Collapsing Anchors

Replace Negative With Positive -
In 10 Minutes

Collapsing Anchors is a powerful technique from NLP you can use to get rid of negative feelings or emotions. If there’s a negative state you want to get rid of – such as anger, worry or annoyance – you’re in the right place.

The great thing about collapsing anchors is that you don’t just get rid of a negative emotion; you replace it with a more resourceful state too - such as relaxation, confidence, happiness or laughter. This means that when you encounter a situation that used to cause you grief, not only do you avoid a negative reaction, but you actually respond very positively towards it!

Sounds too good to be true? Try it out – it only takes 10 minutes. Before you read on, however, please note that this article presumes that you have a good working knowledge of setting anchors. If you want to recap how to do this, please read and practice NLP Anchors first.

Collapsing Anchors – Preperation

The first thing to do when collapsing anchors is to define the negative state to be collapsed. Try and choose a specific scenario which causes you to respond negatively, as it will be more effective that way. Choose a memory of a particular colleague who angers you at work, a specific part of your day that really annoys you, or the way you respond if you come home from work and your housemate has left the place in a tip, for example. I’m sure an appropriate reaction will pop in your head.

Next, choose the positive state you would like to install instead. As mentioned above, good states for this include happiness, relaxation and overbearing fits of laughter. Again, choose a specific time you have been in this state, or for best results, choose a few examples of a time you have been in this state, and we’ll anchor them all together in a minute.

Please note that your positive state must be stronger than the negative state – otherwise this technique won’t work as well as it could.

That’s it for the preparation – this is a nice and simple technique.

Collapsing Anchors – Set the Anchors

First, anchor the negative state, by rubbing the thumb and finger of your left hand together whilst you relive the memory. Make sure that you are fully associated when you do this – which means seeing the memory through your own eyes, feeling what you felt, and hearing what you heard.

(PS - If you need a recap on anchoring, read NLP Anchors )

Note – anchor this memory as it is. Don’t make the feelings any more (or less) intense. Do this just once. Release the anchor at the peak of the emotion.

Next, break state by doing something else for 30 seconds. Sing a hymn. Write a poem. Have a dance. Up to you.

Now, test your anchor by rubbing your thumb and finger together. If the anchor has worked, you’ll feel the negative state come back.

Break state again. No need to overdo the negative side of this.

Now, the fun part: it’s time to anchor the positive state. Start to relive the positive memory by associating into it, and seeing what you saw, hearing what you heard, and feeling what you felt. Make the picture bigger, brighter, more colourful and more vivid. Pull it closer towards you and engulf yourself with all these positive emotions. Laugh out loud... Smile... Giggle...Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel awesome.

Anchor the positive state by rubbing the thumb and finger of your right hand together whilst you’re feeling all the positive emotions (using different hands uses the different hemispheres of the brain, making it easier to integrate your states). Release the anchor when the emotion is at its peak.

Break state for 30 seconds, and then repeat the previous steps by anchoring a different memory of the same positive emotion (recommended), or the same memory again. Use the same thumb / finger combo to anchor. Make yourself feel as awesome as possible. Do this 2-3 more times. Have fun whilst you do this!

Break state again, and then test your positive anchor. If you’ve done it right, you’ll feel like you’ve taken a load of happy drugs. Now it’s time for collapsing anchors.

Collapsing Anchors – Time to Collapse!

To collapse your anchor, fire off the positive and negative anchors at the same time, by rubbing the thumbs and fingers of both hands together.

The next 30 seconds – 2 minutes of your life are likely to seem a little odd. When you do this, your brain starts to integrate the two different states. This may feel a little strange at first - almost like an internal short-circuit in your brain – which may cause you to feel a bit of mild confusion.

As you keep holding the anchors, however, you’ll soon break clear of all negative feelings, and start to feel the full power of the positive emotions.

When you feel that the anchors have collapsed – i.e. you feel awesome – let go of the negative anchor, whilst keeping hold of the positive anchor for another 5-10 seconds.

Now, wake up – and take that silly grin off your face :-)

Test and “future pace” the effectiveness of the collapsing anchors technique by imagining a time in the future when you’ll have to encounter the thing that made you feel crappy before. If this has worked, notice just how different you feel... and try to stop laughing!

Related Articles

Go from Collapsing Anchors to Introduction to NLP

NLP Anchors

Chaining Anchors

NLP Submodalities

What is the NLP Swish Pattern?

How to do an NLP Swish Pattern

NLP Rapport & Body Language

How to be Happy

Get Your Swagger Back

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