Hypnosis is a proven method of deep relaxation that is used for creating inner changes in our thoughts, emotions and behaviours. It is also a medically recognised tool for controlling pain and reducing stress. The most common form of hypnosis these days is self hypnosis. This is a self-induced state of deep relaxation attained by either listening to a recording or by bringing yourself into a trance.
It is fairly easy to learn self hypnosis and, as with everything else in life, “practise makes perfect!” The key is to take it easy. Approach the subject with a playfulness. Do not try too hard to enter into trance for this defeats the whole purpose of hypnosis. You are going to learn how to bring yourself into a profoundly relaxed state and trying to force it to happen only makes you tense and has the reverse effect.
A major part in the art of self hypnosis is learning to let the hypnotic state take over by itself. Try not to analyze what is happening. When you keep the conscious mind engaged in analyzing you will find it hard to go from the beta brainwave state (conscious waking decision making) to the alpha brainwave state (the deeply relaxed state of light trance where most hypnosis subjects stay). Just allow yourself to relax. It is your body’s natural state to relax when you perform certain mental and physical actions (which I will teach you shortly), so don’t fight it by trying to figure out how or why it is happening.
Do not get discouraged or think nothing is happening if you don’t feel much change at first or if progress appears to be slow. After some practise you will find entering a state of self-induced trance become easy and natural as you teach your body and mind to relax.
Don’t expect to be an expert right off the bat! Expecting yourself to be as good as Paul McKenna or Dick Sutphen on your first attempt is setting yourself up for frustration. It takes time to learn hypnosis and unless you are truly fortunate it will take time to teach your body and mind to let go and enter this state effortlessly – but it will happen.
Remember that there are various ways to experience hypnosis and no two people will experience trance in exactly the same way. So expect your experience to be the same as someone else’s!
It is a good idea to set aside a regular time to practice your new skills. Give yourself the gift of 15 to 30 minutes everyday or every other day to practise self hypnosis. Make sure you will not be disturbed and that your environment is quiet. You may be surprised that you do not actually get sleepy or fall asleep during hypnosis, although the body does enter into that type of relaxed posture.
You may find that initially you tend to fall asleep while practising self hypnosis. If this happens just practise at an earlier time when you are less fatigued until you perfect the technique. If falling asleep is still a problem then practise it while sitting in an upright chair.
Before you begin set an intention for the session. Do you want more confidence, higher self-esteem, the perfect relationship or an improvement in your finances? You will now use one of two techniques which will be used as post hypnotic suggestions. Create some positive affirmations that state you are already they you wish to be or you are already in possession of your desire and memorize them. If this seems like too much work then just imagine you already have your desire and make a mental movie of it. See yourself experiencing it as if it were happening now. You will use one of these techniques when you enter trance to reprogram your subconscious mind!
Begin by sitting or lying comfortably. Keep your head straight, pointing forward, but look up at a spot on the wall – do not bend your neck. Your eyes should be looking slightly up. Breath in to the count of five and out to the count of five. This will cause your body to let go of tensions and stresses. Now curl your toes on both feet and tense them while you inhale to the count of five. Now relax on your exhale to the count of five. Move up to your legs. Tense them and relax. Keep breathing in to the count of five and out to the count of five. Now tense your whole pelvic and buttock region. And relax. All the time breathing deeply. Move up to your stomach, then your chest, neck, face and head, repeating the tensing and relaxing procedure while breathing deeply. Allow your eyes to close naturally at any time during this relaxation exercise. You will find that within a very short period of time it takes more and more effort to keep them open.
Once your eyes are shut and you have relaxed your entire body, imagine that you are at the top of a winding dark staircase with ten steps. Keep breathing deeply to the count of five. Move down to the first step, noticing that you can only see a few steps ahead of you as the rest are shrouded in a calm still darkness. Mentally say the word 10. Now move to the next step and mentally say 9. Then the next saying 8. Move progressively down the steps until you reach the bottom. During this exercise you can allow your breathing to return to normal or keep the deep breathing up if you prefer.
Once you have reached the bottom imagine there is a large wooden door in front of you walk towards it and open it. On the other side you find a moving escalator going down. Move onto it and feel it bringing you down, down, down. Deeper, deeper, down.
When you reach the bottom imagine you can walk slightly forward until you find yourself in a quiet relaxing setting. Just let it appear. It may be a garden, a beach, a forest or a favourite place from childhood. It could be anywhere. Just allow your subconscious mind to show you where you are. Relax in whatever way seems appropriate to you in that special place.
At this stage you can mentally give yourself post hypnotic suggestions in the form of “I am…”, or “I allow____ to enter my life with ease” etc. If you prefer not to have to remember mentally spoken instructions then recall your visualization and place yourself inside it! This is important see the scene through YOUR eyes as though it were a memory. Do not visualize yourself in the scene the way you would see another person. Experience it from your perspective. Do this for as long as it is enjoyable.
Once you have finished and are ready to return to normal waking consciousness, simply count back from 10 to 1 and mentally say “wide awake, wide awake”. Stretch, give yourself a few seconds to re-adjust to your surroundings and then go about your daily activities.
You will find this short exercise in self hypnosis most beneficial, rejuvenating and life-altering!