In this guide I will show you a super simple way to start using self-hypnosis in your daily routine today. We will cover the benefits, preparation, components, and end with a free audio download to get you on the right track.
Get ready for some fun!
What You Will Need:
- A quiet room
- At least 20 minutes of free time
- Device to play audio
- Incense (optional)
- Blanket (optional)
Headphones are not a requirement, but are strongly suggested to enhance the experience.
Why bother committing to anything if it doesn’t do us any good? Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about that with this process, as it yields fantastic results. For example, for those that become tired in the afternoon, did you know that a single self-guided hypnosis session can give you the same amount of energy as eight hours of sleep?
Another amazing use for self-hypnosis is to access the memories stored in our subconscious minds. Think of your subconscious like a security camera that records everything we see. Have you ever been jealous of people with near photographic memories? What if I told you that through the use of hypnosis, we can access that stored information that we thought was lost! Not only does our subconscious mind store all the images throughout our lifetime, but it also keeps everything we hear, feel, taste, and smell, how cool is that?!
One of my favorite leaders in the field of hypnosis and the power of the human mind is Eldon Taylor. Eldon worked as a criminalist for many years and has unbelievable stories about victims who forgot just about all the details of the crime, but once induced into the hypnotic state, could recall everything from license plate numbers to detailed descriptions of the criminal.
Besides using it for relaxation and memory, self-hypnosis has a myriad of other uses…
Here is a short list of issues that self-hypnosis has been known to help:
- Tension headaches
- Weight loss
It’s important to have everything in the right place (physically and mentally) before you start your session. Below are some things to consider before you begin.
Identify Your Interruptions Before Starting
Interruptions are going to be inevitable. Once you accept that, it will make your life a lot easier!
I can still remember when I first began self-hypnosis. It took me close to 20 sessions to finally enter the proper hypnotic state and accomplish the type of therapy I set out to do. I was totally immersed in this awesome sensation that I had only felt from going to professional hypnotherapists…then my cell phone vibrated on the hardwood table above me and brought me back to reality.
In order to not experience this disappointment, it’s always important to let your family and friends know that you will be busy for the next half hour or so. And if you think you will be receiving random texts from your friend about a Game of Thrones episode, then it is best to turn your phone completely off. Later in the guide I will discuss how to use the sounds around you (birds chirping, dogs barking, cars honking) to take you deeper into hypnosis, but when it comes to a cell phone going off, the simple fact that it is usually someone on the other end saying, “hey, you need to respond!” will almost always take you out of hypnosis.
Your pets can also be a nuisance. Most people find it best to keep the dog or cat outside the room until the session is over. However, if you have a calm pet that can keep still and not bother you, then it does no harm to share the moment. My cat, Apollo, will lie down next to me every time and power through the session with me. It’s almost to the point now where it is weird doing self-hypnosis without my companion!
Set the Scene
We, as humans, go in and out of hypnosis thousands of times throughout our lifetime. We do it multiple times a day while driving, reading a book, etc. Because of this, there is no “right way” to prepare for hypnosis. Once you get better at going deep into trance you can establish a “hypnotic cue” and immediately go into a peaceful hypnotic state.
Yes, you can literally be on a crowded bus with kids yelling in every direction and instantly transport yourself to a beach in Cancun by saying a simple word! However, for the standard self-hypnosis experience it is a good idea to make it as perfectly peaceful as possible.
Here is how I set the scene:
1) Make the room adequately dark. It doesn’t have to be pitch black, but closing the curtains or blinds will help with distracting light.
2) Lie down on a couch, bed, or yoga mat with your head propped up. Chances are, if you do this completely flat you will fall asleep.
3) Grab a blanket. Just in case the temperature changes. Remember, itching, coughing or sneezing doesn’t interfere with hypnosis. If you start shivering, reach for the blanket, get warm, and go deeper!
4) Light some incense. This one is totally up to you, but I have to have incense whenever I do self-hypnosis or meditation. The action of striking the match and lighting the stick has become my ritual that signifies that the process has begun.
5) Put on headphones. Not a requirement, but strongly suggested to enhance the experience.
“The mind is in its own place, and itself can make a heaven of Hell, a hell of Heaven.”
Now let’s get down to business. Self-hypnosis can be as easy or as complicated as you wish. Essentially, when you become a pro at this, you can get yourself into a hypnotic state in seconds, say some positive suggestions, and emerge yourself in under ten minutes.
