Helping Yourself with Self-Hypnosis

Most people have issues in their lives that are hard to deal with. But often they make matters worse by responding in ways that are less than ideal, or may actually be harmful to themselves or others. If you’re one of these people, and if you’d like to change but just don’t know how, self-hypnosis may help. It does take time to learn, mainly because you have to keep practicing it. But once you’ve got the technique down, you can use it for just about anything-getting through a stressful situation, breaking a long-standing habit, or connecting with your intuition to make better choices in your life.

Everyone has the ability to be hypnotized to some degree. There are people who can go so deeply into trance that they can remember details about their early childhood and even infancy. But most of us aren’t like that. A lot of people, when hypnotized by a professional hypnotherapist, may come out of trance without even realizing they were in one. They remember everything that happened-which, contrary to popular belief, is the way hypnosis usually works.

There is a way to assess your ability to be hypnotized. Here are some of the factors that are considered:

– becoming so involved in an activity that you lose track of where you are or how much time has passed

– being able to remember an experience so clearly that you can almost relive it

– noticing an injury, like a cut or bruise, and wondering how you got it

A professional hypnotherapist can actually give you a score based on their own evaluation. But this score is more likely to indicate how you will experience hypnosis than how successful you will be if you use it. Really, almost everyone can be hypnotized, and anyone can use self-hypnosis to help themselves.

Here are some steps you can take to set up your own program of self-hypnosis:

1. Name the problem.
for example-You’re afraid of flying.

2. Describe the change(s) you want to make.
for example-You want to be able to go through the entire process of flying calmly and confidently.

3. List the reasons why you’d like to make those changes.
for example-You’d like to be able to vacation overseas.
It may also help at this time to list the benefits of your present behavior, so you can understand why you act the way you do now. Don’t make yourself feel bad; just accept things the way they are. This should help make it easier to change them.

4. Visualize yourself acting in a way that shows the problem is now solved.
for example-You see yourself waiting calmly in line to check in at the airport; you see yourself smiling as you board the plane, and being able to focus on your book, music, or a movie while the plane is in the air; you see yourself arriving at your destination refreshed and ready to enjoy your vacation.
If you have trouble with visualization, it may help to use a “prop” like a television screen. You can close your eyes, and watch the scene unfold that way.
This last step-visualization-is the one you do while in your trance.

There are several ways to invoke the trance state. You can do a progressive relaxation exercise, where you start by relaxing your toes and work your way up the body from there. You can listen to music, or make your own recording and play it back while you relax. Or you can have a friend talk you through it. Once you’re in trance, you can do your rehearsed visualizations, or you can keep repeating your instructions to yourself until you feel ready to come out of trance. If you can’t remember the instructions, you can use a recording, or you can memorize what you want to tell yourself by repeating it so many times that it comes naturally.

Issues that have been with you a long time, or have a strong emotional impact, will take more work than simple, everyday problems. But if you’re persistent-and patient-you can change just about any behavior you want. You have the power to make your life better-and self-hypnosis can help you do it.

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