When we are talking NLP language, an anchor is a stimulus that creates a response. For example, a certain song might create a happy or a sad response. The smell of roses might take you back to your wedding day. The sunshine might trigger a sense of happiness and a stormy day may trigger sadness or withdrawal.
Ultimately, anytime you have a conditioned response occur, that is an anchor.
Sometimes, the responses we have do not serve us in a beneficial way. If, for example, something triggers fear or depression or anxiety – you might be better of without that anchor. In fact, most fears we have (fear of dogs, public speaking, failure, heights, flying, etc.), in their basic element is an anchor of some sort.
NLP contains tools that will help you to collapse old anchors; diffusing them so they no longer affect you. So the dog no longer creates fear, you can feel happy on a stormy day, the baby crying no longer makes you angry – and neither does the bad driver you are behind on the road!
Not only can NLP help you to collapse anchors that are not serving you, if you have beliefs or behaviours associated with the anchor, you can help change these old patterns of thought and action to help set you up for a new desired state.