In our families, cultures and societies, we are often taught that if you have a health issue … go to a doctor! If you suffer from stress, tension or anxiety, go to a therapist … they’ll prescribe the very best pills and medications for you! Oh yes!
Essentially, most of us are under the impression that in order to make our problems go away and to “get well”, we must seek out the assistance of someone else, preferably with a “professional” degree or certification that will leave us with the impression that we truly are getting the best of help.
While in some situations this might be a reasonable idea (i.e., the life and death variety), for a large percentage of us, it is not always necessary to fork out $50-$250 on a therapy session, or throw coins and dollar bills into the hands of pharmacies for a nasty concoction of prescription drugs.
If you have the motivation, will power and persistence, you can actually learn how to heal yourself – and on an extremely tight budget. In this article, I will show you one of the best ways to do that.
What is Self-Hypnosis?
When I was first researching ways of overcoming my intense anxiety issues, I stumbled across the phrase ‘self-hypnosis’ and almost didn’t give it a second glance.
Self-hypnosis? It carries some pretty silly connotations. So to clear these up, this is what self-hypnosis is not:
- Self-hypnosis is not dangling a pendulum in front of your face.
- Self-hypnosis is not falling asleep or into an unconscious state from which it is difficult to awaken.
- Self-hypnosis does not cause you to lose control.
On the other hand, self-hypnosis does involve:
- Inducing yourself into a highly suggestible state (this will be explored below).
- Full control and awareness over your actions.
- The ability to exit your naturally altered state of mind whenever desired.
In essence, self-hypnosis involves inducing yourself into a very calm and receptive state of focused concentration. This makes a person’s response to suggestions heightened, e.g. “I am feeling strong, confidence and calm”, “My body is completely relaxed and still”, “I am free. I am healthy”. Such suggestions will be better reflected in the person’s daily life.
In fact, self-hypnosis is such a powerful tool that it has been proven to help treat a number of issues including:
- Stress and anxiety issues.
- Weight problems.
- Chronic pain.
- Sleep disorders.
- Self-esteem issues.
In fact, when I compare my own experience of taking SSRI anxiety prescription drugs and the affects of self-hypnosis, the most powerful and long-lasting healing affects I received were through the processes of self-induced hypnosis.
I experienced greater clarity of thought, better decision making, less general anxiety, and improved health as a result of going to the effort to change and override my deep-seated thoughts and beliefs that were causing me distress.
There is no question that self-hypnosis takes time, dedication and practice. Don’t expect to immediately succeed on your first try (although if you do, congratulations!) But do really take the time to explore different techniques of this powerful tool.
Below I will share with you some essential tips about self-hypnosis, and an exercise that mimics the self-hypnosis method that works for me. However, don’t forget that we are all different and don’t necessarily respond to the same techniques. This is why I encourage you to read more into different techniques after finishing this article. Being your own doctor and therapist is not only invigorating, but immensely rewarding!
How to Perform Self-Hypnosis
Before you attempt to perform self-hypnosis, you must be aware of the following tips:
- The unconscious mind does not process negatives. By this I mean, if you suggest to yourself in the hypnotic state “I am not anxious. I never was stressed. I am not going to feel tense again”, your unconscious mind interprets this as: “I am anxious. I was stressed. I’m going to feel tense again.” This is known as the law of reversed effect, and is strongly advised against by professionally trained hypnotists. Instead, whatever suggestion you design for yourself, ensure that it is stated in the positive. For example: “I am feeling calm and serene. My body is still and quiet. I am feeling strong and capable”. Always suggest to your mind what you want to feel, as opposed to what you don’t want to feel.
- State your suggestions in the present tense. This will make them more effective. For example, avoid phrasing your suggestions in the following manner: “I will be more confident”. Instead, phrase them in the present tense: “I am becoming more confident”, “I am releasing this addiction with ease”.
- Believe what you say and have conviction. Your unconscious mind can’t be fooled. If you tentatively think: “From now on I approach my day with optimism and joy”, chances are you will remain in the same miserable rut as before with no improvement. Have faith in your suggestions. This will reassure your mind and bring about the change you desire.
- Focus on one thing at a time. If you want to lose weight, overcome your smoking addiction and have a better sex drive, focus on what the most crucial goal is for you. Also, be realistic in your suggestions. Self-hypnosis will not wave a magical fairy wand and make you the happiest person alive within a week, for instance. Instead, focus on repeating something your unconscious mind can process, e.g. “I am feeling more joyful each passing day. I am building more positive habits”.
Now I will share with you a technique to practice on your own. Ensure you have a specific and realistic suggestion in mind. This is the process:
1. Find a comfortable place.
Preferably find somewhere with little disturbance or noise (although I’ve managed to practice this on a noisy bus many times!) You will need at least 15-30 minutes to spare. I recommend sitting up instead of lying down, as this can cause you to fall asleep easily.
