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  • Writer's pictureEmma Wood

Women's Climbing Symposium 2017: Anchoring

WHAT a weekend. I had an absolute blast talking to some amazing women about seeking help, Cognitive Hypnotherapy, and how your outlook can have a huge impact on life. I mentioned I would be writing a series of blog posts based on my talk, in case people wanted to refer back to something or missed it entirely! So here is the first of that series. I talked about a great little self help technique called Anchoring during the talk, so I'm going to start by outlining this.

What would become possible if you could take control, and access positive feelings when you need them?

This is something we do naturally all the time. Do you have songs that you put on when you are running to keep you going? Or songs that never fail to put you in the mood to get up and dance? We build associations between music and emotions or feelings, and each time we listen we recall or experience that feeling. You do that naturally right? So we know it works, because we are simply taking control of a natural process, and making it as positive and useful as possible going forward.

1. Think what you’d like to feel instead of fear. (Confident, Strong, Happy, in flow…?)

Personally, I like to feel strong. but this will be individual to each person - feel free to think outside the box - but just make sure it’s something positive. If you choose something like ‘Not scared’ then you are still thinking about BEING scared. We need to replace it as the emotional brain won’t like having a gap where fear used to be.

2. If that feeling had a soundtrack, what song would it have? So if that feeling could have a soundtrack, a song that would represent that helpful feeling for you, what would it be? Sometimes fear can make the situation feel really serious, so something playful like a Disney song could help dispel that. For strength, I would have to pick Chop Suey by System of a Down. It’s loud and angry and makes me feel strong and happy every time I hear it! So just take some time to think about what this could be for you. I will say at this point, you don’t actually have to have the song playing out loud for this to work - singing it to yourself will also work. If a song is difficult, you could summarise the feeling in a word instead - like "strong" or "power", whatever that might be.

3. A time when you felt it strongly

You could make this even stronger by thinking of a time you’ve actually felt that before in the past. Just make sure it’s a ‘clean’ memory and theres nothing negative about it. Think of that memory as you listen to the music to help build a new connection.

For example, for my ‘strong’ anchor, I could recall a memory where I felt really strong during Strength and Conditioning with a friend, while deadlifting. Then all I need to do is focus on the details of that memory, all the things that made me feel so strong in that moment.

4. Putting it all together

As you focus on that memory when you felt that useful feeling really strongly, you could play the song as a soundtrack to it. Maybe like a film? You could maybe even begin to consider all the ways that this useful feeling could help you, and the possibilities that could open up if you were able to feel that more often, more easily. As before, you could summarise that memory with a word to act as an alternate trigger if music isn't your thing.

Any confusion, please feel free to get in touch with me. I'm more than happy to help you adapt this for you specifically to get the most out of it.

If you want to arrange a free 30 minute chat to discuss how I can help you, please do just drop me a message.

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