Monday, August 21, 2006

Anchors away

Anchors are used as a method of anchoring an experience, and giving it permanence. Adverts try to use this method, so that every time their logo is viewed it is anchored with an experience. The anchor they use is the product of repeating a media experience message with visual images and sound. If adverts could reach out and touch consumers every time they were exposed to the product, they would do so.
Ideally an anchor is similar to pressing a button to create a physiological state that's acquired without having to think about it. Similar to the famous Pavlovian dogs, salivating each time they heard the sound of a bell. Unfortunately, most of us have developed anchors haphazardly; however, we have the ability to create our own personal positive anchors.

Exercise to create your anchor
For an anchor you need two things:
1) You need to remember a special time when you felt good, positive, strong and successful and remember the way your body physiology felt during this time. The more intense the physiological state the easier it is to anchor. The mind and physiology need to be congruent, as the body and mind must be working together in harmony.
2) You need to choose a unique stimulus, so that each time this stimulus is activated, it will produce the physiological response of that special moment without you having to think about it. A frequently chosen stimulus is to squeeze the thumb and the middle finger together on the left hand.

Now you have the tools the next step is to anchor the two together. You will need to practice this repeatedly for the brain associations to develop the anchor. So, in a quiet room with no distractions think of your special experience when you were feeling ‘on top of the world’, remember it in minute detail. Get your mind to replay that memory and make that memory bright. If there is light and colour, turn up the brightness, if there is sound, turn up the volume. As you remember the memory in detail, your physiology and emotions should be repeating the way you felt during that good experience. At the peak of the ‘feel good factor’ you should press your thumb and middle finger together, or the action you have chosen to be your stimulus.

This will take practice and repetition to get your mind to associate the unique action stimulus with the fantastic memory you chose. But once you have put in the hard work to anchor, then you can use it for your advantage. Many people use their anchors before interviews, giving presentations or giving speeches and find that using their confident physiology induced by activating their anchor point dramatically improves their performance.
For more practical tips then await the book 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' - to be published at the start of 2007.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

More sleep needed?

‘For all the advances of modern society, we cannot afford to ignore the rhythms of the animal brain within us, any more than we can neglect our need to breathe or eat. Without the biological clocks in our brains, our lives would be chaotic, our actions disorganised. The brain has internalised the rhythms of Nature, but can tick on for months without sight of the sun…….
Blakemore 1988

Most animals have a circadian rhythm, a cycle of various physiological and behavioural functions, synchronised to just under a 25 hour cycle. Even the body’s immune system changes during waking and sleeping, with more natural killer cells present during the day yet more T cells active at night. Disruptions of this pattern can explain why infections tend to plague shift-workers. The body’s internal clock is about as reliable and regular as most manufactured clocks and it is thought that the body clock is located in a tiny cluster of neurons called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

How much sleep is needed?
According to Maas (1998) the prehistoric genetic blueprint for sleep has not evolved fast enough to keep up with the fast pace of twentieth-century living. Humans are more likely to need an average of ten hours sleep a night rather than the four hours Margaret Thatcher was famously able to get by on. Maas also claims that each of us maintains a personal sleep bank account, and as a rule of thumb for every two waking hours incurs a sleep debt of around one hour. Maas and others argue that modern society is a sleep-deprived society and notes that over the past 20 years an extra month of working hours has been added to the annual working and commuting time. In fact the British work longer hours than any other nation in Europe, and sleep one-and-a-half hours less per night than two generations ago.

Does Sleep Deprivation Affect Health?
In short the answer is ‘yes’. Dement (2000) believes that most of us carry a large ‘sleep debt’ and has linked this to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. Sleep debt is dangerous and potentially be lethal. For example, the Challenger space shuttle disaster was attributed to human error caused by extreme sleep deprivation.

So, sleep is perhaps more important than realised. This was taken from a book being published entitled 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' written by myself and Mr Tim Kevan