Core Concepts

The Peak State

When practicing NLP you will often come across the phrase Peak State especially when discussing Anchors and often when executing NLP change patterns.

People go in and out of different emotional states throughout their day, this ebb and flow has a particular structure that is important to NLP practitioners and consists of 4 particular ‘points’.


Neutral State

The Neutral state is a where we spend most of the day, it is the background noise of existence that doesn’t influence our performance to any great extent. In NLP when we talk about breaking state we are talking about the process of returning the client to a neutral state.

Heightening or Waxing Phase

This is the build up to the main event, the anticipatory phase when the emotional state is building up to its full force. Anyone who has been to a concert will recognise the way in which the audience builds up to the main band coming out, that pent-up excitement waiting to burst out.

This stage is the rising irritation in the anger response, the feeling of uneasiness in the fear response and the tingling with anticipation of the excitement response.

Peak State

The often explosive culmination of the heightening where we get the opportunity to feel the full effect of the emotional state. Whether it is ‘Seeing Red’ as in the case of anger or the involuntary scream of excitement or the gibbering of the frightened, the peak state is that moment where you feel the full force of your emotions that blocks out all other thoughts.

Diminishing or Waning Phase

The come down after the explosion, the calming of the storm, the end of an era. Whatever phrase you use this is the moment after the emotional peak, it is a drop off of the emotional state back to Neutral. It can take place in an instant or can take hours or days depending upon the circumstances. You can go from a peak state back to Neutral in an instant with the right technique.


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