This is a short guide to self hypnosis – something you can do yourself.
Before you start, you need to decide upon a single goal that is to be tackled – like feeling more confident in the interview tomorrow.
For each self-hypnosis session, stick to this single goal and plan your positive affirmations in advance.
Wording your affirmations correctly
When deciding on the suggestions beforehand always state them as if they are a reality and in the present. This is very important as your unconscious mind believes exactly what it is told.
For example :
Do not say……….‘’I want to be confident’’.
Do say……….‘’I am a confident person’’.
You must make the suggestion completely unambiguous and always accentuate the positive. For example :
Do not say……….‘’I don’t want to be shy’’.
Do say……….‘’I am confident and self assured when in the company of other people”.
Click here for a page of typical affirmations.
First – create the right conditions
Find a quiet room where you will not be disturbed, dim the lights or turn them off. You may choose to light a candle, or burn some aromatherapy oils, and/or play some relaxation music quietly in the background. Use anything which helps you to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Then make yourself as comfortable as possible – ideally in a chair with a head rest.
Tell yourself, silently or out loud, that you are going to do self hypnosis. Then tell yourself, silently or out loud, how long you want to remain in hypnosis. 10-15 minutes is fine to begin with, however, after a few weeks practice, you may decide to make it last longer.
The breathing technique
Close your eyes and begin to breathe very slowly and deeply, in through your nose and out through your mouth. At the top of your breath hold it for 3 seconds, then count to 5 on every out breath. As you breathe out imagine you are breathing away any nervous tension left in your body. Also make sure you breathe diaphragmatically, so as you breathe in your stomach goes out, and as you breathe out your stomach goes in. Say the word “Relax” on every out breath. Continue this breathing pattern for 10 or more breathes, or as long as it takes for you to feel completely relaxed.
Clearing your mind
Allow your mind to go completely blank. Don’t worry if you still get any unwanted thoughts in your mind, tell yourself not to fight them as they will soon drift away again. Every time you get an unwanted thought, imagine a large computer screen full of data, and by hitting the delete key on the keyboard, the screen goes blank. If you are not into computers, then design your own appropriate method to allow those interfering thoughts to be dispelled – be inventive!
Deepening your relaxation/hypnosis
By now you will already be in a light trance state. A good technique to guide yourself deeper into trance is to silently and mentally count down from 10 to 1, feeling every muscle in your body relax more and more with each descending number. Leave about 5 seconds in between each number or even count each number on every 2nd or 3rd out breath.
To enhance this, you can also use imagination – for example, imagine yourself going down 10 steps and imagine that each step has a number on it – 10 on the top step and 1 on the bottom step. Count the number with each step, going deeper with each number. Use whatever feels right for you. Many people create a wonderful place to relax at the bottom of the steps – telling themselves that this place (a garden or a beach for example) represents the required depth of relaxation needed – so each step takes them deeper down to that place, and once there, find a place to lie down and rest completely.
Utilising this hypnotic state
When you reach this stage you can either just relax and drift, or better still, you can give yourself some positive suggestions or affirmations. The wording of which must have been decided before you start. Work on one goal at a time, usually over a number of sessions. Don’t for example work on quitting smoking and building your confidence in the same session. Although you can use a number of affirmations in one session make sure they all relate to one chosen goal at this time. Then silently and mentally repeat them over and over, slowly and positively using as few words as possible. Be very direct as though you are giving yourself commands. Sometimes you can create a rhythm with your breathing saying the affirmation on each out breath, almost like a chant or mantra.
The power of imagery
You can also use imagery as well as words when in the hypnotic state. For example, if you are due to go for an interview and you have been feeling nervous, you can visualise yourself going for the interview feeling composed and full of confidence and conducting yourself in a very positive way. You accept there will be a small degree of nerves but you are in control of the level of anxiety you feel, and you use that anxiety to keep you focused and on the ball. Play the images in your mind like a film, using as much detail as possible.
See the shape and size of the room, notice the colours of the walls and carpet, feel your clothes against your skin, notice the fresh smell of the room, the softness as you sit in the chair. Make the whole picture bright and clear and use as many of your senses as you can, the more vivid your imagination the better. Most importantly, always see yourself in a completely positive light, expressing yourself clearly and confidently and feeling very calm and composed under any pressure.
You can use this powerful technique to prepare yourself for many things, such as an exam, a sporting event, public speaking, on business and social occasions. Remember – your unconscious mind cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined, so the more you imagine a positive future situation or event, the more you compound your inner belief that you are calm, confident and in control in these situations.
Bringing yourself back to full consciousness
When you feel it’s time to wake up from your hypnosis, all you do is slowly and mentally count up from 1 to 10. When you reach the number 10 your eyes will open and you will be fully alert and conscious, with a feeling of well being all over. However, if you practice before going to sleep do not count up from 1 to 10, tell yourself beforehand that it will turn into a natural deep sleep from which you will wake up in the morning feeling positive and refreshed.