Self hypnosis is similar to regular hypnosis except it is performed by yourself. Many people have an idea in their head about hypnosis, mostly developed from Hollywood’s dramatics about mind-control. Hypnosis is not mind-control or brain-washing, it doesn’t force you to go to sleep, render you unconscious, alter your state of mind or take you into another plane. When hypnotized a person is fully aware, they are still in control, and they are able to come out of hypnosis whenever they wish. Hypnosis is better described as a state of highly focused attention in which the person is very susceptible to suggestions. It is an excellent therapy tool that helps people somewhat re-wire their brain so that they can pick up good habits and abandon bad habits.
The idea behind self hypnosis, or any form of hypnosis really, is the same ideas behind marketing and advertising: if you suggest something to someone enough, eventually they will feel the need to engage in that behavior, whether it be buying a certain brand of cereal or convincing yourself not to eat that extra piece of pie.
A Guide to Self Hypnosis
The key to successful self hypnosis is getting yourself into a relaxed state. Here is a brief guide to achieving self hypnosis:
Sit in a comfortable chair with your legs and feet uncrossed. You don’t want to lay on a bed as you risk then falling asleep, but you also want optimal blood flow so keep your legs and feet uncrossed and resting comfortably. Wear loose fitting clothing, take out any contact lenses and remove your shoes.
Tilt your head as far back as is naturally comfortable and focus on a point in the ceiling. Keeping your eyes fixed on that one point, take in a deep breath and hold it for a moment. Then breathe out while silently telling yourself that you are tired and want to fall asleep right now. Be sure that the command is said soothingly and gently, but also convincingly. Repeat this until your eyes naturally close and relax.
Allow your body to relax. Feel the relaxation stretch from your toes into your legs, up into your hips and pelvis then into your stomach. Feel it reach through your chest and shoulders and down your arms into your fingers, then allow it to move up your neck and into your face. You should feel loose and limp in the chair.
Begin to slowly and silently count down from five to zero. Tell yourself that with each number you are becoming more relaxed. Focus on your breathing and be aware of how relaxed you are without trying to force yourself to continue relaxing.
Now is the time to work on making a suggestion to yourself. Say the suggestion as if you mean it. Be sure the suggestion is phrased positively and in the present tense, “I stop eating easily when I am full.” for example. Be sure the suggestions are specific and realistic. Don’t bundle goals together. Work on one issue at time. Continue to repeat the positive suggestion and visual the situation and the outcome you desire. Putting these things together cements the suggestion in your brain.
Waking up from Hypnosis
When you are ready to wake up, begin by telling yourself that you are becoming aware of your surroundings and at the count of five you will open your eyes again. Begin slowly counting up from one in a lively manner and at the count of five open your eyes then stretch out your arms and legs.
Be sure to practice self hypnosis a few times a week. The more often you put the suggestions into your mind, the better your chances of success!