Anchoring Positive States of Mind
During the experiments with Pavlov's dogs, it was found that the physiological
response of salivation during the anticipation of food could be anchored by an
external stimulus like the sound of a bell. An associative neurological circuit was
consequently established in the dog's brain that later allowed just the sound of a bell
and no presentation of food to elicit the salivation response.
Throughout your life, haphazard anchors get neurologically created whenever
your mind and body are strongly involved together and a specific stimulus is
repeatedly provided at the peak of a certain state. Afterwards, whenever the stimulus
that acts as an anchor is provided, your response is to experience the state once again.
An anchor can be an external or internal stimulus that triggers a physiological or
psychological response. Just as a single spoken word given as a post-hypnotic
suggestion can elicit the state of hypnosis, a single word, visualization or motor
movement can also be used to bring about any other state you are seeking to elicit.
How long a neurological link lasts varies, but the more individualistically unique the
anchor is, the better its chances of lasting longer. How long a state lasts also varies,
but a desired state can be initiated and consciously reinforced through a specific
To effectively produce anchors as preferred behavior, the timing is crucial. The
application of the stimulus must be at the peak of the intense experience. When you
provide a unique stimulus as an anchor, repeat it exactly the same way a few times to
effectively establish the neural pathway. If the unique stimulus is a touch, it must be
in the same place and with the same pressure. If it is a word, it should be said with
the same tone of voice and amplitude. The more exact the replication of the stimulus,
the more effective the anchor.
As an exercise to anchor the state of bold, powerful self-confidence, close your
eyes and remember a time when you were powerfully confident in yourself, when
you were assertive and in complete control of a situation, when you knew exactly
how and what you were doing and when you were highly motivated to do something.
Now step into that experience, and feel the enthusiasm and energy you had while in
that state. If you have trouble remembering such a time, think how intense it would
feel if you did have such an experience. Now holding onto that thought, open your
eyes and stand up. Put your body into the postural stance best suited for this totally
confident feeling you're experiencing. Now at the peak of this confident state,
squeeze the knuckle of the middle finger of your right hand with your thumb, make a
unique fist, and say in a confident tone of voice, "Right," aloud. Now begin
breathing in the way you did when you were feeling totally confident. Squeeze your
right fist again in the same unique way, with the same pressure as you did before and
say, "Right," again in the same way as you did before. Now speak in the tone of
voice that reflects confidence and say, "I am taking emotional charge of my life."
Exactly while doing this, make the unique fist in the same way, and pressure as
before and say, "Right," in the same tone of voice as you did before. Now think of a
color that confidence reminds you of, and slowly take a deep breath of that color and
make the same fist and say, "Right," as you did before.
Now feel the power at your disposal. Don't you feel terrific? Now go through
the same anchoring process 2 more times for the best effect.
Repeat this anchoring process for confidence periodically throughout the next
week, especially just before an important decision or memorable experience, and
notice the difference in your performance and recollection of the episode later.
Remember too to fire off your confidence anchor prior to, and during any particularly
successful episode in your life to reinforce the effect and more easily remember the
Many people reinforce and practice their negative emotional states more than they
do their positive ones. Since you now know the procedure for anchoring, you can
anchor any positive states you wish, and instantly have them at your fingertips
(health, creativity, humor, decisiveness, appetite satiation after a satisfying meal,
alertness, generosity, positive expectancy, security, prosperity, exhilaration, etc.).
You can anchor each one individually by squeezing the individual knuckles of your
hands a certain way for each state. If the behavioral patterns you've been using thus
far aren't working to your betterment, you can always change them. Remember, if
you do what you've always done in the past, you'll continue to get what you've
always gotten as a result. You don't have to be a helpless pawn in life if you don't
want to be.