What is an emotional anchor?

Has it ever happened to you that the smell of an old book evoked positive emotions in you, and you immediately recalled your childhood? Or did you experience sadness while listening to certain music, as it was associated with an unpleasant event? Every person had a similar experience. Why is this happening? And does this have a name? Yes, these are the very emotional anchors that make us distract from everyday life. At these moments, we experience the same emotions that we have fixed in a particular situation. An emotional anchor is any attachment or action that causes a specific emotional state.

Where do emotional anchors come from?

Most of the emotional anchors are born in our childhood. Since as a child, a person experiences strong and deep emotions. At such times, the senses pick up sounds, smells, images and touch. And the brain interweaves the emotional state with the physical sensations. Thus, an emotional anchor is formed. In such cases, the triggers can be anything stroking in a certain place, a song or some kind of visual series.

For example, as a child, my mother used certain perfumes before leaving for work. And the child loved to watch her when she was getting ready and at that moment felt joy, calmness. As an adult, the scent of such a perfume is likely to evoke similar emotions in him.

Can you purposefully anchor yourself?

The situations described above reflected a random pattern of anchoring. But you can take control of it and manage it in a way convenient for you. How to do it?

For example, you met with friends and experience positive emotions, a surge of energy. And you want to feel the same on the exam. To consolidate this condition, you can simply pinch your right hand. In this way, you anchor the desired state. On the exam, when you need to “remember” the fixed state, you simply pinch your right hand again. And you will experience similar emotions. But in such cases, it is worth remembering that anchors can fade away, so they need to be constantly reinforced.

Setting emotional anchors helps to get rid of fears, stress, anxiety, and self-doubt. Psychologists often use this technique with clients.

How else can you use emotional anchors?

Imagine the following situation: you have an important event ahead at which you want to behave confidently, but there is very little time left for this. What to do in this case?

  1. Try to remember a vivid situation where you felt 100% confident.
  2. Scroll it in your head and in the process clench your fist tightly, click your fingers or stroke a certain hand;
  3. Abort this state. Take a break from what is happening for 5 – 10 minutes. Have some tea, look out the window, answer SMS, etc .;
  4. Repeat the above steps again;
  5. Now imagine that you are at that very event. Feeling anxious, insecure, and embarrassed? Play your anchor.

Emotional anchors are powerful tools to be used skillfully. So that the result will benefit you and in no way harm you. If you want to feel the effectiveness of these techniques, then take it seriously, try to practice more often. Then you will get the desired result!

Image –
Shauna Tana on Unsplash

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