When a person is in an intense state if you apply something that is consistent (touching the shoulder, clapping, clenching the hands), the intense state gets linked to the anchor. Later, the intense state could be triggered by applying the anchor.

To be precise, the anchor ought to be applied, when the person's intensity is INCREASING, and near the peak rather than when it is at its peak.

Anchoring has been known right from ancient times (though not under the context of NLP). When meditating, monks and saints anchored their trance state in their fingers so that they could reach the state instantly, by triggering the anchor. This technique is still taught in many meditation workshops today.

You can apply an anchor when

  • you experience something intensely
  • you are deeply relaxed

At both the times, the anchor is capable of "storing" and "playing back" your intense experience or the deep relaxation.

An anchor could be:

  • Kinesthetic (a particular position of fingers for example)
  • Visual (the very sight of a person can trigger some reactions)
  • Auditory (hearing a certain song can trigger past memories)

Also, see TOTE