In order to get to that level you need to know the basics. A self-hypnosis routine will vary from person to person, but I will give some pointers on the fundamental structure of conducting a session from start to finish. Feel free to edit this routine as you see fit.
1. The Induction
Hypnosis has come a long way in the past 50 years and therefore the way we induce the hypnotic state has changed as well. There are dozens of ways to perform inductions, but the most popular is the progressive relaxation induction. While I don’t utilize this induction when I’m working with clients in the office, I feel it is the best option for using it on yourself.
I will provide a hypnosis audio for download at the bottom of this guide, but a very simple progressive relaxation induction can go something like this:
Progressive Relaxation Induction
To begin, simply take in a nice, even breath for the count of five. Then hold for a five count. Then exhale for a five count. Repeat this for a total of three to five times.
Next, begin thinking about the word RELAX. Invite that word and all it means into your body. It represents comfort and peace. As you begin to relax further, imagine a wonderful white light coming down above the crown of your head. The white light reaches your head and you begin to RELAX even further. As it continues down your body it relaxes every fiber of your being until it reaches your toes and ends with an aura of relaxation throughout your entire body.
During this induction you want your muscles to be loose and limp and totally relaxed. Continue doing the breathing pattern from earlier in the induction occasionally and imagine going deeper as your lungs fill with air. Take as much time as you want. You can spend a great deal of time relaxing all the little muscles of the face and especially the jaw.
Did You Know?
The goal of getting into a hypnotic state is accomplished by slowing down brain-wave activity enough to go from the “normal” beta state, to alpha, or even theta.
Let’s take a look at the pictures below to illustrate this:
Most modern hypnotists will use inductions that will already bring a client into a sufficient enough hypnotic state to begin the therapy. However, when doing a progressive relaxation induction alone, it is typically necessary to use a deepener.
Here are two easy way to deepen:
1. Do a countdown. You can simply count down from ten to zero and go deeper with each passing number.
2. Use a visual deepener. Creativity comes from our subconscious mind and it can’t tell reality from imagination. Therefore, we can transport ourselves to a magical forest, or a beach in a moments time!
When it comes to visuals there are two very easy ones we can use as deepening techniques:
The Spiral Staircase
A classic among hypnotists, all you need to do is imagine yourself walking down a circular staircase. With each step you take you go a little deeper into hypnosis. I suggest telling yourself that there are ten steps and each step will bring you 10% deeper. You can probably see how efficient this technique is for the deepening process!
Relaxing on the Beach
I’ve used this technique for myself for as long as I can remember. Before I even started learning hypnosis formally. There are tons of variations of this, but here’s how I do it.
Pretend you’re resting on a peaceful beach by yourself. You are completely content as you feel the warm, comforting sun upon your body. As you lie there, you look at the waves on the shore. Think the word RELAX and visualize each letter, staggered apart on the shore. The tide comes in a bit further and you go deeper each time a letter is washed away. It starts with R and ends with X. When the word is completely washed away you go even deeper.
The tide comes in a bit further and you go deeper each time a letter is washed away. It starts with R and ends with X. When the word is completely washed away you go even deeper.
Did You Know?
Although some people will claim they cannot visualize, it is something every one is capable of doing.
If you are having trouble visualizing something you experienced, just start with another sense that accompanies that memory.
For example, if you are trying to think of a person’s face, think of the SOUND of their voice. If you shook their hand, think of how that FELT, firm or soft? Can you recall SMELLING cologne or perfume? Like a jigsaw puzzle, the picture will become clearer with each piece we fill into the missing spaces.
Deepening with distractions
If you aren’t wearing headphones, now would be an excellent time to incorporate distracting sounds into your session to further the deepening process.
A simple phrase like this would suffice:
(After a deepening technique) “I am now totally relaxed. Any disturbing sounds, such as the birds chirping outside or a motorcycle or loud car driving by will not interrupt this profound state of relaxation. In fact, it will take me even deeper.”
Now let’s get into the actual therapy part of the process.
There is a lot to be said about affirmations. Some people use them consciously on a daily basis, but complain about not seeing any results. This is because our critical factor, basically our truth meter, is rejecting these statements. For example, if we say, “every day and every way I am losing weight” we might reject this immediately if we clearly haven’t been losing weight, or simply don’t feel thinner.
