Self-hypnosis or auto suggestion is a process by which an individual can train herself to let her mind believe in something in the subconscious state.
Self-hypnosis is also termed autogenous training. Self-hypnosis procedures follow various methods to accomplish a certain objective. One can easily get into a sate of mental visualization or self-induced brainwashing with the help of self-hypnosis.
Self-hypnosis can be learnt and practised by any individual through practice. While it is easy to understand and learn self-hypnosis, it is important to note that it shouldn’t be practised while driving or eating or drinking. One should be in a stationary mode and have focus on the goal to be achieved. One should be able to garner complete attention to the process of self-hypnosis and not diverted by any other act.
There are three major techniques of self-hypnosis – visual imagery, eye fixation and progressive relaxation. All the three techniques may not be suitable to all the individuals. For example, visual imagery technique of self-hypnosis works best with those who have more than average visualization capabilities.
Visual imagery is a technique demanding imagination of a beautiful place after closing your eyes. You must be able to listen to the sound in that image setting and actually see everything as if it is happening in reality around you. Eye fixation technique is suitable for those who are unable to properly visualize, but possess better concentration power. This technique involves continuously watching an object and trying to get into the state of thoughtlessness. Progressive relaxation technique involves slowly relaxing parts of your body with the help of reverse counting. One starts from the toes and reaches the brain part one after another. This technique works great for those who are better able to control the parts of their body.
Some practitioners of self-hypnosis suggest turning off lights and music while practising self-hypnosis. This is a debatable issue. Research has shown that some people are better able to practice the skills of self-hypnosis when they have light music and low wattage bulb in the room. Some debates also rage on the timing of self-hypnosis practice. Experts suggest the beginners to find the ideal time slot of their own. One may try different timing in the day and then settle for the most suitable for that individual.
Self-hypnosis can be done for self-actualization, but if you plan to do it for pain relief or other such medical treatments, it is strongly recommenced to get in touch with your doctor first.
Self-hypnosis towards self improvement
Self hypnosis is usually thought of as a person listening to an audio tape, mp3, or other mass-produced media, intended to induce a willingness to absorb suggestions centered around a specific topic such as weight loss, stop smoking, etc.
Unfortunately, this kind of hypnosis is generally prepared by someone who has never met the person being hypnotized, often presenting unwanted, even unpleasant imagery and suggestions.
For example, if you sunburn easily, that last thing you want to hear about is a slow walk on a sunny beach. In this case, the “self” in self hypnosis simply means that you listen to it by yourself.
How do you incorporate self improvement to hypnosis?
A true self hypnosis would necessarily be designed and created by the very person who will ultimately use and benefit from it.
Unlike the mass-produced hypnosis, this hypnosis is made for the exact purpose the person wishes, including the precise words and phrases that mean the most to that particular person.
The true self hypnosis is thus crafted by the person to suit his or her own needs. The benefits derived could only be accomplished with such a personal, one-of-a-kind hypnosis. In this case, the “self” in self hypnosis really does mean that you are hypnotized by yourself!
Below is a short view of the self hypnotic process. Though lots of variations of this method have been used, these are the basic steps you have to go through in order to hypnotize yourself to accomplish self improvement.
1. Position your goals from the most important goal to the less important. If possible, your goals should be measurable.
2. For each goal, you should formulate fitting suggestions which means you have to convert your goals into specific instructions to your subconscious mind on how to achieve each goal.
3. Relaxation. Use the first minutes of your self hypnotic session to get as relaxed as possible. Try to forget all your worries and problems.
4. Start your hypnotic initiation phase by saying and repeating out loud the hypnotic words you have chosen, thinking of these words or listening to a hypnotic tape or CD customized for your hypnotic and goal fulfilment needs.
5. Apply the hypnotic suggestions you have made for reaching the specific goal you work with, say them out loud, think them or use a tailored hypnotic tape or CD.
Before you start up your self hypnotic exercises you should make a time schedule for it. Do your hypnotic sessions every day, five minutes a day is enough. Repeat your suggestions as often as possible during the day.
Measure your progress. Are you closer to your goal now than you were before you started? Ask yourself. If you answer negative to these questions, you have to rethink and reorganize your train of thoughts.
