I've been using a guided meditation audio CD which helps me get into a relaxed state before visualisation. At some point, after guiding me into a deep relaxation mode, the voice on the tape tells me to press 2 fingers together to help the brain remember this state. I assume this is what anchoring is - programming the mind to have a way to quickly get back into an alpha state. I've done this every night for about 2-3 weeks.

My question is, if I were to press my fingers together right now at work, I should be able to enter this state, and I've tried it, but I'm not sure how to know if I am already in the alpha state.

Has anyone tried this before? Perhaps you could share your experience, and where/when do you fire your anchors?


asked 24 Feb '10, 06:36

Pat%20W's gravatar image

Pat W

edited 24 Feb '10, 07:47

Stingray's gravatar image


Yes, this is just part of a well-established NLP process called Anchoring. There are mountains of information about anchoring within the NLP community.

Anchoring helps you get back to any state, not just an Alpha one.

I have anchors set for public speaking and interview states, psychic sensitivity states, alertness and concentration states, joy and happiness states...there's no limit other than your imagination.

To answer your question briefly, set anchors when you are in the peak of the state you wish to anchor, which is presumably the state which the CD is helping you to achieve.

Then fire the anchor whenever you wish and you should feel movement back to that anchored state. You'll know you are in the state because it feels like the state you achieved when you set the anchor.

Sometimes it helps to fire a neutral state anchor first so that you move into a clean, neutral state before firing the anchor for the state which you wish to re-experience.


answered 24 Feb '10, 07:47

Stingray's gravatar image


edited 24 Feb '10, 07:52

Hi Stingray, I haven't felt anything significant when I use the anchor so I'm not sure if I'm just already naturally relaxed or whether I'm doing something wrong i.e. the anchor was not properly done. Let me observe this some more. Thanks!

(24 Feb '10, 08:00) Pat W

This is called Triggers, I have an entire tape set on Triggers by Dane Spotts.



answered 24 Feb '10, 07:22

Wade%20Casaldi's gravatar image

Wade Casaldi

Thanks Wade. Perhaps you could share about how anchoring has been useful for you?

(24 Feb '10, 07:59) Pat W

Yes it has given me the ability to go to whatever state of mind I want to go to. For example my guitar is a trigger or anchor for me and that lets me tune into mind states of performers I like whether alive or dead, I tune into that frequency and then am playing like them.

(24 Feb '10, 08:34) Wade Casaldi

The anchor is just an associative device. It won't necessarily get you there all by itself (until it is well-conditioned), and it may not get you there at all if you are trying to observe the state change. That act of observation can prevent you from entering the state.

Keep practicing. If you recognize when you are getting into state (without actually looking for it) when you set the anchor, over time you will also recognize the state change when you do use the anchor.

By the way, this process of associative conditioning is the same conditioning process that Pavlov used with his dogs. Dog trainers use these same conditioning principles all the time.


answered 24 Feb '10, 15:27

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 24 Feb '10, 18:21

I'm a canine handler, and would like to note that Pavlov's experiments were very cruel to the dogs; he used many tortuous surgical procedures on them. I won't list them here, but a little research will reveal that. I really cringed when reading that example. http://rt.com/Russiapedia/Those_Russians/pivan-pavlov.html

(24 Feb '10, 16:44) LeeAnn 1

The link isn't showing up entirely, but does work. Sorry this is upsetting to me. Most of us use clickers or treats to encourage positive dog behavior, not disconnecting their stomachs so they are always starving and then putting food in front of them with a bell ringing, amd surgically implanting sensors to see just how much they could be made to salivate. Or electrocuting them in wire cages to teach behavior.

(24 Feb '10, 17:59) LeeAnn 1

I wasn't making an ethical judgement about the research methods. This kind of research probably wouldn't be possible today, and it is, of course, distressing to know that it occurred. Nor did I mean to suggest that Pavlov's methods resemble the methods of dog trainers in any way other than the underlying conditioning principles.

(24 Feb '10, 18:19) Vesuvius

Unfortunately, ethical quandaries like this occur all the time. Do you let people die of diseases that we cannot find a cure for because animal testing is not available, or do you test potential cures on animals first, and potentially save human lives? It's not always an easy thing to consider.

(24 Feb '10, 18:20) Vesuvius

My wife and I have a dog now, and we're taking her to obedience school. We have seen the behaviorist methods that Caesar Milan uses, and we are aware of clickers and treats, being the pack leader, and rewarding good behavior. So I do understand and appreciate your perspective.

(24 Feb '10, 18:43) Vesuvius

Thank you Vesuvius. I understand what you are saying about legitimate medical testing and thankfully it is being kept to a minimum these days and they are sometimes able to use computer programs instead. I once allowed one of our dogs to participate in an experimental treatment program for bone cancer which eventually helped human children, and actually extended the dog's life. She wasn't harmed and it was helpful. I'm so glad you're giving your dog positive training and I hope it's a fun experience for all of you. Cesar has been a good example to so many people.

(24 Feb '10, 18:48) LeeAnn 1
showing 2 of 6 show 4 more comments

There are several such triggers or anchors in the Silva Method, as has been discussed here. I have been using them for years and they do help, especially if you don't try to make it a conscious thing. And they get more effective with use. Just take a deep breath, perform the action and relax. In my experience, the anchors don't drastically change my state, but help me towards that direction. After all, I am in a fully conscious state at the time.

I think something is getting lost in writing it down, but keep at it, and it will help you!


answered 24 Feb '10, 16:55

LeeAnn%201's gravatar image

LeeAnn 1

edited 24 Feb '10, 17:01

@LeeAnn, see my response to your comments.

(24 Feb '10, 18:27) Vesuvius

@Vesuvius, sorry for the rant!

(24 Feb '10, 20:59) LeeAnn 1

No apology is necessary. I would rather people get their concerns addressed instead of leaving angry or upset.

(24 Feb '10, 22:15) Vesuvius
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