Part 4: Emerging from Hypnosis

Part 4: Emerging from Hypnosis

Given how simple it is to emerge from hypnosis, it may not seem as though it warrants its own article. But there are a couple of notes I want to give you regarding things you may experience after coming out of a state of hypnosis.

When you decide to come out of trance, you’ll open your eyes and look around, refamiliarize yourself with your surroundings. Give your head a shake and move around a little bit. Chances are that you’re going to feel good. Similar to the way you feel after waking up from a pleasant dream.

It’s also possible that you’ll be feeling a little bit groggy and tired. One of the interesting things about emerging from trance is that even though your eyes are open and you’re moving around, you’re still in trance. It takes most people a couple of minutes to come all the way back to a full waking state. You may notice that, during this time, you find yourself spacing out a little bit.

I’d like to reiterate just how much more success you’ll experience with self hypnosis if you make a habit of doing it every day. It’s a good idea to have a particular place where you can go once a day, every day. You’ll find that by getting accustomed to going into trance in the same place every day, that the process of going into trance will become extremely easy. To the point that you can induce a state of hypnosis simply by sitting down in the chair. Once that is the case, you no longer have to think about the formalities of inducing the state, and can instead just focus on enjoying the experience to its fullest extent. this is where your creativity can really take off.

You’re most likely also going to have the experience of coming out of trance after a session and not feeling particularly satisfied or enriched by it. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Sometimes our lives can keep us a little distracted from really creating the experience we want to have. Don’t get discouraged. the important part is that you put in the effort to do the best you could on that particular day at that particular time. Keep at it, eventually you’ll get where you want to go.

Part 3: The Self Hypnosis Experience

Part 3: The Self Hypnosis Experience

All right, assuming you can get yourself into a nice, comfy state of hypnosis, now’s your opportunity to get really creative. Traditionally, the use of post-hypnotic suggestion has been the most popular manner in which to do hypnotic conditioning. Using suggestion involves using positive statements and commands in order to, over time, create a foundation of positive conditioning. We’ll get into the structure of post-hypnotic suggestions in a little bit.

Post hypnotic suggestions have been proven effective but, in my experience, they tend not to work as well as creative visualization. It takes a little more effort, but I’ve found that it has two distinct advantages over traditional suggestion. Firstly, when you can visualize positive things, what they would be like, what they would feel like, the conditioning tends to have a much more powerful effect in a much shorter amount of time. Secondly, It makes the experience of hypnosis itself much more fun and interesting. It turns the hypnosis session into a sort of guided fantasy.

Consider this: What tends to have a greater impact on you? When you receive a verbal compliment, or when you go through an experience where you can actually see and feel those positive qualities within yourself? No contest, right? Visualization exercises are a tried-and-true method in the world of self-improvement technologies. But taking the time to do them within the constructs of a state of hypnosis takes the power and effectiveness of those techniques to a entirely new level.

Now, in my experience, post-hypnotic suggestion isn’t quite as powerful as creative visualization when it comes to positive conditioing, but it does have one very useful function. Verbal suggestions are incredibly useful for setting and controlling the conditions of your trance state. For example, if you feel yourself breaking slightly out of hypnosis from time to time, you can use suggestions to keep yourself relaxed and comfortable.

So, what exactly goes into a post-hypnotic suggestion? Well, in simplest terms, think of it as a verbal command for your subconscious. To feel relaxed, you might try using the suggestion “I can feel my body relaxing”. If you wanted to deepen and relax your breathing, you might use “My breathing is becoming deeper, more relaxed, and more comfortable”. These are what we call “direct” suggestions. They’re very easy to formulate, and most of the time they’re very effective. Sometimes, however, depending on the depth of your trance or just on how you might be feeling on that particular day, you might encounter some conscious resistance.

Well, remember, the importance is not to simply recite the words, but to actually guide yourself through the experience. You’ll find that it might help to switch over to “indirect” suggestion. Indirect suggestion has the quality of sounding a little more conversational. For example, if you want to relax your neck, you might say “If I were to feel relaxation in my neck, it might feel like this”. You might find that this cuts down on any conscious resistance you might be having. And, as always, if you’re having trouble overcoming this resistance, it’s always worthwhile to spend some time practicing your trance state. But, as always, experiment. See what works best for you.

