Self-hypnosis as a therapeutic relaxation technique

What is self-hypnosis? Why should we do it? How will it impact our well-being? How should we do it? Find out more from Roger Mortimer below.
Self-hypnosis as a therapeutic relaxation technique

Why should we practice self-hypnosis?

There are a number of reasons why we should practice it regularly, and why it should form part of therapy. Like the practice of meditation or other relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis allows you to relax your body free of stress. It relaxes and calms your mind and helps to maintain a clear and focused mind.

This in turn gives you more control over your thinking and more control over the way you behave and interact with others. This control will promote and support a more confident mind and person. 

It will train your mind to focus and concentrate. As you practice on a regular basis this develops into a virtuous circle. As you become more relaxed, clear thinking, in control and confident, you become even more relaxed about yourself and clear in your mind.

It alters your being and puts you in tune with yourself and the natural energy of existence.

 So, you can see that self-hypnosis is a means to: reduce stress, clear the mind of negative thoughts, focus the mind on solutions, improve concentration, improve personal interaction with others, give control over many aspects of one's life, create and support confidence.

It can be a therapy on its own or form part of a planned programme with a Hypnotherapist. There are many self-hypnosis books and internet resources available.

So how do you do self-hypnosis?

First, decide how long you want to do self-hypnosis and remain deeply relaxed and also decide what you want to achieve from the self-hypnosis.

  • It is suggested that 10 to 15 minutes are good when you're first starting. You can do it at any time. The more you do it the better for establishing its effects quicker.
  • Like anything else it has to be practiced in order to become proficient. If you want to learn to play the piano it takes practice and practice. It’s the same with self-hypnosis, the more you do it, the better you get at doing it.  For the first ten days, try to practice twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes each time.
  • Consciously tell yourself that you are going to do self-hypnosis for however many minutes. Don't set an alarm, allow your natural body clock to decide when time is up.

Make yourself comfortable, sitting in a chair or lying down somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and slowly count down from ten to one in your head, saying the numbers with your out-breath. Or if you need to de-stress, just continue to repeat the word CALM with each out breath until you feel CALM.

If you want to focus on a goal, you have then imagine/see/feel yourself achieving your goal, as if you have already achieved it.

You can give yourself a positive suggestion to act upon. Formulate this before going into a deeply relaxed state. It is important to be sure of what you want and make your suggestions simple and positive. Be clear about exactly how you want to think, feel and behave. Your suggestions should never include negatives, so make sure you say, ‘I enjoy eating healthy food’ instead of ‘I won’t eat unhealthy food’.

If you want to change your state to a positive one, like having more energy, confidence, motivation, etc, then remember a time when you felt that way and bring back the feelings associated with the memory and hold these feelings so you can bring them back with you when you open your eyes.

To wake yourself up, slowly count up from one to ten in your head before opening your eyes, or just slowly open your eyes when ready.

If you practice before going to sleep, do not count up from one to ten. Instead, tell yourself that you will fall into a deep, natural sleep from which you will wake at the appropriate time. If you become bored with the technique you are using to go into a deeply relaxed state, then you can substitute the deepening process by hearing your favourite piece of relaxing music play or imagine going on a pleasant journey somewhere that takes you to a favourite place to relax - even an imagined place.

Roger Mortimer PDHyp, GQHP, CNHC, GHR Reg. of Advantage Hypnotherapy 01305 269001 / 07778 371812