Hypnosis is a therapeutic tool that can help people overcome many psychological, emotional and even some physical problems.
It is not what you would have ever seen in old horror films and television programs that portray hypnosis as a frightening instrument of mind control where unscrupulous villains enslave the will of helpless victims? Perhaps you have seen stage shows where a hypnotist seems to be able to use their “hypnotic powers” to make people do and say things that they would never do or say under normal conditions.
However, hypnosis is not:
- Mind control
- A peculiar altered state
- A mystical state
When in hypnosis a person is:
- In control
- In a natural and harmless state
- Able to come out of hypnosis when s/he wishes to
The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypos” which means sleep. It is an abbreviation of the term neuro-hypnotism which means sleep of the nervous system.
The state of hypnosis can best be described as a state of highly focused attention with heightened suggestibility. Hypnosis is sometimes but not always accompanied by relaxation. When a person such as a therapist induces hypnosis in another it is called hetero-hypnosis, often referred to as hypnotherapy. When hypnosis is self-induced it is called autohypnosis and is often referred to as self-hypnosis.
Self-hypnosis is often used to modify behavior, emotions, and attitudes. For instance, many people use self-hypnosis to help deal with the problems of everyday living. Self-hypnosis can boost confidence and even help people develop new skills. A great stress and anxiety reliever, it can also be used to help overcome habits such as smoking and overeating. Sportsmen and women can enhance their athletic performance with self-hypnosis, and people suffering from physical pain or stress-related illnesses also find it helpful (self-hypnosis should only be used in this way after a medical diagnosis has been made and under the guidance of a doctor or qualified Hypnotherapist).
A Self-Hypnosis technique:
I am going to introduce you to a simple but effective technique of self-hypnosis. This technique is called Eye fixation self-hypnosis and is one of the most popular and effective forms of self-hypnosis ever developed. We will start by using it as a method to help you relax. After you have practiced this a number of times then add hypnotic suggestions and imagery. Reduce distractions by going into a room where you are unlikely to be disturbed and turning off your phone, television, computer, etc. This is your time. You are going to focus on your goal of self-hypnosis and nothing else.
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your legs and feet uncrossed.
Avoid eating a large meal just before so you don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. Unless you wish to nod off, sit in a chair, as lying down on a bed will likely induce sleep. You may also wish to loosen tight clothing and take off your shoes. If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to remove them. Keep your legs and feet uncrossed.
- Look up at the ceiling and take in a deep breath.
Without straining your neck or tilting your head too far back pick a point on the ceiling and fix your gaze on that point. While you keep your eyes fixed on that point take in a deep breath and hold it for a moment and then breathe out. Silently repeat the suggestion “My eyes are tired and heavy and I want to SLEEP NOW”. Repeat this process to yourself another couple of times and, if your eyes have not already done so, let them close and relax in a normally closed position. It is important when saying the suggestion that you say it to yourself as if you mean it, for example in a gentle, soothing but convincing manner.
- Let your body relax.
Allow your body to become loose and limp in the chair just like a rag doll. Then slowly and with intention count down silently from five to zero. Tell yourself that with each and every count you’re becoming more and more relaxed. Stay in this relaxed state for a number of minutes while focusing on your breathing. Notice the rising and falling off your diaphragm and chest. Be aware how relaxed your body is becoming without you even having to try and relax it. In fact, the less you try, the more relaxed you become.
- When ready, come back to the room by counting up from one to five.
Tell yourself that you are becoming aware of your surroundings and at the count of five you will open your eyes. Count up from one to five in a lively, energetic manner. At the count of five, open your eyes and stretch your arms and legs.
Repeat this technique three or four times and notice how each time you reach a deeper level of relaxation. However, if you find you do not relax as much as you would like, do not force it. There is a learning curve involved so resolve to practice self-hypnosis on a regular basis.
Here are some post-hypnotic suggestions you can use in your self-hypnosis. Feel free to alter them to fit your particular needs.
Each and every day I am calm, secure and relaxed.
I am becoming more assertive and confident when I speak to colleagues.
Each and every day I accept myself as I am.
Each and every time I enter hypnosis I relax more deeply.
I find it easy to stop smoking.
I eat three healthy meals a day.
Things to remember while practicing Self-hypnosis:-
- Avoid eating a large meal just before practicing self-hypnosis so you don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. Unless you wish to doze, sit in a chair, as lying down on a bed will likely induce sleep. You may also wish to loosen tight clothing and take off your shoes. If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to remove them. Keep your legs and feet uncrossed.
- Remember, failing to achieve a goal does not mean you are a failure. It may be that you need to approach the goal in a different way or perhaps you need to be persistent.
- Practice self-hypnosis on a regular basis. Relax and take your time. Accept the pace at which you achieve results, however small they may seem at first. Believe in yourself and you will go on to achieve the success you desire.
Have you ever experienced the frustration of having a name on the tip of your tongue? The harder you try to remember the name, the harder it is to recall. Then when you relax the name comes back to you. Sometimes, when we try too hard, we block ourselves from achieving our goals. The attitude you take towards self-hypnosis will determine how easily you learn it. Don’t try too hard or set unrealistic goals. Relax and take your time. Accept the pace at which you achieve results, however small they may at first seem. Believe in yourself and you will go on to achieve the success you desire.