You are getting very sleepy; your eyelids are getting very heavy, drowsy, sleepy. You are asleep.
Now of course that didn’t work, did it? If you fell asleep then you probably won’t be reading this but I’m going to assume it didn’t work and that you are still reading this.
So you might be wandering, what the heck was that all about? Then again if you’ve read the title, you probably realised that it was a failed attempt at hypnosis. For years hypnosis has been used for one of two things, to entertain others by making hypnotised people do things they wouldn’t normally do and/or as a means of therapy to help people with whatever problems they may face.
The most common things people get help for through hypnotherapy is smoking and gambling (at least according to the TV). But obviously, hypnotherapy has many more applications like helping in anxiety, stress and depression. After all, therapy is about treating these types of things so it makes sense hypnotherapy should be the same. But there are those of us who for one reason or another can’t get hypnotherapy from a professional hypnotist, maybe you don’t have the money for it, maybe there’s no one nearby, maybe you don’t have the time or maybe you just can’t bring yourself to do it, whatever the reason. You can’t go for hypnotherapy, so what do you do then? Well one option you could try is self-hypnosis.
As the name suggests, self-hypnosis is when you use hypnotic suggestion on yourself to do something. Some of the more silly things include self-hypnosis to forget your name or stuff like that, but you can also use self-hypnosis to get yourself to quit smoking, calm yourself down or to just better yourself in general.
There are quite a few articles available out there, which talk about self hypnosis and its benefits. Like this page from skillsyouneed.com. It’s a collection of articles which talk about hypnosis in general.
To put it briefly the first article, titled “A Brief History of Modern Hypnosis”
This part talks about how hypnotism has gotten a bad name for itself, in part because of the media and how they portray it for its entertainment value (making people think they’re a dog and then not remember anything afterwards). Another reason has to do with a German physicist named Franz Anton Mesmer, who is considered the Father of modern hypnosis. He believed that there was an invisible “cosmic energy” emanating from all celestial bodies in the universe and that this energy could be harnessed by one person and could then be used to influence the actions or “behaviour” of another (sounds a bit like the force if you ask me). He used to call this “mesmerism” which is where the word mesmerise comes from. Of course we now know that this theory is completely ridiculous. However, it still influences how we see hypnotism and hypnotherapy today.
The article then goes on to talk about how hypnotherapy has been accepted by conventional medicine today and is regarded as a good way to treat problems like stress, addiction, migraines and so on.
The second article is titled, “How Hypnotherapy Works”, and explains, well, how hypnotherapy works.
It goes into a lot of detail but to sum it up, hypnotherapy is a way through which one is able to enter the subconscious level of the mind and manipulate it. However, it is not so easy to do this, you have to really work at it, and keep doing it in order for your subconscious to get the message and then act on it.
The next article, “Using Self-Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy” tells us what we need to do to make it work.
There are 4 important points you need to keep in mind:
- You have to want to be hypnotised
- You shouldn’t be too sceptical
- You shouldn’t be afraid of being hypnotised
- Don’t try to over-analyse the process
You also have to work out beforehand the message you want to put into your subconscious. Whatever the message is, it should be:
- True to you and what you want
Finally, the last article in the page called, “Steps to Enable Self-Hypnosis” tells you how to hypnotise yourself.
Again the article goes into a lot of detail, so I’ll try to shorten it for you.
Before you start hypnotising yourself for the first time you should consider telling someone what you’re doing. Being hypnotised is like being asleep, so if there is an emergency you will want someone to “wake” you up. Otherwise you don’t want anyone disturbing you while you’re doing this.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here are the steps:
- You need to get relaxed and comfortable, try lying down on a bed or sit on a really comfortable chair, basically a place you think you could fall asleep in.
- Find something to focus on (like the ceiling) and stare/look at it.
- Empty your mind of everything else but the thing you’re looking at.
- Breathe deeply and make yourself feel your eyelids getting heavy and slowly closing.
- Tell yourself that you feel more relaxed with each exhalation.
- Imagine an object going up and down or sideways, like a bouncing ball or a pendulum.
- Start counting backwards from 10 and tell yourself you are relaxing after each number.
- Keep telling yourself that when you reach 0 you will be in a hypnotic state.
- Once you reach the hypnotic state, repeat your message to your subconscious over and over until you feel it sink in.
- When you’re done, start counting up to 10 and tell yourself you feel more awake after each number.
- When you reach 10 tell yourself that you’re fully awake.
Seems simple enough, right? Now, I would like to point something out, everyone is different and just because a method works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for another, so there is a chance that self-hypnosis may not work for you.
The reason why I say this is because I did try this out once with a friend of mine. We were both still in college at the time and we came across this book in the college library which talked about hypnosis so we thought we would try it out. It didn’t really work.
That being said, we were just fooling around and didn’t do it seriously or properly like we should have, so you should still give it a try and see if it does work, after all what have you got to lose?