Exercise Accessing and Anchoring a State

The cognitive and physical distinctions and cues identified by NLP may be used to systematically access and mobilize different parts of our nervous system. The following exercises illustrate some ways to use the basic NLP tools in order to help you better select and manage your own internal state.

Anchoring is one of the simplest and most powerful tools for selecting and accessing internal states. Anchoring involves establishing cues or triggers for a specific desired state. As an example, the following steps can be used to establish two important and useful types of'anchors':

1. Select a specific physical location on the ground in front of you to be a 'spatial' anchor for the state you would like to create access to, now or in the future (being 'open to believe', for example).

2. Remember a specific time when you experienced the state you want to achieve. Recover the state fully. See through your own eyes, hear through your own ears, and feel the sensations, breathing patterns etc.

3. Make an inventory of the physical cues, submodalities (qualities of imagery, sound and feeling), and emotional sensations associated with the state.

4. Select a specific color, symbol or some other visual cue, some sound and/or word, or some other specific internal cue to remind you of (i.e., be an 'internal' anchor) the state.

5. Step away from the location and shake off the state. Then test your anchors by stepping back into the selected spatial location and using your internal cue to re-access the state.

6. Repeat steps 1 to 4 until you can achieve easy, clean access to the state.

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