself onto one of our NLP Practitioner courses.

Want to learn more about NLP?

We run NLP Courses in Cardiff and will shortly be starting to run these in the delightful city of Bath. We pride ourselves on the quality of our courses and unlike many NLP training providers we spend a high amount of time on our courses practicing the techniques, so that when you leave us you are confident to use them and put them straight into practice. In order to free up time on the courses for this, we provide all our students with an audio programme full of the “why and what” of all the areas we cover, so that delegates can listen to this at their leisure before they arrive on the course and this means that your learning begins straight away! Many of our students say how beneficial the audio program is in terms of preparation and how useful it is to have it to refer to again at any point during the course or as a refresher after they have become certified NLP Practitioners.

We’d be delighted to see you on one of our courses …. to find out more drop us an email to [email protected] or call us on 02920 023311