As you practice this more and more, you’re going to find yourself improving a great deal when it comes to your ability to get the desired effect from this process. Keep at it, eventually you’ll be able to do it anytime, anywhere. What you’re aiming for here is to emerge from trance feeling refreshed and happy.

Continue to Part 4: Emerging from Hypnosis

Part 2: Inductions – Beginning the Self Hypnosis Process

Inductions: Beginning the Self Hypnosis Process

There are as many ways to induce a state of self hypnosis as there are people. Depending on your level of suggestibility, you may be able to just drop like a rock into a trance state without a whole lot of effort. Or, it may take a little time and practice. One thing is for certain though: The more you practice, the faster you’ll be able to go in and the deeper you’ll be able to go.

To get started, there’s one thing that you’ll have to master in order to get really good at going into hypnosis: relaxation. Your ability to relax your mind is deeply dependent on your ability to relax your body. At the core, that’s what self hypnosis is all about: being able to relax. The effectiveness of the techniques will be largely dependent on how adept you can become at relaxing your conscious mind. The idea is to suspend, to momentarily shut off, your conscious judgment and analysis. As you can see, asking yourself “is this hypnosis?” is counterproductive. Don’t worry about it. The idea is not to focus intently on the self hypnosis experience, but to sort of let it wash over you.

Since we’re talking about self hypnosis here, then one of the initial challenges you’ll face is being able to consciously control and direct your hypnotic experience, while still maintaining a relaxed, receptive state. Trust me, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. What you’ll find when you relax deeply is that the suggestions or visualization will come to you easily and naturally. Don’t worry about trying to consciously control every facet of the experience, it won’t particularly contribute to the effectiveness of the technique.

My advice is to look at self hypnosis as a treat for yourself. Focus your effort on feeling good, on really enjoying your experience, rather than on getting results as quickly as possible. It’s okay to be focused on a specific outcome, but with experience you’re going to realize that self hypnosis is a rewarding experience in and of itself.

You’re going to want to set aside 20-30 minutes every day to just go into trance and experiment. Play around. You’re going to learn some interesting things not only about how easy it is to change your attitudes and beliefs, but about just how powerful an imaginative tool your brain is.

So, when you want to begin the process of self hypnosis and go into trance, you’ll want to sit down in a comfy chair, close your eyes, and begin to relax. For some reason, I don’t know why, it helps to sit upright, with your feet on the floor, with your hands either resting on your thighs or comfortably at your sides. I’m not sure exactly why it works better, but personally I find it improves the lucidity and overall focus of my experience. Feel free to try going into trance while lying down. Who knows, it just might work better for you. Now, what you’ll want to start doing is focusing your attention inwards. Notice the pattern and rhythm of your breathing. Notice the increasing feelings of comfort and relaxation in your body.

You’re going to find yourself starting to drift off. You’ll begin to dissociate somewhat from the outside environment. Now, as you’re starting out, you may notice some conscious resistance. You might find yourself being “sucked out” of trance. It’s okay. These breaks are totally normal. For a lot of people, it takes awhile to get used to the idea of just relaxing and letting go. Do whatever you need to do to remain relaxed and comfortable.

Also, you’ll probably find some day to day variation in your ability to just relax and commit to the experience. It’s okay, don’t worry about getting exactly the same effect every time. What’s important is to continue putting in the effort every day. Over time, you’ll find that your subconscious will understand everything you want it to.

Continue to Part 3: The Self Hypnosis Experience

Part 1: What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

So, what does hypnosis feel like? The short answer: I don’t know. At least, I don’t know what it will feel like for you. Everybody does it differently. Given that most peoples’ first exposure to hypnotic states is on TV or a from a stage hypnotist, the general assumption about what a hypnotic state feels like is a little bit inaccurate. The first thing you should know, if you’ve never done any self hypnosis before, is that it’s nothing scary. In fact, you’ve done it before. If you are, in fact, a human being, then you go into and out of hypnotic states all day long anyway.

The most important component of a hypnotic state is what I like to call “subconscious receptivity” or, as it’s more commonly refered to, “suggestibility”. Put simply, it means that you’re willing to play around, to experiment with new thoughts and ideas, without the interference of conscious attention or analysis. For a lot of people, this means going way down into a deep trance, which they can hardly remember after the session. For others, the most beneficial hypnotic experience is a more subtle trance. It doesn’t really matter, whatever state allows you the most subconscious latitude will work just fine.

