NLP pain relief part two – anchoring to relieve pain
In my last blog I explained how to reduce your perception of pain by recreating in your mind a comfortable experience. Here I’ll explain how to ‘anchor’ that experience.
In NLP an anchor is a stimulus that triggers a physical and emotional response. We’ve all experienced this involuntarily – an old song comes on the radio reminding us of a teenage boy/girlfriend; looking at old holiday photos brings back happy memories; a certain fragrance reminds us of someone special. In each instance the stimulus of the music, photos or the fragrance triggers related emotional and physical states. Anchors can empower us, motivate us and make us feel good; on the contrary they can also have a negative effect – the sight of a snake for example may cause a phobic response.
Deliberately creating anchors enables you to access positive states of mind, and the associated physical experience, at will – how cool is that? While deliberate anchors may be visual, auditory or kinaesthetic, most people find kinaesthetic anchors work best. They need to be tactile and easy to use whenever you need, e.g. pinching your earlobe, making a circle with your thumb and forefinger, rubbing thumb and fingertip together or tapping the inside of your wrist…. choose what works best for you, though it must be unique and used in no other circumstances. You may wish to use an auditory anchor instead or as well, for example repeating a word such as ‘relax’, ‘calm’, or ‘comfortable’.
Installing & using your anchor:
- Re-experience in your mind a comfortable/relaxing experience as explained in the previous blog.
- Intensify the experience – make it more vivid and real – at the height of the intensity fire your anchor (also repeat your anchor word if you wish) and keep doing so until the intensity of the emotional state begins to wane.
- Intensify the experience even more – fire your anchor again.
- Open your eyes and re-orient yourself to your surroundings.
- Now it’s time to test your anchor. Trigger your anchor (and/or repeat your anchor word) and notice what happens.
- Practice this daily for a week and then next time you need to feel more relaxed and comfortable – trigger your anchor – and notice the difference.
- Keep “charging up” your anchor, like you would a rechargeable battery, by practising your visualisation regularly – so that you can access this comfortable, relaxed state quickly and easily whenever you need to.
In addition, whenever you experience comfortable, relaxing experiences in life – use them as an opportunity to charge up your anchor.
While I’ve explained how to use anchoring in relation to pain, it has many applications, limited only by your imagination – you can anchor any emotional state you wish for any purpose! For example anchor confidence to help you with an interview; anchor mental calmness to help you overcome exam nerves or give a presentation/performance; anchor happiness to give you a lift when needed; creativity when starting a new project…and so on…and enjoy being in charge of your emotional and physical state 🙂
Have fun with this and please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions.