You might think that hypnosis is something that someone does to you, typically in a therapists chair. But, actually hypnosis is about how you can facilitate change in yourself. A professional hypnotherapist doesn’t do hypnosis on you, rather they guide you to a place of relaxation and meditation, so that you are able to focus your thoughts.
Many people find this kind of guided practice easier, but hypnosis doesn’t have to be guided by a professional. If you want to work on your mindset from the comfort of your own home, it is completely possible to practice self-hypnosis. Think of it as a kind of meditation, with a dollop of personal development thrown in for good measure.
If you want to overcome fears, create new habits or just feel more positive about life, then self-hypnosis can really help to get your mindset on track for success. It’s really just an alternative form of relaxation and all it takes is an open mind. There is no right or wrong way to go about self-hypnosis, so if you’re willing to have a try, here are some simple steps to get you started.
Self-hypnosis is an alternative form of relaxation. The word ‘hypnosis’ comes from the Greek work hypnos, which actually means sleep. Although the practice isn’t about actually falling asleep per se, it is about getting into a very relaxed state. When we’re relaxed, we are much more open to suggestion.
So, to do this at home, find a calm, quiet space where you’re not likely to be disturbed. Leave your phone out of sight and turn off all other screens. Sit or lie in a comfortable position and take some slow, deep breaths. With every breath, let yourself relax further.
It’s up to you whether you close your eyes while you relax. Some hypnotherapists think that having closed eyes during hypnosis helps to block out distractions and makes it easier for you to concentrate and use your imagination. But, if this feels uncomfortable for you (or makes it more likely that you’ll actually fall asleep) then just leave your eyes open.
2. Focus on what you want to achieve
While you’re in a relaxed state, use your imagination to swap any negative thoughts for a healthy picture of how you’d like to think or feel. Visualise your goal and really focus on yourself achieving it.
For example, if you want to overcome a particular fear, imagine yourself standing confidently in the face of that situation or taking assertive steps forward. Picture a smile on your face and a calm heart rate.
Or, if you want to give up smoking, visualise yourself spending time with friends, cigarette-free. Picture yourself living a fit and healthy life, breathing in fresh air.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is, the important thing is to put a firm belief in your ability to achieve it. This is about creating an ‘achieving’ state of mind and building positivity.
3. Reinforce your thoughts
While you’re in a relaxed state of mind, it is important to back-up your positive thinking with some simple statements (also known as positive affirmations). This is a way of telling your unconscious mind that you genuinely can achieve your goal. The more straightforward the sentence, the better.
So, for example if you want to overcome the fear of speaking in public, you might repeat “I am a confident speaker”. Or if you want to go for that promotion at work, you might repeat “I possess the qualities needed to be very successful”.
Make sure your sentences are 100% positive, are focused on something specific and are in the present tense. Use them to tell your brain that you are capable of achieving your goals right here and now. Concentrate on just one or two statements at a time and really commit to them. Regular repetition will reinforce your new way of thinking until it becomes the norm.
Here are some examples of positive affirmations you might want to try:
4. Create a routine
For lasting results and real change, it is important to practice self-hypnosis regularly. Consistency is key, so find a time of day that you can commit to focusing on yourself (even just for a few minutes) and stick to it.
Keep visualising your positive future and how it feels to be there. Keep repeating your affirmations and continue to adapt them to your own circumstances. Don’t think about the actions you’ll need to take to achieve your goal, concentrate simply on believing in yourself and your power to make change happen.
Share your experience
Have you tried self-hypnosis? Do you regularly use positive affirmations to boost your confidence or deal with anxiety? Are you a hypnotherapist who can offer further tips on self-hypnosis? Whatever your story, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Pop your comments into the box below.