Self-hypnosis does not have to be hard work. It’s actually much easier than most people think and can provide pretty much everyone with a tool to create great changes in their lives. There are many uses of self-hypnosis, including weight-loss, quitting smoking, improving self-esteem or other habits that you may want to rid yourself of. Self-hypnosis is not something limited to a select number of people. Pretty much anyone can do it with just a little bit of practice.
When hearing the word “the mind” most of us immediately thinks of the brain. Well, there are actually two parts to our mind, the conscious and the sub-conscious. About 75% of all our brain activity is sub-conscious, meaning tasks completed by our brains without us knowing. It goes on behind the scenes all day. Every one of us have certain things we like and don’t like, habits or views of life in general. As we embark into adult life these traits tend to remain unchanged because they have been programmed into us from our early years. People we have met, skills we have attained, experiences we have had, these all have influenced our core programming and made us into who we are today. Most of us like who we are in general, but may feel that if we made a few changes (losing weight, quitting smoking, stop biting our nails etc.) things would just be that much better.
Our biggest challenge is that even though we would like to consciously change things it does not mean that our sub-conscious will let us. Think about a smoker for a moment. They know consciously that smoking isn’t very good for them and most likely will shorten their lives dramatically. Still, does this mean that because they know that quitting is smart, they will? No, because our sub-conscious mind will always take over in times of struggle (and changing our old ways IS a struggle) and most of the time the sub-conscious mind says “keep smoking”, so smoking it is. Self-hypnosis is the key here. Why? Because it provides you with an access to your sub-conscious mind and the tools to re-program it.
The first thing you will learn in self-hypnosis is simply closing your eyes, relaxing and counting down from 10 to 0 whilst exhaling. As a result of doing this, most people will fall into a light hypnotic state. This does not mean that you lose control and do not know where you are. It just means you have found a state of rest and relaxation where you are slowing down and shutting out your conscious mind. This state of ease may be taken a step further by visualizing a peaceful place, such as a beach, forest or maybe in your mothers lap. The main idea here is for you to find a place where you feel safe and secure. Through visualization we can actually have a great impact on emotional, mental and physiological states of our body, to the same extent as if we were there. When we are in this state of relaxation and visualization our mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is not.
I am not going to lie to you and say that self-hypnosis is real easy and that five minutes of practice makes you a master at it. What I will say however, is that it is a skill just like any other, and with good practice can be developed and perfected. When going to see a hypnotherapist, they will act as a guide to help you through your mind. With self-hypnosis, you are the hypnotherapist and you provide your own therapy. That way, you choose when to start, how far to go, and when to stop. This is a very important point and should be repeated. Before you start any self-hypnosis session, you have to decide on what it is that you want out of it, how you are going to achieve it and also how you will feel once you’re done. It may help to simply write a script or create a map of the journey through your mind. Once in a hypnotic state you will repeat the script over and over whilst following your map. This way you will stay on target and won’t get lost.
The vast majority of us don’t even realize that they fall into this state of hypnosis many times a day. This may happen while enjoying a book, playing a computer game or simply doing work. This state allows you to narrow your focus of your attention and makes your brain absorb the information much better. The ultimate goal of self-hypnosis is to create an access point for you to the part of your brain (sub-conscious) that controls the behaviours, habits or attitudes you want to change.