When you first start going into trance intentionally, it might take you a little while to get there, and you might also be tempted to ask yourself “is this hypnosis? Am I there yet?” Don’t worry about it. In fact, you’ll learn very quickly that you’ll get exactly the same results if you just relax and pretend you’re hypnotized. Hypnosis is not an arbitrary, uniform state. It takes different shapes and forms. And it extends to varying depths. In fact, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is being able to access the same state from one day to the next.

Going into hypnosis is not at all difficult. Can you remember a time when you became “spaced out”? A state where you were became lost in a particularly compelling or consuming thought and, even though you were looking straight ahead, you weren’t paying any attention at all to what was in front of you?

Here’s another example: Have you ever been reading a book or a magazine, and became wrapped up a compelling though or idea, and suddenly you realized that even though you were reading the whole time, you couldn’t remember what the last paragraph was about?

These are hypnotic phenomena. And once you have a little more day to day experience with hypnosis you’ll be able to recognize them. Not only in yourself, but in others as well. This is is where things start to become really interesting, because of the insight you’ll gain into the influences that shape our minds and, subsequently, our lives.

Continue to Part 2: Inductions – Beginning the Self Hypnosis Process

What Makes Hypnosis Work?

What Makes Hypnosis Work?

As I mentioned before, there’s no magic to hypnosis. If you were to watch somebody else going through the process and getting a great result it might very well look like magic. When people experience success with these tools, it tends to appear easy, natural, and the change can occur almost overnight.

Well, here’s the funny thing, when you first start to change as a result of doing this kind of work, you may very well not notice it at first.

Since hypnosis is aimed at dealing with your subconscious, habitual processes, it makes sense that the changes that will take place in your life will seem, well, habitual. It’s almost as if the change occurs right under your nose. It’s actually a very interesting experience. You’ll go out, live your life normally, and then only later when you recall it will you notice that you’ve behaved in a manner that is different from the past.

Here’s one way I like to think about hypnosis: When you can imagine success, happiness and achievement with enough clarity and detail, it will have the same effect on your mind as actual, real-life experience.

Make sense? The manner in which you act and think today is influenced largely by things that you’ve done in the past, thoughts you’ve had, experiences you went through. So, when you go into a hypnotic trance every day and imagine what it would be like to be healthy, happy and totally in control, your subconscious gets accustomed to it. Before long, it becomes a habit.

Very often, at this point, there’s a problem. A lot of people are immediately discouraged when they find out that they’re going to have to start imagining good outcomes and positive feelings. After all, if you’ve developed a habit of feeling bad, it can be difficult to imagine anything else. As it turns out, people who are depressed or unhappy tend to approach hypnosis because they think that it will bestow happiness upon them instantly, as if it were magic.

Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It takes some effort. It might involve leaving your comfort zone. But, there’s some good news. Since the techniques and exercises you go through involve imagining what it’s like to feel good, to feel satisfied, to feel successful, it tends to be a great deal of fun. One of the best things about hypnosis is that the more carried away you can get, the better it works.

Continue to Part 1: What Does Hypnosis Feel Like?

The Self Hypnosis Primer

The Self Hypnosis Primer

So, what exactly is this “self hypnosis” thing anyway? You may have not yet been exposed to the vast range of things you can do with hypnosis. If that’s the case, then you’re in for a bit of a treat. I’ve been doing this for the better part of a decade now, and a certain part of me still feels like a newbie. The best thing about doing self hypnosis is that you can never quite be done. Once you get familiar with some of the tools and techniques, you’ll come to your own realization that the potential for positive personal change is astronomical and, more importantly, far beyond what you had previously thought was possible.

So, what is involved in the self hypnosis process?

Well, in the simplest possible terms, there are three parts. You go into trance, you go through your chosen hypnotic conditioning process, then you come out of trance. Now, this process can be made much simpler, or it can be made much more complicated. Whichever choice you make, you’ll find that which specific process you use is not nearly as important as the amount of effort you put into the experience. And when I say “effort”, I’m not talking about gritting your teeth and making yourself as uncomfortable as possible. What I mean is that you have to give yourself permission to really launch yourself totally into the experience.

If there’s one thing I can impress upon you at this point, it’s not to worry too much about following instructions to the letter. Hypnosis is a very forgiving phenomenon. Getting caught up in all of the little details of the process, or worrying about the semantics and linguistic structure of your post-hypnotic suggestions is not as important as many might have you believe. Your success with these techniques will not be in your ability to recite the right words in the right order, it will be in your ability to create a compelling hypnotic experience.

