Self-hypnosis is a very useful psychological tool to make behavioral changes. Likewise, it can help you control the flow of negative thoughts, get you in a better mood, and even help you focus on certain goals. It’s at least worth learning more about what it is and how to use it in your everyday life.
When you hear “self-hypnosis,” an undefinable mix of fascination and skepticism may arise in you. There are so many books and research papers that delve into its utility and limitations. Thus, we can answer the question “Does it really work?” like we can with any other type of therapy. For some people, it doesn’t make any kind of change. Others have clearly experienced great benefit.
“The mind can be compared to a fountain with water shooting out, glistening in the sun, and falling again into the great underground pool that is the unconscious on which it rests.”
If you’re interested in the functioning of the human mind and its mysteries, hypnosis will fascinate you. To this day, it’s a very effective treatment for addictions. It’s one of the most commonly used tools to quit smoking. Additionally, in the last couple of years, many people have started using self-hypnosis to program their subconscious mind in order to make changes and move towards a goal.
What is self-hypnosis?
Say you’re on the subway or bus and you stare at a certain spot on the window and your mind drifts off. You don’t go anywhere; you just get lost in your mind for a long time. A couple minutes later when you reach your stop, you wake up bewildered. It’s as if you were coming out of a trance.
Hypnosis has a lot of similarities with this state. Disconnecting from reality in order to go down into the “basement” of your mind. And what you do in these moments can have a big impact on your life. You can make decisions, set priorities, focus your desires, and even improve your mood. You do self-hypnosis sometimes without even noticing.
Here’s an interesting fact people don’t pay much attention to. Many of the actions you consciously perform stem from your subconscious. Your tastes, the way you react to certain circumstances, and your inclinations are all products of an unconscious substrate. This place where your previous experiences, personality, instincts, and automatisms are held orchestrates a large part of what you do throughout the day.
Therefore, the goal of self-hypnosis is to exert greater control over your unconscious in order to program it. You’re seeking to refocus it so that it’ll allow you to make behavioral changes.
Techniques to practice self-hypnosis
For some people, it will be best to practice hypnosis with a professional. But if you don’t have the time, access, or resources, then the following strategies can be very useful. The key is to be persistent, use your willpower, and practice these exercises daily.
To practice self-hypnosis, you need a reference stimulus: the light of a lamp, a sheet of paper, a glass, or even an imaginary situation. It must be a mental refuge or a visual point from which you can transcend inward, into your mind.
- What you’ll do first is cast your gaze upon this stimulus and relax. You’ll pass from physical sensations to mental ones. Towards relaxation, tranquility, and balance.
- Once you achieve that deep state of relaxation, you’ll repeat a set of positive statements. You’ll enter into an inner dialogue where you’ll verbalize the things you want to accomplish. For example: “I’m going to stop be afraid of public speaking”, “I’m going to be less stressed”, “I will find a good partner”
Self-hypnosis can also be attained by looking at a point above your eyes. Just focus on this spot and slowly create a slight mental blur. Then you’ll sink into a relaxed trance where you’ll focus only on your breathing. Once there, you’ll again begin to recite positive objectives: I will achieve…, I want…., I’m going to…, I’m focused on…
Another simple strategy for self-hypnosis is controlled breathing. Follow the steps below:
- Look for a calm space. This is the setting you’ll always use for self-hypnosis. Your mind must associate that couch, corner on the deck, or room with the refuge where your mind can relax and descend into the subconscious.
- Once you have chosen a place, you’ll begin to control your breathing like this: inhale, hold, exhale, empty.
- It’s ideal to repeat this cycle 5 to 6 times. Next, stay suspended in this relaxing emptiness. Stay in this void full of possibilities where you can talk with your subconscious and program it. Once again, you’ll recite your objectives and desires (always positively).
Maybe these simple techniques will remind you of relaxation techniques, very common in meditation. But it does more than help you rest and focus on the present. One of the objectives of self-hypnosis is to change your behavior, thoughts, and mood.
The purpose of self-hypnosis as a therapeutic tool is to replace negative statements with positive ones. More than a relaxation exercise, it’s training. As such, you should repeat these exercises between 4 to 5 times a day for 5 minutes. You need to be consistent and deliberate. Nobody changes their unconscious thoughts overnight. You need to have perseverance and trust in the power of your mind.
Changes will come sooner than you think.