What is Self-Hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis is a naturally occurring state that virtually everyone, with practice, can learn to use for achieving goals that might otherwise be too difficult or even impossible to achieve. Self-Hypnosis is one of the most powerful hypnotic interventions - it is a way to connect with your own potentiality, your own infinite possibilities, and your own creativity.
People practise self-hypnosis for many different reasons; regular practise can help with many issues, such as:
- Resolving problems
- Improving creativity
- Relieving pain
- Achieving goals, such as weight loss
- Improving performance, eg sports
- Improving emotional health and life balance
The state of your life is a reflection of your state of mind
Through self-hypnosis you can learn to pay attention to your body signals and become aware of what you are doing to yourself through stress, negativity and tension, and do something about it. What we think about and focus on is what will expand in our life, so instead of thinking about what you don’t want, change your focus onto what you do want in your life. Self-hypnosis can help you to achieve that goal. In fact, being able to use self-hypnosis, or meditate, will provide immeasurable benefits; spiritually, physically and emotionally.
All Hypnosis is Self-Hypnosis
Many people think there is a difference between hypnosis guided by someone else and self-hypnosis; however, all hypnosis is really self-hypnosis. Someone else may guide you or help you develop the trance, but you are always in control. It is your hypnosis; it is your meditation. When doing hypnosis for yourself, you are both the operator and guide as well as the subject. This poses some limitations since some techniques may take more practice, however, self-hypnosis deepens the more you use it. The best way of going deeper is to let go of trying too hard and allow yourself to become absorbed by the feelings of trance without questioning it. People only go as deep as is appropriate for them at that time; you can trust your unconscious mind that the depth of trance you achieve is the correct depth for you at that time.
How do I start?
One of the easiest ways to get into self-hypnosis is with one of the methods of progressive relaxation. The feeling will be very similar to meditating; just give yourself enough time to relax. It is easy to come out of hypnosis by counting backwards, or reversing the induction, or simply telling yourself that you will meditate for a certain amount of time. You will automatically come out if there is an emergency - your unconscious mind will alert you if ever there is a real need to come out of a hypnotic experience.
Some people learn self-hypnosis quickly and others take more time. How quickly or slowly one learns has little to do with how effective it will be for you once you have mastered it. Self-hypnosis is a skill, and like any other skill it requires practise. Below are listed some of the common practical matters that arise with self-hypnosis:
Where Should I Practise?
For some people the issue of where to practise will not arise; they will be able to practise anywhere. It is similar to the ability that some people have to fall asleep anywhere. However, most people will want to find a nice, private, peaceful place. When one gets better and more comfortable with the process, it is possible to practise anywhere. The most important aspect of this place is that it should feel as comfortable, safe, and free from interruptions as possible.
How Long Should I Practise?
The question of how much time is not nearly as important as the quality of time that you spend practising. It is important that a proper designated time is used; in the early stages of practise, one would probably use 15-20 minutes as a guide. However, when you become more competent, then perhaps only 10 minutes will be needed.
What Should I Expect Regarding Results?
Change is part of life, and we as human beings are always in a state of change externally and internally. The expectation of change becomes more focused with time and practise. The more beneficial changes you can make through self-hypnosis, the more effectively you will live your life.
Can I Make The Process Easier?
Once you are satisfied that you feel as comfortable and relaxed as you can be, examine the feeling. Describe it to yourself in as many ways as you can and remember this feeling of deep relaxation. The important thing is to find some image or experience with which you can identify this soothing, relaxed state; this feeling is an excellent place from which to begin self-hypnosis. Each time you practise self-hypnosis, you can reinforce the image and memory of the feeling of relaxation. Eventually, with practice, just the image or memory in your mind becomes a link that automatically produces the relaxed feeling.
You can also give yourself a suggestion while in self-hypnosis that, “at any time I desire to relax and feel less tense, several deep, satisfying breaths will cause this same feeling of restful comfort and relaxation to occur.” This reinforcement of the deep breathing cue while you are in your trance will extend and enhance the relaxation response and help you to employ it at any time you feel the pressure and stress of any situation building up.
Many stress-related symptoms such as headaches, stomach upsets, fatigue, and other pains and problems are the result of stored tension and emotional and physical stress. Healthy breathing and relaxation techniques will help in relieving these symptoms.
Copyright Joanna Taylor 2013