The word hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypos” which means sleep. It is an abbreviation of the word neuro-hypnotism which means, ‘sleep of the nervous system’. Hypnosis reminds us of swinging pendulums and audiences being made to cluck like chickens whereas in reality hypnosis is much more than an amusing magician’s trick. It’s a medically accepted technique that uses innate mental powers to promote all kinds of mental and physical improvements.
Self-hypnosis is a naturally arising state of mind which can be defined as a heightened state of focused concentration. Under this, you can change your thinking, kick bad habits, and take control of the person you are along with relaxation and distressing from everyday life. It's just like meditation and results in a better version of you. It is almost always guided by a narrator who guides you into hypnosis by guiding your thoughts and giving you suggestions.
Hypnosis does not mean:
- Mind control
- Peculiar altered state
- Mystical state
When in hypnosis a person is:
- In control
- In a natural state
- Capable of coming out of hypnosis when she/he wishes to
Self-hypnosis is often used to improve behavior, emotions, and attitudes. For instance, many people use self-hypnosis to help deal with the problems of everyday life. It can boost confidence and even help people develop new skills. A great stress reliever, it can also be used to overcome habits such as smoking, drinking, and overeating. Sportsmen and women can enhance their athletic performance with self-hypnosis, and also people suffering from physical pain or stress-related illnesses also find it very helpful (hypnosis should be done under the guidance of a doctor or qualified therapist).
Let’s talk about one of the most popular and effective forms of self-hypnosis -
Do not indulge in a large meal before doing this so that you don’t feel bloated or uncomfortable. Sit in a chair because lying down on a bed will make you want to sleep. Also, wear loose clothes and take off your shoes. If you wear contact lenses, it is better to remove them. and keep your legs and feet uncrossed.
- Look up at the ceiling and take a deep breath -
Do not strain your neck or tilt your head too far back. Pick a point on the ceiling and fix your eyes on that point. When you keep your eyes fixed on that point take in a deep breath and hold it for 3-5 seconds and then breathe out. Silently say, “My eyes are tired and I want to sleep now”. Repeat this process to yourself a couple of times and, if your eyes have not already done so, close them and relax in a normally closed position. Say it as you mean it in a gentle, soothing but convincing manner. Some other examples - To relieve stress at work you can use: ‘I am relaxed at work’. For an addictive habit, like smoking/drinking, you may use: ‘I am a non-smoker/non-alcoholic’. To reduce your nervousness before a public speaking event you may say: ‘I am a confident speaker’
- Allow your body to relax -
Allow your body to become loose and limp in the chair. Slowly and with intention count down silently from five to zero and tell yourself that with each and every count you’re becoming more and more relaxed. Stay in this relaxed state for a couple of minutes and focus on your breathing. Observe the rising and falling of your diaphragm and chest. You will realize how relaxed your body is becoming without you even having to try and relax it. The less you try, the more relaxed you will become.
- When ready, come back to the room counting up from one to five -
Tell yourself that you are becoming more alert of your surroundings and at the count of five you will open your eyes. Count up from one to five in a lively manner. At the count of five, you open your eyes and stretch your arms and legs.
Repeat this technique three or four times and analyze how with each time you reach a deeper level of relaxation. However, if you feel you do not relax as much as you would like, do not force it.
Some people feel a little spaced out or sleepy after they come out of the hypnosis. This is similar to waking up from an afternoon nap. It is harmless and passes after a few moments.
Failing to achieve a goal does not mean you are a failure. It could be that you need to approach the goal in a different way or that you need to be persistent. Practice self-hypnosis regularly. Take your time. Relax. Accept the speed at which you achieve results, however small they may seem at first. Believe in yourself and you will go on to achieve the success you desire.