Whilst a lot of people are aware that they can be (potentially) hypnotised by somebody else, there appears to be a more limited awareness around self-hypnosis. With self-hypnosis, you are able to effectively train yourself to achieve trance without the requirement of any external input, however doing so requires a great deal of time and patience as it requires a great deal more practice than standard hypnosis involving a hypnotist.
This article is intended as a brief introduction to the art of self-hypnosis. What it is, how it works and some advice regarding basic steps which you can – with enough practice – use to teach yourself to enjoy and utilise hypnotic trance.
What is self-hypnosis?
Essentially, self hypnosis is a form of hypnosis which is self-induced. In other words, no external influence is required. Instead, self-hypnosis utilises self-suggestion where you, rather than another hypnotist offer yourself suggestions, typically (although not exclusively) relating to self-improvement.
How does self-hypnosis work?
Self hypnosis works in the same way as regular hypnosis, except you are leading the progression without any external guidance or suggestions. As a result, this requires more focus on your part as well as necessitating a prior understanding of how hypnotic trance can be achieved effectively for you.
For this reason, some people find self-hypnosis easier to achieve after they have been guided into hypnosis by a professional hypnotist, as you are then aware of what “markers” to be aware of which confirm that you are going deeper into trance. This isn’t necessary, but it can be helpful in accelerating the process.
How can I practice self-hypnosis?
Below are some simple steps which you can use to help you to practice self hypnosis.
- Have a specific goal in mind. Think of one specific thing which you want to achieve. Keep it relatively simple to begin with, e.g. to be able to deeply relax. Once you have achieved your first goal, then you can begin to add more complex goals, e.g. emptying your mind, then lifting your mood, or overcoming a fear. Anything is possible, but make sure you take your time and don’t run before you can walk. Alternatively, use your initial sessions to focus on specific affirmations and use self-hypnosis to allow those to manifest. e.g. “I am totally capable of achieving what I set my mind to do. I am unique and can achieve things which no one else can, and look forward to showing the rest of the world what I am capable of”.
- Self-awareness is key. What do you notice now about your body that you didn’t when your eyes were open. Do you notice your breathing and how as your mind and body begin to relax your breathing begins to slow down? Do you notice areas of your body which seem particularly tense? Personally, I tend to carry a great deal of tension in my shoulders, so a great exercise for me is to close my eyes and focus on this area of tension as I breathe in, and simply allow myself to be aware of that tension beginning to release itself and melt away as I breathe out. It’s a process, but one that works very well. Alternatively, you can use each breath to focus on a different part of your body – either start at your head or your feet and systematically work your way up or down your body, drawing out all the tension. As well as releasing the physical tension, you’ll also find that your mind becomes much calmer and clearer, as well.
- Prepare yourself. Find somewhere where you can rest in a comfortable position (sitting, lying down – it doesn’t matter) for a prolonged period, and where you will not be disturbed. This means no phones, computers or interruptions….just somewhere where you can relax for at least an hour. Ensure that you’re wearing comfortable clothing – preferably fairly loose – and that you won’t get too hot or too cold. Finally, don’t settle down for a session when you have to rush off right afterwards to a meeting/event, etc. Set aside time when you have nothing else planned afterwards, otherwise you’ll be worrying about how much time you have left instead of simply enjoying the experience.
- Take time and appreciate what you’ve achieved
- Discover your special space.
- Focus on what you want to achieve
- Slowly reorient yourself with your surroundings once you’ve finished – take your time and don’t rush. You’ll likely enjoy a positive “buzz” for a while afterwards, so enjoy it.