NLP techniques

Changing States - NLP secret

NLP techniques for changing states doesn’t relate to travel but to the way you feel.  

If you haven’t read the companion article States, it might be a good idea to do so before reading on.  

You will learn there about association and dissociation and how your emotional state affects your ability to perform.

NLP techniques - states

Negative feelings and negative thoughts keep peace of mind away


Anchoring the experience

Have you noticed also how your mood or state is affected by the sound of a particular tune or song, a smell or even another experience.  This is because we anchor our experiences in different ways. 

We speak of NLP anchors but in reality anchors occur naturally.  NLP merely recognises them and shows us how to anchor, collapse anchors, stack them and chain them to our advantage.

If you are an experienced driver and, as you are driving along at some speed you detect the movement of a small child at the roadside, automatically you slow the vehicle immediately and maybe even stop. 

You don’t think to yourself, “Ah, there is a small child over there.  Shall I proceed in the usual way or slow down?  Shall I apply the brake?  Shall I adjust the steering?” 

That all sounds rather ludicrous, doesn’t it.  Of course you don’t do any of those things.  

You have become so used to the events that occur on the roads and the dangers around, that the moment the movement of a small child is detected in your peripheral vision it acts as an anchor which is immediately fired and the behaviour is triggered.

The whole subject of NLP anchors is so important to our everyday behaviours that if you don’t have a thorough grasp of them already, you may want to review the website page about it sooner rather than later.

NLP techniques – traumatic events

What I might call “bad anchors” are set up quite unwittingly by traumatic events.  

The event itself may have been momentary but it will have been intense.  

Sometimes anchors are created by the repetition of a number of less intense actions or events.  

After that they influence so much of what we do and most of the time we don’t even realise it.

A fear of flying may have been triggered by knowing someone who died in an air crash or merely reading a report about an air crash in which a large number of people died.  

Sadly, air crashes occasionally happen but in the meantime thousands of flights take place in perfect safety.  

Far more deaths occur on the roads of the world, but you rarely hear the person who will not fly refusing to drive a motor vehicle.

NLP techniques – pattern interrupt

The first way to change a state is to use what is called a pattern interrupt.  It is something that most good parents use with young children only they call it distraction. 

If a young child is upset because she has fallen over and bumped herself, the quickest and most peaceful way of resolving the situation is to divert her attention with a silly game, something that makes her laugh instead of cry.

Adults are not so different.  You will need to gauge your interrupt according to the individual.  It may be that a change of scenery is required, perhaps a walk in the park, or a joke may be good enough.

You cannot have too much laughter.  If you haven’t laughed much lately, ask yourself whether you are taking yourself a little too seriously perhaps.

Music is a wonderful resource for changing states quickly.  It can evoke ecstasy or pathos according to your requirements.   

Experiment with the sort of music that lifts your mood when you are low, and be sure to have it to hand when you need it most.

NLP techniques – enlightened teachers

Enlightened coaches and teachers use what are known as resource anchors.  

You will notice athletes warming up before a race performing all sorts of strange routines.  

They are usually firing off their resource anchors which are equally useful if you have to sing or speak publicly, perform in any environment or have to deal with a stressful situation.

If you wish to elicit a resource state for yourself, first think of an occasion when you were actually in that state.  

Let us say, for example, that you have to make a speech or presentation at work and you want to be confident.  

Think of a time you were confident in any situation.

When you think of that state, see it through your own eyes:  that is to say from an associated perspective, so you are actually in the state.  

See what you saw.  Hear what you heard.  Feel what you felt.  Make the colours vivid.  Double the size of the picture and double it again.  Turn up the volume.  Intensify the feeling.

As the good feeling begins to peak, anchor that feeling.  You can anchor it in any way that you like.  

Kinaesthetic anchoring – that is to say, by touching a part of your body or squeezing a thumb and finger together – is the most obvious way.  

But you can also anchor visually with a gesture or make an auditory anchor with the tone of voice you use.

NLP techniques – breaking the state

Once you have set the anchor, break the state by checking the time or distracting yourself for a moment.  Then test the anchor by firing it.  If it lifts you appropriately, that is fine.  If it seems a little weak, reset it and try again.  

Remember also that unless you use the anchor it will fade over time.  Then remember to use it when you need it.

NLP techniques – chaining anchors

NLP techniques - changing states

You may find it too much of a jump to move straight from a sad state to a happy one in a single leap.  

That is where chaining anchors is useful.  Instead of a single jump use little steps. 

Try instead going from sad to neutral, then from neutral to calm and then from calm to cheerful.  

Anchor each state in a different place and fire them in order to bring you to the state you desire.

Notice what makes you happy.  When you experience those happy moments, anchor them.

If your mood dips or you face a challenge, fire off an appropriate anchor and get back on an even keel.



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