Anchoring is a hypnotherapy technique that can help you gain confidence and manage your stress and anxiety.
When I was lucky enough to be chosen to run with the Olympic torch in Kidderminster I felt both proud and privileged. Whilst running through my home town on the torch relay I was filled with such confidence and feelings of support and happiness. When I see pictures of that day I can see all those feelings showing on my face. These positive affirming emotions could be available to me whenever I choose with the technique called anchoring.
An anchor is a physical or mental signal or stimulus that elicits a response. In day to day life we experience such anchors without even realising. We may feel anxious when we hear an alarm bell or feel calm when the sun light is on our faces. This stimulus–response process can happen without us being aware of it, but we can control it to enable a particular event to be linked to a desired response. The stimulus can be anything sensory, such as touch or sound.
Learning to anchor desired feelings, such as a sense of calm, can be beneficial in many ways. Anchoring can be helpful for anyone experiencing unwanted anxiety or stress, poor confidence or lack of self esteem. This technique can also help when coping with cravings such as cigarettes.
The anchor can be developed during hypnosis utilising the calm relaxed feelings experienced during hypnosis. You could be guided to squeeze your a thumb and finger together whilst enjoying the relaxation and calmness promoted during hypnotherapy. By anchoring the feelings to the behaviour you can bring to mind those feelings whenever you want to. This process benefits from repetition and practise and may require a number of reinforcements to be fully successful,but it is worth taking time to secure your anchor as its positive influence on day to day life can be significant. Reflexology clients can anchor the relaxation they feel during reflexology without even trying, many report how just hearing the music in the treatment room immediately starts the feelings of deep relaxation.
An anchor can be developed when you are not having hypnosis. Thinking of a situation when you felt the desired feelings and really focusing on the details and most importantly the feelings is the first part of the process. It doesn't have to be a hugely important event, just some time when you felt the positive feelings powerfully and sincerely. By bringing to mind that situation then experiencing the feelings you can then anchor those feelings with a stimulus of your choice. This method also requires repetition and you can use more than one event to really develop those positive feelings.