What is Self-Hypnosis?

Have you ever seen old horror films and television programmes that portray hypnosis as a frightening instrument of mind control where unscrupulous villains enslave the will of helpless victims? Perhaps you have seen stage shows where a hypnotist seemsto be able to use their “hypnotic powers” to make people do and say things that they would never do or say under normal conditions. If so, it is not surprising that hypnosis may seem just a little bit wacky, not unlike other seemingly mystical and unexplainable phenomena. This is unfortunate because hypnosis is, in fact, a serious therapeutic tool that can help people overcome many psychological, emotional and even some physical problems.

Hypnosis is not:

– Mind control
– Brain-washing
– Sleep
– Unconsciousness
– A peculiar altered state
– A mystical state
When in hypnosis a person is:

– Aware
– In control
– In a natural and harmless state
– Able to come out of hypnosis when s/he wishes   to

The state of hypnosis can best be described as a state of highly focused attention with heightened suggestibility. Hypnosis is sometimes but not always accompanied by relaxation. When a person such as a therapist induces hypnosis in another it is called hetero hypnosis, often referred to as hypnotherapy. When hypnosis is self-induced it is called autohypnosis and is often referred to as self-hypnosis.

The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypos” which means sleep. It is an abbreviation of the term neuro-hypnotism which means sleep of the nervous system.

This term was used by the eminent neurosurgeon James Braid (1796-1860). However, hypnosis is not a sleep state. In fact, when in hypnosis a person is awake and usually aware of everything that is said and done. Realising this, Braid later tried to change the name to monoideaism. This means a marked preoccupation with one idea or subject. However, the term hypnosis stuck and is used right up to this day.

How Can I Use Self-Hypnosis To Achieve My Goals?

Self-hypnosis is often used to modify behaviour, emotions and attitudes. For instance, many people use self-hypnosis to help deal with the problems of everyday living. Self-hypnosis can boost confidence and even help people develop new skills. A great stress and anxiety reliever, it can also be used to help overcome habits such as smoking and overeating. Sports men and women can enhance their athletic performance with self-hypnosis, and people suffering from physical pain or stress-related illnesses also find it helpful (hypnosis should only be used in this way after a medical diagnosis has been made and under the guidance of a doctor or qualified therapist).

A Self-Hypnosis Technique

I am going to introduce you to a simple but effective technique of self-hypnosis. This technique is called eye fixation self-hypnosis and is one of the most popular and effective forms of self-hypnosis ever developed. We will start by using it as a method to help you relax. After you have practised this a number of times we will add hypnotic suggestions and imagery. 
Reduce distractions by going into a room where you are unlikely to be disturbed and turning off your phone, television, computer, etc. This is your time. You are going to focus on your goal of self-hypnosis and nothing else.


1. Sit in a comfortable chair with your legs and feet uncrossed.

Avoid eating a large meal just before so you don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. Unless you wish to nod off, sit in a chair, as lying down on a bed will likely induce sleep. You may also wish to loosen tight clothing and take off your shoes. If you wear contact lenses, it is advisable to remove them. Keep your legs and feet uncrossed.

2. Look up at the ceiling and take in a deep breath.

Without straining your neck or tilting your head to far back pick a point on the ceiling and fix your gaze on that point. While you keep your eyes fixed on that point take in a deep breath and hold it for a moment and then breathe out. Silently repeat the suggestion “My eyes are tired and heavy and I want to SLEEP NOW”. Repeat this process to yourself another couple of times and, if your eyes have not already done so, let them close and relax in a normal closed position. It is important when saying the suggestion that you say it to yourself as if you mean it, for example in a gentle, soothing but convincing manner.

3. Let your body relax.

Allow your body to become loose and limp in the chair just like a rag doll. Then slowly and with intention count down silently from five to zero. Tell yourself that with each and every count you’re becoming more and more relaxed. Stay in this relaxed state for a number of minutes while focusing on your breathing. Notice the rising and falling of your diaphragm and chest. Be aware how relaxed your body is becoming without you even having to try and relax it. In fact, the less you try, the more relaxed you become.

4. When ready, come back to the room by counting up from one to five.

Tell yourself that you are becoming aware of your surroundings and at the count of five you will open your eyes. Count up from one to five in a lively, energetic manner. At the count of five, open your eyes and stretch your arms and legs.

Repeat this technique three or four times and notice how each time you reach a deeper level of relaxation. However, if you find you do not relax as much as you would like, do not force it. There is a learning curve involved so resolve to practice self-hypnosis on a regular basis.

Sometimes people will feel a little spaced out or drowsy after they come out of the hypnosis. This is similar to awaking from an afternoon nap, is harmless and passes after a few moments. However, do not drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake.

Read more: www.hypnosisandhealing.co.uk

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