Joan E. Childs, LCSW discusses Collapsing Anchors, a powerful technique from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) that is used to get rid of negative feelings or emotions and replace them with positive feelings and emotions.
Hi, I'm Joan Childs and I'm back again to try to help you who are going through these challenging times with the Corona virus and are struggling with fear anxiety and even maybe depression. I have some techniques that I want to teach you that you can do at home, without the presence of a therapist and I and they're very simple. In the last video that I that I did I tried to teach you a visualization and the one before that was a breathing technique so I'm building up on it.
So this is the third one that's going to be able to be helpful and useful to you when you feel that anxiety coming over you. These are the kinds of times that when we don't know what the unknown is we become fearful. It's very common to have anxiety when you're in the unknown and right now all of us all of us together are in the unknown. We don't have the answers we don't know when this virus is going to be behind us.
But while we're going through the gauntlet and the eye of the needle these are some things that you can do.
The breathing is the first thing that I taught you. You take right, I'm going to repeat it real quickly, we breathe into the count of four and you expand your belly and you expand your lungs to its fullest. Hold it for the count of seven and then breath it out through the count of seven. It can be either through your mouth or through your nose that you breathe out. And if you do that seven times it will calm down you're nervous central nervous system. The second technique that I talked about was a visualization. Try to do the same thing again. Start out with the breathing, it's a meditative breathing or a yoga breathing and then when you are doing it, when you finish seven times, take yourself to some beautiful experience that you had the
last time you were in a place either by yourself or with other people or with someone else that you had a wonderful experience, a very positive experience an experience that you sense joy, you sense peace, you sense tranquility, calmness and serenity. And it will pop up very quickly and it can be even in your childhood when you were when you have fun somewhere with some family member or you had a close relationship with someone that you haven't seen a long time and it was a wonderful experience. Your brain will tell you where to go trust it it works.
So today what I want to do in this video, I want to teach you how to collapse anchors. This anchor that I gave you which is taking your thumb and holding it close to your, tight to your index finger, when you have that positive experience is a positive anchor it's a kinesthetic anchor.
What is a kinesthetic anchor? It's something that you can feel. We have a lot of neurological places that we can go, visual, we can go auditory, hearing, we can go kinesthetic, which is a feeling olfactory which is a smell and gustatory which is a taste. If I said to you right now I want you to taste a margarita pizza or a margarita you could easily recall. It goes right back. But this one I'm going to give you is a kinesthetic anchor so here's how you do it.
You take yourself to a very positive experience, perhaps the one you did in the last video, that I that I presented. Someplace, somewhere, at some time, that give you a sense of tranquility and happiness and joy.
And you take your fingers and you hold it there. Keep it there tight and that that will anchor you to this positive experience. And then what you do is go to the negative experience that you're experiencing in the here and now or the last time you felt that you had an anxiety attack or a panic attack or you were feeling depressed. And you anchor your left hand to that so you take your thumb and your index finger and you hold it tight and you anchor yourself to the negative experience and you keep it there for a few moments. And then you go back to the positive experience and you anchor yourself again to the positive experience and you see what you see and you hear what you hear and you feel what you feel and you try to rev it up and intensify it as much as you can and then you go back to the negative experience with your left fingers touching each other and seeing what you see there and hearing what you hear feeling what you feel and don't be afraid to get yourself really feel it.
Just like yourself feel the anxiety or the the fear that you might have it's okay and as soon as you have that, look back to the right and you recall that visualization of that positive experience and do this several times back and forth maybe four or five times and always end up when you when you are the right when you are on the right hand with your visual and being a very positive one. Then the last thing you do is you go to the left with both fingers and you hold them both tight so that you collapse the anchors when you when you asked when I asked you when your ask yourself to see the negative experience you're now holding both hands squeezing both fingers on both hands so that that collapses and then just be aware of the sensation you get when you focus on the negative feeling of the anxiety and see how that has been reduced just by collapsing the anchors.
So if you have any questions and you want me to do this with you over the telephone I want to remind you that I am giving a free 30-minute session till the end of April  so if you want me to do it with you just give me a call at (954)568-1004 or you can go on my email email@example.com or go directly to my website joanechilds.com. I look forward to seeing you again in the or having you see my video again in the future and you should remember stay safe, stay at home and stay well. Thank you for joining me.
Video Series: Managing Stress & Anxiety
Joan E Childs, LCSW is a renowned psychotherapist, inspirational speaker and author of I Hate The Man I Love: A Conscious Relationship is Your Key to Success. In private practice since 1978, she specializes in individual and couple’s therapy, grief therapy, EMDR, NLP, inner child work and codependency. Learn more about her services at www.joanechilds.com.