This is the only way you can find out if this method is really helping you in achieving your self improvement goals.
Basic methods for self hypnosis
As defined, self-hypnosis—also called “autohypnosis”—refers to a form of hypnosis where self-induction is used. Here, the person who practices self hypnosis uses “autosuggestion” or self-suggestion to be able to adjust or overcome certain conditions or situations. In most cases, self-hypnosis is used as a therapeutic supplement along with hypnotherapy.
Before getting into self hypnosis the best way to go is to research about it thoroughly first. Through research, you can get extensive information about the practice and you will have a better understanding how it would benefit you the most. You can do your research by getting online and surf websites that offer information aligned with the practice. Because of the easy access to information today, you can get almost anything you need to know about it in an instant. In fact, with so many pieces of information about it, you might be overwhelmed. It would be better to be specific on the topics that you really would want to know about so you won’t be wasting your time searching for seemingly list of sites.
Aside from the Internet, you can also get information on various books as well as different magazines. Here, you can find interesting articles that can give you a better understanding of the practice especially on the methods that can be used according to the level of skills of the person.
If you are planning to conduct self hypnosis at home, it is best to ask people who have been practising it for the basic methods that you can use. If you personally know people who are doing self hypnosis, it is best to get first hand information from them. Although you can get it also from the practitioners outside, it is still better if you get the facts straight from the people that you know. By doing this, you can get the best tips and advice on how to start with the practice and carry on with it for your personal as well as spiritual growth. Once enough information has been gathered, one can now start with self hypnosis.
Methods that are being used in self hypnosis
Experts in this field say that for self hypnosis to be successful, one should rely on the basic methods and learn them well. A considerable amount of knowledge on the basic methods will somehow help him or her be more familiar with the process and eventually be able to do it easier.
Today, most of the self hypnosis methods and techniques that are used may include induction procedures, methods for communicating with the subconscious part of the person’s mind and suggestion formulation and application. Here are two of the most commonly used methods for self hypnosis:
- Self Hypnosis induction script. This refers to the induction talk for people who will be practising self-hypnosis. For many people, they can used this as a guide to thinking their way down. In many instances, this is being recorded and can only be listened to during the practice itself.
- Auto-questioning. This refers to the set of methods and techniques that are used to get information right from the person’s subconscious mind. Many people who practice self hypnosis use its subset, ideomotor questioning the most because the information gathered here are primarily used for correcting suggestions to change as well as acceptance and confirming of the person’s subconscious.
An ideomotor signal is way to communicate non-verbally.
Ideomotor techniques are powerful for a number of reasons. Since the unconscious mind functions on more of a metaphorical level, a level dealing with imagery and imagination rather than logic, methods that use the body and emotions rather than our verbal skills are highly effective in reaching that part the mind.
In other words, if you are getting non-verbal responses from your client (or from yourself), you are communicating with the part the mind you need to communicate with.
Using ideomotor movements, communicates with unconscious, pre-verbal parts of the mind. Since many problems also originate in pre-verbal parts of the mind this technique can be highly effective.
Because ideomotor movements do not include verbal responses, what we must do it is set up a communication system that does not include speaking. The easiest way to do this is with a pendulum.
Try this simple experiment: Get a pendulum or create one by, tying a piece of string to a ring. You can also use a necklace or gold chain of some sort that swings easily in all directions. Something 8 to 10 inches long is ideal. Rest your elbow on a table with your arm straight up and your hand parallel to the table (your wrist will be bent at a 90 degree angle). Hold the string or chain loosely in between your index finger and thumb. Ask your unconscious mind to choose a movement to indicate yes. It can be a clockwise circular motion, a counter-clockwise circular motion or a back and forth motion in any direction. Mentally think “yes” over and over again. Usually within a few seconds the pendulum begins to move. Ask your unconscious to pick a different motion to signify “no”. Notice which way the pendulum moves this time. You have now set up ideomotor signals to communicate directly with your unconscious mind.
Have you ever played 20 questions? Twenty questions is a game that you play where someone thinks of an object and you have to guess what the object is. You can ask questions, but only questions that can be answered yes or no.