Hypnosis is a powerful method to make permanent changes in one’s life. yet a majority of people do not know that they can easily use self-hypnosis. Maybe because they don;t know much about it. So let’s take a minute to demystify hypnosis by first taking a look at what hypnosis is. For the sake of brevity, I’ll defer to FIH Fundamentals of Hypnotism manual’s general working definition: “A natural, yet altered state of mind where communication and responsiveness with the subconscious mind is present.”
Now let’s look at that further. It is natural, so it requires nothing artificial to attain it and therefore, anyone can experience it. It’s an altered state, no it’s not regular or typical which implies something needs to be done to attain it. So far so good.
“Where communication and responsiveness with the subconscious mind is present.” This is where we start to run off the rails a bit, yet, stick with me and you’ll see it is not such a mystery. Everyone has a subconscious mind and communicates with it and it communicates with us. It determines your behavior since the “knowns” in the subconscious mind create our habits, responses and behaviors. The difference is while in hypnosis the subconscious is responsive to new ideas, which become new “knowns” and then change the existing programming.
To help you get started, I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you want to feel calmer in social situations. Start by finding a place where you can relax for 15 to 20 minutes undisturbed. Sit or recline, be comfortable, yet not so comfortable that you fall asleep. Find a spot high on the wall to stare at and focus all your attention there and as you do take in a deep breathe. As you exhale tell yourself to relax. Keep staring at the spot and do that twice more, then breath normally and tell yourself that you are going to count backward from 5 down to 1 and when you get to 1 then you’ll close your eyes and start to enter into a hypnotic state. Now count backward slowly and when you say 2, take in a deep breath and when you say 1, exhale it and allow your eyes to close. Remind yourself that you are now entering into hypnosis. Next bring your attention on your closed eyelids and repeat several suggestions to yourself that they are so heavy they won’t work. Then just pretend to open them and find that they don’t open. (Remember, you are pretending to try to open them here.)
Now tell yourself that in a minute you’ll open and close your eyes and that’s your signal to deepen your state. Now open your eyes briefly and as you close them remind yourself that you are deepening your state. Do that twice more, then tell yourself that in a minute your body will start relaxing one part at a time and give yourself suggestions to relax and go deeper as you talk yourself through relaxing your body from your toes to your head.
Once you are completely relaxed repeat suggestions to yourself that are simple and easy to understand with an increasing element of improvement and ones that have a strong emotion desire for you, such as ” Now, more and more, I find myself feeling more calm and more relaxed in social situations. Say the suggestion three times, then say your next suggestions three times. Another one might be “Everyday in every way I am now more relaxed when interacting with others.” After repeating your suggestions, take a few minutes to imagine yourself in the new way, so “see” yourself being more calm and relaxed in social situations and allow yourself to feel the improved emotion of the new way of being. After finishing the visualization, tell yourself that you’ll count from 1 to 5 and when you get to 5 you’ll open your eyes and be back to your regular waking state. Then count yourself up and “de-hypnotize” yourself.
Repeating the suggestions, seeing yourself acting differently and feeling the improved emotion impacts the subconscious mind and creates change. In this way self hypnosis is something that can be easily learned and utilized daily as a pleasant way to improve your life.