2. Focus on relaxing your body.
You can do this by progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) or by repeating to yourself the word “sleep” for a few minutes slowly. It is important that you focus your eyes on one spot, whether it be a mark on the wall, a distant static object, etc. As you enter the hypnotic state, you will feel a sense of detachment, complete relaxation, pleasant “heaviness”, or “drifting” sensations. You can keep your eyes open, or close them at this point. I tend to keep my eyes open.
3. Focus on your suggestion.
You can repeat your suggestion out loud, but I prefer to mentally state my suggestions in silence. If you desire to overcome your feelings of social anxiety, for example, you may state your suggestion slowly and with feeling in the following way: “I am becoming more calm and relaxed in social situations”. You might also like to expand on your suggestion, remembering to keep your statements in the positive and present tense. For example, “I feel whole … I feel confident and capable … Today I will feel happy with my success … I am making progress each day … I am becoming confident and peaceful … I am at peace within.” These can be said slowly and deliberately, repeated throughout the 15-30 minutes you dedicate to your self-hypnosis.
4. Exit your hypnotic state.
At the end, when you feel satisfied to finish, you can gently exit your hypnotic state in the following way: “Five … I am exiting this state … four … I am awakening … three … I am awakening … two … wide, wide awake … one.” Slowly shift your eyes away from the point you were focusing on, or if your eyes were closed, open them gradually. You have now left the hypnotic state. Your session is complete.
In self-hypnosis, repetition, persistence and conviction are all essential elements you require to bring about the change you need. Don’t expect to try self-hypnosis once and have it solve all of your problems! Also, you may need to experiment with a few different techniques to find what is the most affective approach for you. In our vastly rich age of information, this shouldn’t be hard to do!
I hope this article has opened another possible avenue of healing to you on your inner work path.
Please share this article with whoever you feel may benefit. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences below!
Im obliged for the article post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.
Hi , as a child i whas told that i am to sensibile, home , school ,so i shut down this part from me and in my awakening everything whas overwhelming all my senses and smells, I thought that is normal, and I waited and waited, something to change, and nothing , the same stuff , but what I realised is that I need to accept my hiper sensitivity and don’t reject it anymore . Thank you for all the information, you don’t realised how much is helping me to navigate my awakening , I have low self esteem and I can’t do the shadow work , but the rest I always read the emails and you are such a blessing in my life . God bless you and have a new year full of success and love . And if I made some mistakes in writing, I m sorry but it’s my second language ❤
I am going to try this. I have chronic pain issues and I no longer wanted to take the high doses of pain medicine that sometimes enabled me to function like I used too. My body doesn’t metabolize medications of any kind properly anyway so the effects if any didn’t last long. I’ve had injections, epidurals, lidocaine fusions-you name it- as well but nothing has worked. I am excited that I read your article about self-hypnosis. I’m also going to share this with those that will appreciate and benefit from this. Keep up the amazing work
I have tried self hypnosis over some three months, suggesting to myself that i would be more creative in my work as a designer for nuclear equipment. My supervisor considered me indispensable and a valuable asset. The hypnosis had the complete opposite effect to that desired. I could not even put pencil to paper and was in fact mentally paralyses. I informed my supervisor of my attempts at enhancing my ability and being the understanding person that he was he advised me to proceed on paid leave for at least a month to get rid of the reverse effect . I followed the advice given and returned completely rid of the negative effects. I wish now to try hypnosis to enhance my skill as a musician but am afraid of the reverse effect taking place. Is there any way to overcome this revers effect phenomenon..Thank you sincerely.
My deepest thoughts is of my son dying. I lost my sister when I was young not sure if this is the reason why I get these thoughts, but I always try to avoid them, I even get scared of having those thoughts and quickly try to get them of my mind. I talk my self out of it, by saying it’s okay, by accepting his death and asking the moon and stars to guide him to a safe path. Sometimes, he calls me or we cross paths shortly after, could be the next day or that evening, when it happens life brightens up again. I try the self talk that I mentioned above but I think the self-hypnosis will help a lot more. Thank you so much.
I hmhav done it and never realied the state i left myself in. I cldnt fall asleep. My mind wld.just race and race and never shut down. So i started to slowly count to 100 every nite,and concentrate only on the numbers in sequence,no other thoughts were allowed,if i thot of anything else,bam,back to number one and start over until i wld reach 100,then count backwards,same thing,think of anything but numbers,bam,back to the beginning. Once u getngood at it ,u wont even make it too the end of 100 at all before sleep,now my body and mind just automaticaly do it,no problems.
I too want to try out this for serious weight loss and appetite control to a very minimal level. I trust it would work out well for my good.
Great article, it helped me with some ideas. Thank you
I want to try this for weight loss & weight/appetite control.
what do you think?
I have been going into states of trance quite naturally for the past few days now. I didn’t know that I was practicing self-hypnosis.
It just happens sometimes when I am sitting on the bed and sometimes when I am just walking at a slow pace in my living room. And when I have a very soft focus on nothing in particular.
And automatically then I start feeling positive and the thoughts that come to my head are – I am more than ordinary, I feel a sense of strong power growing inside me, I feel content and abundant, I am in a state of bliss.
And then I just desire moments of prolonged silence after going into this phase. And I feel completely at peace with the flow of life.