No More Panic > Self Hypnosis

Self Hypnosis

A Brief Guide to Self Hypnosis

By Glenn Harrold M.B.S.C.H. Dip C.H.

1. Creating the Right Atmosphere

Find a quiet room where you will not be disturbed, preferably a bedroom with no telephone. Dim the lights or turn them off. You may choose to light a candle, or burn some aromatherapy oils, 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, either in a chair with a head rest or by laying down on a couch or bed.

2. Preparing Yourself

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 the trance. Fifteen to twenty minutes is fine to begin with however, after a few weeks practice you may decide to make it last longer.

3. 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 the breathe hold it for three seconds, then count to five on every out breathe. 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. You can also say the word Relax on every out breathe if you wish. Continue this breathing pattern for 10 or more times, or as long as it takes for you to feel completely relaxed.

4. 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. Imagine a large red stop sign every time you get an unwanted thought. As soon as you see the red stop sign imagine the thought disappearing and your mind becoming clear. Another thought clearing method would be to imagine a large computer screen full of data and by hitting a keypad the screen becomes blank. Imagine you are pressing a key pad and your mind becomes blank. Use whatever method works for you.

5. Deepening the Trance State.

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 down on every 2nd or 3rd out breathe. To enhance this you can also use visualization techniques. For example, imagine yourself going down 10 steps into a beautiful garden, count down with each step, going deeper with each number. Use whatever feels right for you.

6. Utilising the Trance 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 upon before you start. You can also use the powerful imagery (see number 8).

7. Wording your Affirmations Correctly.

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. 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 very 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 always confident and self assured in the company of other people”

8. The Power of Imagery

You can also use imagery as well as words when in the trance state. For example, if you are due to go for an interview and you have been feeling nervous, you can visualize 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. Run the images in your mind like a short 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 of any kind, a sporting event, public speaking, on business and social occasions, even on a romantic date.

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 of these situations. I liken it to programming a computer with positive information.

9. Bring Yourself Back to Full Consciousness.

When you feel it’s time to wake up from the trance 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 wide awake 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.

Please Note

Do not worry if you try self hypnosis and you don’t think much happened at first or you could not see much in the visualization, as the mere fact that you went somewhere quiet and centered yourself by closing your eyes and relaxing will have benefited you. However, you will be surprised how effective a suggestion can be in the lightest of trances – the power of the subconscious mind works in a very subtle way. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy it and have faith, because as with all things the more you practice the better you become!