Anchoring is a term used in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to describe a technique for changing behavior by creating an association between two separate elements. We often do this without noticing the specific association we’re creating.
For instance, certain smells can remind us of previous events. What does the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven remind you of? Or physical touch – what does someone putting their arm around your shoulders remind you of? And of course, there’s that favorite song you hear that transports you right back to a certain time in your life! When you reach for that chocolate bar, what feelings come with it? And when you look up at the night sky, stand at the top of a mountain vista or walk ankle-deep in the surf, where do your thoughts go? These are all examples of anchoring.
You can learn to harness the natural ability of your mind to create associations. It takes about fifteen minutes to learn anchoring by getting in touch with a feeling you would like to recreate, choosing a word that enhances that feeling and when the feeling is intensified making a unique gesture to connect the feeling with the gesture (for instance, you could press your middle finger and thumb together.) This takes a little practice and patience on your part but is a helpful way to make small changes that will take you into a new direction permanently.