Now, I lose a lot of people the second I mention that the results you get from self hypnosis are largely dependent upon effort. Hypnosis is not magic. It may look like it to the casual observer, but there is really nothing mystical or magical going on. One of my aims in the next few articles is to show you exactly why that’s true.

The purpose of this primer is to expose you to the truth about what a state of self hypnosis feels like, give you some insights into what makes this process effective, and to provide you with some practical tips on how you can create the changes you want in your life.

What Makes Hypnosis Work?

Self Hypnosis Guide

Welcome to the Self Hypnosis Guide!

During your search for knowledge on self hypnosis, you’ve no doubt gotten a glimpse of the breadth and variety of knowledge out there. There are a lot of half-truths and misinterpretations when it comes to the benefits and applications of hypnosis. You’ll find information that reflects a wide variety of ideologies and beliefs, from the occult and philosophical to the purely technical and academic. But, no matter how it is interpreted or presented, it always manages to retain an air of mystery and intrigue. There is a wide belief, even amongst professional hypnotists, that the power of hypnosis relies on some sort of magic.

Well, it could be that self hypnosis is magic. It’s far more likely, however, that the power lies in the effort and the will that is invested into the experience. It may sound like magic, it may look like magic, but as you start to become more and more familiar with the hypnotic experience, you’ll find there’s nothing spooky about it at all.

When you first start to get familiar with this kind of material, it’s natural to be very outcome-oriented. People approach self hypnosis because they want to lose weight, they want to quit smoking, to increase confidence. They approach it because it presents a solution to certain personal problems. Hypnosis can do all of these things, but to think of hypnosis as simply a fix-it method for your imperfections is really missing the true potential of the technology.

Now, describing self hypnosis as a technology always makes me wince. It’s true that those who do this kind of work tend to be engaged in an ongoing process of learning and development, but the truth of the matter is that hypnosis has been around as long as people have. Furthermore, hypnosis is not a particularly unnatural or uncommon state. If you are a human being, you go in and out of a state of hypnosis all day long anyway.

That said, self hypnosis is an incredible tool. You can change your entire world, in any way you see fit. And it’s not about willing or forcing yourself to change, nor is it about understanding and reliving all of the things that have held you back in the past. It’s about turning success and satisfaction into a habit. Something you do every day without having to think about it. It’s about developing a state of mind that provides you with a sense of confidence that is totally independent from your circumstances.

You can learn a lot here, but the bulk of your learning will come from experience. If you really want to understand self hypnosis, you have to do it. Even if you don’t have any specific problems you’d like to work on, do it anyway. Not only will it produce wonderful results in your life, but the experience of self hypnosis is itself a lot of fun.

So read on, and enjoy.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is …….

During the day, the conscious mind functions at the Beta Level of brain wave activity.

The conscious mind is our Jiminy Cricket, analyzing and criticizing all that we do.
In hypnosis, this is called the “critical factor.” When helpful, it gives a gentle nudge to use a pot holder before grasping a hot pan. Yet it can be limiting as it second guesses your best creative intentions. I call this interfering mind chatter, my “Yeah Buts.” As in, You want to start your own business. Yeah but what makes you think you could make that work???….

Throughout the day, when remembering, daydreaming or using your imagination, brain wave activity moves down from the Beta level to the Alpha Level which is the level of the subconscious mind.

Try this. Pretend you are packing for a trip to a tropical island

or you are preparing for an Autumn trip to New England to see the foliage.

How do you decide what to bring?

Perhaps you are there, in your imagination on the beach or traveling through the mountains.
What is the weather like?
What are you wearing?
What are you doing?

Have you ever noticed how the sight of a Birthday cake makes you feel? warm, soft, excited… as your mind connects with memories from the past.

This is self-hypnosis, something all of us do naturally everyday.

How does it feel?

Hypnosis is a relaxed and peaceful state similar to daydreaming.

While in a light state of hypnosis or trance you may experience:

REM (rapid eye movement)
Deep belly breathing
Feeling warm or cool, light or heavy
Time distortion (time slows down)

How does Hypnotherapy work?

During trance, the critical factor of the conscious mind is bypassed and the subconscious mind ‘runs the show.’

The subconscious mind controls the autonomic system of your body which regulates your heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and body temperature.

