Print version of the third issue

NLP Anchor

Maintain Emotional States
I fell in love for the time at Lake Balaton in Hungary. It was a girl from Berlin and I met her in a holiday group. I had no idea what triggered this feeling of elation but it was fantastic. During the day, we saw each other on the beach and in the evenings we sat together and danced at the disco. That summer there was one hit that was really popular. In the daytime you could hear it coming from people's ghetto blasters and at night from the speakers of the discotheque. It was the reggae song "Kingston Town" by UB40. So, I was completely in love and everywhere this song was playing. Love ended soon after the holidays; I only received one letter from her. But two years later something really amazing happened. Lake Balaton was long forgotten. I was sitting in a bistro when suddenly I was overcome by the same wonderful feeling from that time. I saw her, I saw Lake Balaton, I heard her voice and felt my first kiss again. I wondered what had made me suddenly think of all that again.. I looked around and only then did I realize: "Kingston Town" was playing in the background. I'm sure you also know songs which can awake memories and feelings you thought were long forgotten as if at the push of a button. And it still works. I have just put this song on as I write, and all those images appear in my mind as I listen to it again. You should try it yourself right away. Listen to a song which reminds you of the most beautiful and intensive moments of your life!

What is an anchor in NLP?
An anchor is an impulse (stimulus, trigger) which causes a specific response in someone which is always the same. In contrast to a reflex, this response is learnt and not hereditary. Thus, an anchor is a learnt stimulus-response connection. The basic principle was discovered by the Russian neurophysiologist Ivan Pavlov during his experiments with dogs, and has since become known as the concept of classical conditioning. In 1904, Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research.
Anchors influence our emotional states on an almost non-stop basis. And yet only those anchors which are linked to intense emotional states have a special meaning. They can be both positive and negative. Recognising negative anchors and replacing them with positive ones if need be is an important step on the way to a better attitude towards life.
Anchors can occur in all sensory systems, e.g. the ringing of the phone or a favourite song, holiday photos, specific smells, a certain facial expression, a company logo or the claim of a firm ("Just do it!"), distinctive voices, movements like the clenching of a fist, words with a particular meaning, places where we have experienced something special, gifts, garments and medals.

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death."
- Robert Fulgham