NLP – A Brief Look At Anchoring Submodalities by Sajith T. M.


This article written by Sajith T.M. is brought from

Anchoring is a process that connects or anchors memory or other factors to a stimulus. The anchor or stimulus becomes the trigger to the anchored reaction. The anchor may not have any logical relation to the reaction that it is causing and the reaction may be adverse or beneficial. However, by using anchors, you can stimulate certain reactions in order to change your overall attitude and behavior toward a certain condition

The stimuli of touch, sight, sound, smell and taste are used in NLP to induce a desired state. This state is an experience or memory that you wish to access in order to create a representation that can transform your outlook into a more positive one. When the stimulus is activated, it evokes a state of mind containing specific thoughts and emotions. For example, hearing an old song may bring you back to your childhood or seeing an old house may remind you of how things were in your old neighborhood.

In NLP, anchoring becomes an effective tool, since you can associate the triggers with the state you wish to achieve. You can establish an anchor by creating a stimulus while simultaneously evoking the state you wish to achieve. For example, when a special person asks you to remember her then gives you a locket, then the locket becomes the trigger and the memory of the person becomes the resourceful state. The two are then so closely associated that whenever you look at the anchor (the locket,) you become reminded of the resourceful state or person who gave it to you.

Anchors can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic. These three modalities will be your tools in creating an image that can easily retrieve information from your memory to facilitate a response. It is useful to establish anchors, especially during moments of significant experiences, to improve your subjective and critical view of your environment.

1. Visual. Visual anchors can be external or internal. An external anchor makes use of what is really there to see while an internal one makes use of your imagination. A necklace which you can carry around all the time is an example of an external anchor. A mental image of your old home would be an internal anchor. Visual anchors can be anything that you can see such as shapes, objects, places, and people. This is why objects can possess sentimental value.

2. Auditory. This anchor can also be internal or external. What you can actually hear is an external anchor while a voice that you remember can be used as an internal anchor. Whistling or singing can help soothe your nerves when you feel anxious or restless. You can recall the voice of your mother humming a lullaby or comforting you and associate it with happy moments in your life to help you relax.

3. Kinesthetic. An example of an internal anchor would be to imagine your father’s handshake whenever you did something great. You can link this to the feeling of achievement or success. Some examples of external anchors would be to feel the fur of your dog as you hug him or running your hand through your loved one’s hair. You can link these feelings of touch with happy moments and memories.

Sajith is a certified NLP Master Practitioner and a certified Master Hypnotist.

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10 thoughts on “NLP – A Brief Look At Anchoring Submodalities by Sajith T. M.

    1. I´m happy to hear you like the article. The article is not mine though, I brought it here from Ezine articles (their copyrights allow that). I´ll think about expressing that even more clearly, maybe in the beginning of the article instead only in the end (and having the writer´s name in the title). Any ideas?

      Anyhow, I too think it´s very well written!




      1. Hi Deelia,

        I had a couple of ideas earlier but lost track of them. Then, I started to write a reply to you and lost it. Maybe I’ll try again later. 🙂 In the meantime, my thoughts are about maybe elaborating on the topic of anchoring by using an example. For example, I may have enhanced my memory recall of my original ideas by establishing an external visual cue or anchor to reconnect my mind with those ideas at the proper time. I could have used something like a color to trigger a memory, and I could have placed, say “a purple dot” next to my computer monitor after having used it to program my original ideas into words while I was away from my computer while thinking.



      2. That´s a lovely example, thanks for sharing!

        Here is one of mine: I clap my hands twice to bring myself back into the “new paradigm” energies, to remind myself that I´m already living it (even then when I forget). 😉 A sort of quick realignment. Actually that brought the idea to bring an article about NLP anchoring here.

        PS. I already put a sub title in the beginning of the post to further refer to its origins.


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