That is why affirmations in the hypnotic state, with our critical factor down, is really the key to erasing negative programming and reprogramming positive and useful beliefs. Affirmations or suggestions are really all you need to have a successful session. However, it can be easy to mess this portion up and confuse your subconscious. Allow me to explain…
Writing effective affirmations
When we write out the affirmations prior to our session we want to make sure they are as simple and positively stated as possible. This is because the subconscious mind couldn’t care less about sentences. It will literally jumble up your words in any way possible, sometimes creating alarming results.
For instance, going back to our weight loss example, a person may say, “I find 2,000 calories a day more than enough for me.”
But when our subconscious picks this up it could be jumbled like dice in a game of Yahtzee and turn into, “I find more than 2,000 calories a day enough for me.”
How tricky is that?! So remember, just keep it simple and positive.
Here are some examples of simple and effective affirmations:
I forgive myself
I am confident
I relax easily
Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!
Don’t be afraid to repeat certain affirmations up to 20 or more times. That may sound boring now, but it won’t feel that way during the session. The more your subconscious can hear these positive suggestions without your critical factor interfering, the better!
Record the affirmations 15-30 times on a your recording beforehand, or leave enough “dead air” on the recording to use that time to repeat them out loud or to yourself before the recording continues.
3. Post-hypnotic Cues
Post-hypnotic cues can be used in a variety of ways. The most popular is the ability to set a cue that will instantly induce a hypnotic state without having to go through a long induction. We can also set post-hypnotic cues to calm us down in a situation or give us more confidence.
Post-hypnotic cues can be accomplished both verbally and physically:
1. Verbally- Post-hypnotic cues can be introduced in any stage of hypnosis, but most people will use it after the induction or the deepener. All you need to say is, “Each time I say the word “relax” I will easily and effortlessly return to this state and go deeper each time.” You can use whatever words you see fit.
2. Physically- A physical gesture I make while meditating is explained in a previous post Relieve Stress Now With Mediation. In it I describe a gesture I make with my thumb and fingers to take me into a calmer, more peaceful state. If you are a person who gets frustrated frequently, perhaps putting in a cue that states, “every time I tap my left foot on the ground I immediately relax.”
This biggest issue I see with post-hypnotic cues is not that they don’t work, but it is that people think they don’t work. If you do anything in hypnosis with the mindset of “I don’t think this will happen” then it will surely not happen!
You will notice that within the free hypnosis audio download, I have included a post-hypnotic suggestion.
We’ve arrived at everyone’s least favorite part, emerging! They say all good things must come to an ends, but at least with hypnosis we can recreate this hypnotic state and make it even better for next time. Emerging is very easy, but a bit of tact is required.
When I first started seeing hypnotists I would be emerged by them literally just saying, “OK, wake up now!” I would equate this method to someone pouring cold water on me while I was sleeping (though remember, hypnosis isn’t sleep!) That is why a simple countdown from five to one does the trick.
Here’s an example:
“I will now count from five down to one, and on one, your eyes will open and you will feel refreshed.”
Please note: I am writing portions of these “scripts” in second-person, but you will want to change them to the first-person perspective upon conducting a self-hypnosis session.
It is really easy to get frustrated when you are first learning self-hypnosis. The best way to approach this new routine is to just allow the process to naturally occur and never force anything. When you go into it with the mindset that you HAVE to change something that session, then you are often setting yourself up for disappointment.
Never think of hypnosis as a “one and done” kind of therapy. Just like trying to get bigger muscles, you need to work at it and incorporate it into your every day ritual. Keep at it as a daily task and you will soon see incredible results.
Remember, the only side effect to self-hypnosis is stress relief!
I hope this guide aids you in your journey to peace and fulfillment. The power of the mind is limitless, and once we discover how to tap into this unlimited power, we can achieve amazing things beyond belief.
As a way of saying thanks for reading this guide and to help you get started on this exciting adventure, I have prepared an audio recording of a full hypnosis session. This .mp3 will give you a great starting point, as it includes an induction, deepening and a segment to bring your affirmations to life.
To obtain this download, please enter your name and email in the field below. This offer is for residents of the Quad Cities and beyond. You will be added to our newsletter that you can unsubscribe to at any time.