How You Think! Anchoring & Anxiety in Practice.

When you think of a loved one, a wonderful holiday, your favourite place or thing to do, you start to feel uplifted and happier even without consciously trying. That’s because those places/people or things have been automatically pre-programmed in you to trigger that response. That’s the power of your unconscious mind. It’s trying to be helpful, and much of the time it is.

In NLP terms you may recall that we term this ‘anchoring’. That is when a trigger (i.e. something specific that you see, hear, smell, touch or taste) evokes an emotional state change or ‘knee jerk’ response in us, as a result of that state having been previously associated with a similar trigger.

The brain does this to help us generalise usefully so we can react quickly to a stimulus even if we haven’t experienced that exact stimulus/situation before… but because this process is often done automatically and unconsciously, some of our pre-programmed anchors are not helpful to us. These can of course be removed or replaced when you know how. You’ve already learnt how to set a resourceful state trigger and now that you know the fundamental process you can use the steps involved to set other anchors that you may find beneficial. Some examples may include setting anchors for:

  • confidence
  • calm/relaxation
  • focus/productivity
  • ‘in flow/easy learning’ anchor… the options are virtually endless.

The notes in the video at the bottom of the page provide a step-by-step process you can use to do this if there are other resources/conditioned responses that you’d like to train your brain to apply automatically and easily. And yes, you can access the video to set any anchor you want, any time too. Have fun! If you have any questions, please ask your coach.

For now, I want to you to focus on how you think as it relates to your anxiety.

The first thing you should know about anxiety is that it is NOT an illness in the same way as say cancer or a virus is. Those conditions & symptoms exist irrelevant of whether you are awake or not (e.g. abnormal levels of red & white blood cells and platelets show up in your blood whether you are asleep, awake or behaving in any particular way). Those symptoms exist outside of your behaviour and even your consciousness.

Anxiety, on the other hand, can only occur when we do two things – 1. we think of the future and 2. we imagine bad things happening in that future.

The resulting fear then primes our sympathetic nervous system to get ready to deal with the imminent danger we’ve told our brain is coming – thus triggering the fight/flight/freeze response, (tension, heart rate surge and blood pressure issues, pale or flushed skin, memory & focus is affected, tunnel vision, the list goes on), all of it keeping our system on high alert.

So, don’t get me wrong, the experience of anxiety is VERY real and can be debilitating and exhausting, but the cause of it, is not so much genetic or biological, as it is derived from our thoughts and focus – (and here’s the good news) those are two things which YOU can control!

In this program you’ll have the opportunity to find and implement multiple strategies that work for you, giving you different options other than fight/flight/freeze. Some strategies work at an unconscious or subconscious level, and you’ll also learn other coping strategies for those times when you experience anxiety that is not serving you/keeping you safe. The info graphic below is a good summary of SOME of the strategies and approaches that you’ll find helpful. These are the sorts of things you can build into your everyday well-being habits. Reference your focus wheel and use these as ideas for how to start to create change, AND the NLP processes we are going to do in the next 10 weeks will be incredibly powerful in your epic transformation too.

4 core strategies for dealing with the experience of anxiety

The following short audio file is a reframe (new way of looking at) anxiety so you can dip your toes in new and deep waters and see how it feels to understand anxiety in a different light. The video underneath that will walk you through setting a new confidence anchor. You could adjust the wording a little to do one for calm, or for powerful or for relaxed, or whatever state you wish to access instead of the anxiety that was there before. If you have any questions on how to tailor this to your specific needs, do feel free to message/contact your coach and work with them to ensure you get what you want out of this session and the time you’re investing in your emotional wellbeing and excellence.