posted on Oct, 1 2008 @ 11:10 AM
In response to the plethora of anti-NLP posts, I would like to start putting up some NLP posts that shine a bit more light on the tools contained in
this field. Despite the ignorant fear mongering, NLP is not some coercive tactic for manipulating people. It can certainly be used for that, just as
language can be used to compliment or insult. Nobody is blaming language for the existence of insults, so nobody should blame NLP for the existence
of manipulative people.
The same concept can be applied to physics. Physics is not evil because someone invented the H-bomb, nor is physics about creating bombs, it just
happens to be a related subject. Not to assume everyone knows what NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is, in a nutshell - it's a set of tools that
help you communicate in a more efficient and direct method, via the words you use, tone of voice, breathing patterns, cadence and a variety of
non-verbal cues, such as eye movement, posture and etc. Anyways, enough for the prelude - let's get down to it.
One of the most basic, yet powerful concepts covered in NLP is the "anchor." Basically, an anchor is any type of sensation (taste, sound, feeling,
sight) that triggers an emotional response (also known as a "frame," which I'll cover in another thread eventually). For example, many people have
a favorite song that takes them back to a different time. Perhaps it's when you hear the song that was playing when you met your romantic partner,
or a song from your childhood that reminds you of simpler times. What happens on a psychological level, is that you were experiencing a powerful
emotional state at the time, and any other sensations that occurred during this time can serve as "bookmarks" (anchors) for that feeling.
Another obvious example would be smelling a familiar perfume that reminds you of someone, or eating a favorite childhood meal, etc. Anything that
involves your senses bringing you back to a different time, and different mindstate can be considered anchors. So far, this is just an NLP term being
applied to an otherwise common thing, that may not get much attention. It's important to note that recalling something from memory is not the same
as an anchor, because an anchor does not require you remember anything at all - it can also be subconscious. On a rudimentary level, this could be
equated with conditioned responses to stimulus ala Ivan Pavlov (Pavlov's Dog).
Let's make a practical example of this now, to demonstrate how it can be an effective tool in your life, instead of just a song that gets caught in
your head. Most anchors that people have were all "programmed" into your head without your consent - whether they are positive or negative. You
can just as easily program your own anchors to elicit preferred mental states ("frames"). This is a very simplified explanation of the process, but
I feel it accurately represents the process of setting an anchor.
1. Get into the preferred mindstate. Whether this is a relaxed state, or hyper-aware, or happy, etc. To make the example more accessible, let's
assume you want to anchor a feeling of confidence. Think back to a time when you were extremely confident about something. Do your best to re-live
the experience in your head, as opposed to just observing it from a third-person perspective. Once you are in the moment, you should be able to
notice changes in your physical state along with your mental state (breathing, posture, pulse, etc.).
2. Once you feel like you are "peaking" with this feeling of confidence (in that, the feeling could not possibly get any stronger), pinch the skin
on the end of your elbow. Then when the feeling begins to fade, re-live the experience again mentally and again pinch the skin on your elbow when you
"peak." Repeat this process a few times, until the feeling does not fade right away.
3. At this point, you have anchored a feeling of confidence to the feeling of pinchin the skin on your elbow. Go back to your normal errands, and
after a few hours re-anchor the feeling as you did before. The point is to keep reinforcing this anchor to the point where just simply pinching your
elbow will give you a boost in confidence (or whatever emotional state you decided to anchor).
4. Once the anchor has been programmed, you will be able to just pinch your elbow wherever you are, and gain a confidence boost, or at least open you
into the option of transitioning to a different mindstate.
Please understand that this is not some cure-all fix-it technique to get rid of problems. Rather, it's taking an active interest in the
relationships between physical sensations and emotional responses. Once you form an understanding of how it all works within your mind, you will be
less vulnerable to less virtuous implementations of anchoring via normal activities, or as some have mentioned - the media implanting anchors.
Instead of just running around crazy, or administering ambiguous warnings over the "dangers of NLP," it's more important to eliminate all ignorance
surrounding the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming, and in turn use the methods for bettering ourselves as opposed to forming an irrational fear
over a useful set of tools.
While I just wrote up a very simplified version of setting anchors consciously, you can also take this information to heart, and keep it in your
thoughts during the day, so that you can also recognize things that are being set as anchors unconsciously. For example, I noticed that when driving
- if I get irritated in traffic or whatever, I usually get into a specific position, and clench my first - all unconsciously at first. That also
means that if I ever sit in that position and clenched my fist, it would also put me into the irritated state regardless of what the traffic situation
is. There is just another small example of how eliminating ignorance of NLP can help you out.
I also hope this thread has put a little more light on NLP, and that it's not some evil tool for mind control.
[edit on 1-10-2008 by scientist]