Self Hypnosis 

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During any hypnotherapy session it is likely that your therapist will have you practice some self-hypnosis techniques. This is such a powerful tool that many therapists, like myself, use it to deal with their own stresses and worries. There is no great mystery to it, it involves finding a few minutes in your day to yourself; morning or evening or even during the day is fine, as long as you are not driving at the same time.

Having found a few minutes now stop and think about what you want to achieve. Do you need to unwind after a stressful day? Is there a particular habit or behaviour you want to stop? Whatever it may be, try writing it down on a piece of paper. this can help you be clear about your goals, making them specific and realistic. It will also help you stay focused on what is important at that moment.

Now it is time to begin the trance work. I will give you a few simple ideas that you can use quickly and easily.

Deep breathing.

This can be done any time, anywhere, and is a great way to combat stress, re-energise or bring yourself out of a negative mood …

1. Breathe slowly, deeply and evenly from your stomach, not your chest. Let your breath come naturally to you and enjoy feeling the rhythm.
2. As this begins to feel comfortable, add in your goal. With every exhale, say a word that represents the way you want to feel. For example, say “calm” or “energised”.
3. Reinforce this by using imagery. Recall a comforting image or memory from your past. Vividly re-experience it, remembering the sights, sounds and smells around you. Was it warm or cold? Were there any intense colours, or perhaps a scent in the air?
4. Make this richer and deeper by adding your own elements to this – add to the surroundings or environment to make it even more comforting. Practise this for three to five minutes a couple of times a week, and enjoy the benefits it can bring you.

This may take a little practice, but after a few self-hypnosis sessions you will find it comes quickly and easily to you. You will be amazed at how effective it is.

act ‘as if’

What is the difference between a good day and a bad day? sometimes it is simply the way we look at things. When we are in a negative mindset even the smallest of things can leave us feeling like the world is against us. Our negative emotions can become overwhelming, even if they have no real basis in reality, we imagine the world as a difficult and stressful place.

There are no physiological differences between real and acted emotions. When you watch a film you may cry if there is an emotional scene, or you may cover your eyes during a frightening scene. You know that these are actors and the story is fictional, yet your mind and body still react as if they are real – your emotions are affected by your imagination. In the same way, acting as if you are happy can allow your brain to believe you are actually happy. The steps to achieve this are simple …

1. If you want to try to change your mood, just remember to act “as if” it were different.
2. If you feel nervous and tense, act as if you are confident and relaxed. If you want, you can even act as if you are someone else – whoever you want to be. Almost immediately, your physiology and mood may alter – it’s that simple.

The power of gratitude

This may not seem like a traditional hypnosis technique but focusing on our ability to feel gratitude; our ability to feel and express thankfulness and appreciation can be very powerful in lifting us out of our problems. There are many benefits of gratitude. For example it can improve our physical, emotional and social well-being, increase our energy levels, self esteem and give us greater optimism and happiness.

To cultivate gratitude why not keep a gratitude diary, either a small notebook or perhaps use a note taking app on your phone, Write down 2-3 positives each day, perhaps elaborating on one of them. Remember to say thank you to people, even for the smallest of things. Write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life,  and give it to them. Write down what you appreciate about yourself.

Practice this and the other techniques often and you will begin to notice the positives around you. We have the power to shape our lives to how we want them to be, and self-hypnosis can help you do that.