It has been shown that the subconscious mind is always awake and listening. Even while under general anesthesia the body can follow orders and, when instructed, adjust the heart rate to a specific beats per minute.

While in a trance state, your body will produce natural immune boosting, feel-good chemicals such as endorphin and seratonin’s. So it feels terrific and you arise feeling relaxed and refreshed.

The subconscious mind willingly and helpfully reacts to constructive suggestions.

Your subconscious mind wants to work for you and, when properly guided by a skilled hypnotherapist, it can re-program limiting patterns of thoughts and behavior. Thus it is possible to leave old problems behind and create new life-style changes that support your well-being.

Hypnosis a win – win situation.

Hypnosis feels great and works naturally to create the changes you desire.

All that it takes is a willingness to change and good rapport with the therapist of your choice.

Please note: It is never my intention to imply that hypnosis should replace appropriate medical care.

How To Hypnotize Someone

How To Hypnotize Someone

Not all people believe that hypnosis can possibly work on just anyone. However, you can learn the basics of really putting someone into a different mental state. The process is not hard at all and you may also find it fun. Hypnosis has a lot to do with socialization so you can actually get to know someone better through the process. Here are some of the best tips on how to do hypnosis on your family, friends and other acquaintances.

About Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a mental state or set of attitudes that are commonly created by a process known as hypnotic induction. This process is generally composed of preliminary instructions and a series of suggestions. Hypnotic suggestions are usually delivered by a hypnotist to a subject. However, suggestions may also be self-administered. Hypnotherapy is the therapeutic use of the process to cure some condition such as smoking or overeating. The term hypnotism and hypnosis are derived from the term neuro-hypnotism or nervous sleep, created by the Scottish surgeon James Braid in 1841.

Hypnosis is not a form of unconsciousness similar to sleep. The person actually enters a very wakeful state of focused attention and increased suggestibility, with reduced peripheral awareness. Braid describes hypnotism as a state of nervous sleep or physical relaxation together with induced mental concentration or abstraction.

The Induction

Hypnosis is usually preceded by a technique of hypnotic induction. This  process is a method of placing the subject or person into a hypnotic trance. Theorists interpret the process as a means of increasing the expectations of the subject, thereby focusing attention and defining his or her appropriate roles. There are several different induction techniques used in hypnotism. The eye fixation technique developed by Braid  is the original and most commonly used. There are also many other eye fixation approaches such as the induction used in SHSS or the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scale.

Describing The Inductions

If you want to learn how to do hypnosis, take a bright object between the thumb, forefinger and middle finger of your left hand, hold it at around 8 to 15 inches from your eyes to produce strain on the eyelids and eyes and maintain a constant fixated stare at the object.

The subject should be told that his or her eyes must steadily concentrate on the object, with complete focus and attention on it . The pupils will contract in the beginning, followed by dilation and then will assume a wavy movement. These will occur when the forefinger and middle finger of the right hand are extended and a bit separated and carried from the object toward the eyes.

Braid says that the hypnotic induction technique is not always the most important thing, since some researchers claim that the method does not always lead to hypnosis. More variations of this technique were created later on. However, after a century, researchers say that the majority of hypnotic techniques require optical fixation, muscular relaxation and reclining posture to be followed by eye closure.

On Suggestion

When Braid introduced his methods on how to do hypnosis, the term suggestion was not used, although the act of having the subject focus on a single dominant thought was the main approach used. The therapeutic approach to hypnosis uses reducing physiological functioning and stimulation in various body regions. More emphasis is also placed on using various verbal and nonverbal types of suggestion.

Hypnotist Bernheim changed the focus from the physical hypnotic state to the psychological process of verbal suggestion. Contemporary hypnotism uses a wide array of suggestion forms like direct verbal suggestions, metaphors and rhetorical figures of speech, voice tonality, mental imagery, nonverbal suggestion and physical manipulation. A distinction can be made about suggestions delivered in a very authoritative manner from suggestions delivered permissively. A number of hypnotic suggestions can create immediate responses, while others can lead to responses after a delay in minutes or even much longer.

Learning The Process

Almost any individual can learn how to do hypnosis, as long as they dedicate some time and effort in learning the techniques. Hypnosis may be overt or covert. The overt type does not involve putting a person in a state of trance. The covert type involves persuading people and winning them over. There are books, schools and web sites dedicated to teaching you more advanced methods of hypnosis.