How to Use an Anchor for Relaxation?

Create an Anchor for Relaxation Using NLP

Because of the high level of stress in our society, most people find it difficult if not impossible to completely relax. Even when people are on holiday or taking time out with family and friends, their minds are constantly busy with thoughts about work, money, health and ‘what if’ scenarios. Research has shown that there is a strong relationship between stress and our health. Today we understand that stress not only affect our moods, but is one of the most prominent contributors of potentially dangerous disorders.

Today we have no option but to learn how to manage stress in our lives as much as possible. This will in turn enhance our lives and greatly improve our health.

I want to share with you a simple but powerful technique for achieving a relaxed state whenever you need to feel calm and composed.

Anchoring and triggers

An easy way to achieve the emotion (state) that you would like is through a simple technique known in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) as anchoring. The process of anchoring is a natural process that occurs in our everyday lives. Usually it’s an external stimulus, such as a sound, a smell, a taste or something we see that causes an emotional reaction.

Some examples could be: Hearing your favourite song or tune on the radio that evoke feelings of love, and memories of your first girlfriend. Maybe the smell of freshly baked bread causes you to feel happy as you relive the moments of helping your mother make bread in the kitchen. Seeing a photo may bring back memories of when the photo was taken.

Words can also act as very powerful anchors, especially when coupled together with visual and/or auditory suggestions. Advertisers are fully aware of the power of anchors and use it to convince us that we need such and such a product. When we are exposed to the stimuli repeatedly over a period of time we become anchored to that experience.

Let’s create an anchor for a state of relaxation

We are going to create a physical anchor by pressing your thumb and middle finger of your non-dominant hand together. This means if you are right-handed, you will use your left hand and if you are left-handed, you will use the right hand. Once you have created this anchor, you will be able to recall the relaxed state whenever you want, simply by pressing your thumb and middle finger together.

Here’s the procedure

When in your bed tonight, and while you are in a deeply relaxed and comfortable state, press your thumb and middle finger together for about 10 to 15 seconds, while you are doing this you could just say to yourself ‘relax’, you may say it out loud if you prefer. Repeat this process every night for at least a week, and you will have a powerful trigger that you can use whenever you want to feel relaxed.

How to Fire the ‘Anchor’ when needed

Whenever you find yourself in a stressful or less than optimal situation, press your thumb and middle finger together the same way as you did in bed, and repeat the anchor word ‘relax’ and you will experience an immediate shift into a relaxed state.

Mark Csabai

Mark Csabai is an NLP Life Coach in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He works with clients in and around the Free State to help them achieve more, manage stress, build self-worth, increase confidence, overcome fears and help maintain a better life-balance.