Sometimes we do something that acts as a trigger to feeling really good for a moment. Perhaps it is someone's face or a piece of music. The associated feeling could be either extremely positive or extremely negative. For example, let's assume that every time you deal with a certain person, he is very awkward. If this happens regularly, eventually you are likely to feel bad just when you see or think about the person, before that person has begun any awkward or unpleasant behaviour. This isn't entirely useful! In such an instance, then you need to break the habit of response. This is explored in the focus, belief and physiology section.
The same principle applies to something positive. Every time we see a celebrity we find really funny or love, we will most likely feel good. These people have the power to make billions of people feel good and put them into a euphoric state of mind. This is why they are paid so much money! We don't have to wait for mental associations to be built up over time, we can be proactive and create some of our own. For example, pick a certain action. This could be shaking your fist. Or touching a part of your body (easy tiger!) Now we need to do this whilst feeling very good about ourselves. I personally use the fist shaking. It could also be a punching in the air motion. Anthony Robbins calls this a power move, which ideally engages movement in the whole body, like a boxer getting down low to do a punching motion to the ribs, really putting body weight and back into it. It can however be whatever you want. Now, when you shake your fist (etc.), say 'YES!' to yourself, as if you have just scored a goal in football or won the lottery or had a great date with your ideal partner etc. Just feel good. Now repeat this. Over and over again.
Eventually, after a few dozen times, you don't have to try so hard to feel good when you do this, it will come naturally. Now you have created a positive anchor. Use this during the day if you aren't feeling great, or are feeling bored, uncertain or unfocussed. You will be amazed by the power and how your state of mind instantly changes. You can use this in times of stress too, as a pattern interrupter. Use whatever you need to! Pattern interrupts (of negative conditioned behaviour responses that we want to eliminate) tend to be more shock related, such as having a bucket of water poured over your head, being slapped around the face, saying STOP to yourself, but there is no reason why you can't use your anchor here.
Anchors use a pattern of neuro-association in the same way as Pavlov's dogs and are a fundamental principle in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
Western societies tend to excessively rely on external triggers, for example, movies, music, certain situations to arise etc., in order to change our state of mind to something positive, blissful and enlightened. Such states of mind rarely last very long if they are achieved at all; and are often subject to a variety of rules that have to be fulfilled before our mind allows us to feel intense pleasure. As discussed on the References page, positive visualisation is also a powerful tool in creating a positive mental state; and that if one cannot bring oneself to positively visualise one's body being healthy, or for example, Qi moving around one's meridians, or even a positive outcome to a given situation and cementing that belief through that act of visualisation; if one cannot be oneself in one's own head, be positive about oneself, show oneself love, and take proactive steps to be that person inside one's own head; in other words to positively assert oneself in one's own head (rather than just be a slave to negative visualisation and self-dialogue); then one is unlikely to be oneself, feel good, be who one wants to be and to positively assert oneself and express oneself in one's interaction with the outside world. To be able to visualise is a very important skill.
The concept of attachment to the outside events and people of the world from Zen Buddhism may be useful, in that generating a constant state of spiritual enlightenment and wellbeing which is not reliant on external factors and addictions may well prove more rewarding. Even monotheistic religions appear to have a high level of attachment to various religious concepts, rituals, traditions etc. It is clearly up to the individual how much attachment they want to have to external sources and ideas in their lives, and what addictions they choose to embrace.