It’s said that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis – that every time we’re “hypnotized” by someone, it’s really us that’s putting ourselves in a trance. Because that’s likely the case, we can tap into that ability to help improve our lives.
Routine states are particular modes of consciousness in which we perform with little conscious input. Think of when you do extremely mundane, repetitive tasks like driving to work or brushing your teeth. When your brain slips into this state, you are running on a routine and you don’t have to think much. These underlying routines are wired into our minds, but with hypnosis, we can manipulate them to benefit us.
By learning the tools of self-hypnosis, you can rewrite parts of your subconscious programming; any habit or routine that holds you back, you can change.
Everything You Need To Know About Self-Hypnosis
By diving deep into a relaxed and meditative state, you can bypass your conscious mind and plant positive thoughts into your subconscious. Like planting ideas in your head while you dream, hypnosis allows you to recreate habits so they benefit you rather than harming you. When you’ve awakened from hypnosis, the thoughts in your subconscious will start to affect your conscious decisions.
What hypnotherapy isn’t
It’s not a quick-fix where one session will solve all of your waking problems. Instead, it’s a gradual process that recruits your subconscious to help nudge your conscious decisions towards what you want.
It’s also not a tool that people can use against you. Even in situations where someone else hypnotizes you, you’re always in control! They can’t take over your mind, even if you cluck like a chicken – you made that choice, not the hypnotist.
Why use hypnotherapy?
Even if you want to change subconscious habits, it can be hard when you’re faced with temptation. Using hypnosis can help you make decisions that are in-line with what your conscious mind wants.
How to self-hypnotize
For self-hypnosis to work successfully, it is important to approach the process with an open mind. To do this you need to:
- Truly want to be hypnotized
- Not be skeptical
- Be fearless about the idea of being hypnotized
- Not over-analyze the processes involved
You also need to think about why you are going to use self-hypnosis and what messages you want to give yourself – what ideas you wish to plant into your subconscious. Work on some short positive statements that you are going to use when you reach a hypnotic state. YOUR STATEMENTS MUST ALWAYS BE POSITIVE—YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS ACCEPTS WHATEVER YOU SUGGEST. Self-hypnosis is a great tool to learn to have the ability to hypnotize yourself to affect positive change!
Such statements need to be:
- Genuine – you will not be successful in planting ideas of things you do not want to do or achieve into your subconscious.
- Positive – your statements need to be positive–always
- Simple – your statements need to be very short–no more than a few words long
Some examples of personal hypnotic statements include:
- To relieve stress at the office you may use: ‘I am relaxed at work’
- To assist with an addictive habit, like smoking, you may use: ‘I am a non-smoker’
- To help reduce your nervousness before speaking in front of an audience you may choose: ‘I am a confident speaker’
Remember these statements are also messages to your subconscious – use ‘I’, focus on specific actions, and always prepare your statements as present-tense facts. Concentrate on only one or two statements to start with – commit these to memory and visualize them in your mind. It can also help to write them down.
Steps to Self-Hypnosis*
To start the process you need to feel physically relaxed and comfortable. It might be peaceful music, a candle, or a cozy, comforting room. Whatever relaxes you, immerse yourself in it.
- Find an object that you can focus your vision and attention on – Ideally, this object will involve you looking slightly upwards on the wall like artwork or the ceiling in front of you.
- Clear your mind of all thoughts and just focus on your object – This can be hard to achieve so take your time to let thoughts leave you. Focusing just on your breath is helpful.
- Become aware of your eyes, think about your eyelids becoming very heavy and slowly closing – Focus on your breathing as your eyes close, breathe deeply and evenly.
- Tell yourself that you will relax more every time you exhale- Slow your breathing and let yourself relax deeper and deeper with every breath. Start to make each exhale longer.
- Visualize a gentle up and down or sideways movement of an object – Perhaps the hand of a metronome or a pendulum of an old fashioned grandfather clock– anything that has a slow and steady swing. Watch the item sway backward and forwards or up and down in your mind’s eye.
- Slowly and monotonously count down from ten in your head, saying I am relaxing after each number – ’10 I am relaxing’… ‘9 I am more relaxed’ etc.
- Remind yourself that when you finish counting down to zero you will have reached your ideal hypnotic state
- When you have reached your hypnotic state it is time to focus on the personal statement(s) that you prepared – Focus on each statement – visualize it in your mind’s eye, make it as vivid as possible and repeat it in your thoughts. Continue to stay relaxed and focused. Do this step at least three times, if not more. To reinforce your statements, lightly hold your thumb and index finger together to anchor your positive thoughts as you visualize them and say them in your mind.
- Relax and clear your mind once more before bringing yourself out of your hypnotic state. You can do this by returning to your breath, just breathing in and out naturally.
- Slowly but increasingly vigorously count up to 10 – Reverse the process you used before when you counted down into your hypnotic state. Use some positive messages between each number, as you count. ‘1, when I awake I will feel fully rested and full of energy’ … etc.
- When you reach 10 you will feel fully awake and refreshed! Slowly allow your conscious mind to catch up and integrate with the events of the day.
Self-hypnosis can be a powerful tool to help you maximize your potential and rewire your subconscious routines. Implanting positive ideas and goals into your subconscious mind will allow them to bubble up when you’re making decisions, gently directing you on the path you want for yourself. As long as you go into it with an open mind and a willingness to change, you will find self-hypnosis truly does work.
*Adapted from skillsyouneed.com