Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a means to understand how someone process their thoughts, emotions, language and behaviour to produce the results they do. The premise behind NLP is if we are able to alter our thought-process, we can change the way we react or perform in certain situations.
After all, human beings perceive and interpret situations based on their experiences in the past.
By breaking down the thought-process of an expert, we can copy what they do and use their methods to improve ourselves.
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For example, we can observe the mental process of a calm person and a anxious person. If we learn to process our thoughts in the manner used by the calm person, we will be able to become calm as well.
NLP Anchoring Technique
Ivan Pavlov discovered a phenomenon on animal conditioning and human conditioning. In one of his experiments, he would use a bell to indicate to the dogs of their mealtime. After numerous times, the dogs learnt to associate the ringing sound to food. The moment Ivan rang the bell, the dogs began to salivate.
This is the principle of the ‘NLP Anchor Technique’. We associate a stimuli (smell, taste, action, sound, touch) with a mental state, through strong emotions and repetition. To activate the state, we recreate the stimuli.
Let me illustrate how powerful the technique is with a case. A lady was once a nurse during the World War Two. Everyday, she smelt the strong odour of antiseptic and took care of soldiers who were severely injured. Of which, some lost their limbs and died. Decades after the war, whenever she smelt antiseptic, she would feel depressed and helpless. The smell took her back to the melancholy of war. Of course, the anchor that occurred in this case was not purposely created.
Similarity Between the NLP Anchoring Technique and Kuji-In/Ketsu-In
In the same way, we can regard the kuji-in and ketsu-in as an ancient version of the anchor technique. The ninja formed a hand seal and uttered the corresponding character to summon the mental state he needed. It is probable that they attached the state of mind to the hand seal by meditating with each hand seal for some time.
We’ll learn to use kuji-in in the modern context by combining some of the hand seals with the NLP Anchor technique.