I remember watching shows on TV when I was a kid. With Some doctor on stage hypnotizing groups of people and getting them to do whatever stupid things he suggest.
That was how the innate fear of the word “hypnosis” came about.
Before being exposed to these shows, being hypnotized was just something I associated with cartoons where the bad guys execute mind control on the good guys.
Despite the negative associations I’ve had with the word “hypnosis”, I have come to realize that hypnosis is actually nothing like the extreme and disturbing entertainment we see on talk shows where guest run around a stage clucking like chickens.
Hypnosis is more like a deeply focused state of mind that makes a person more acutely aware and receptive to suggestions.
In the world of psychology and psychiatric treatment, nothing is more misunderstood by the general public than the application of hypnosis.
It has nothing to do with:
- Losing control of your mind
- Losing control of your body
- Sleep walking
- Or a state of unconsciousness
For starters, it is almost impossible for a patient to be hypnotized unless he wants to be hypnotized. This also means that if you truly want to reap the benefits of this type of therapy, you need to have an open mind and flush that skepticism down the drain.
And you can often find sessions being attended by:
- Business people
So why not you?
Hypnosis is not new to you
It might freak you out to suggest that you have been in a hypnotic state at some point in life.
The chances are that you have experienced some degree of being in a state of trance before.
Think about the time when you were driving home from work. Something about that million-dollar report is bugging you which coaxes your mind to wonder off. Before you know it, you are already reversing into the garage. And you had just a vivid memory of the journey on the road!
Or there might be times when you were strolling home after alighting from the subway. Then a group chat between your closest friends started and you happily engage in the group conversation. Before you know it, you realized that you are reaching for the keys to the front door to your apartment. You didn’t even know how you go there without consciously navigating the route home!
How about a simpler example?
Remember a time when you were so focused on the TV or at work that you frankly did not hear someone call your name out loud repeatedly?
Yup. You have been there. I have been there. And I’m willing to bet the everyone has been there.
These are instances where you got into a trance, albeit at a much lesser level of intensity. Now, it’s just about harnessing that mind power within you to help yourself manage stress and anxiety.
Inducing a trance
Being in a hypnotic trance means that you get into a different mental state of mind. Don’t worry, you are not going to drive yourself crazy.
You remain conscious. Just that your focus become laser-like, resulting in your being more receptive to the good advice that someone (including yourself) is giving.
When you are a newbie to all these, it’s recommended that you start with a light trance before moving on to a deeper one.
- Find a quiet place where you are certain you will be undisturbed
- Focus on an object across the room without having the strain your eyes
- As your attention goes to that object, intermittently start telling yourself that your eyelids are getting heavier and that they will close
- You will soon notice that your eyelids are indeed getting heavier
- Don’t fight the sensation and allow yourself to be taken away
- When your eyes are shut, take in a deep breath and hold it in there for a little longer than usual
- Slowly exhale while telling yourself silently to relax and be calm
Only attempt this after you get very comfortable with a light trance. When you get competent with that, a deeper trance can be achieved by following the below steps right after you get into a light trance.
- Take a deep breath and hold it for longer than usual
- Imagine that you are on a descending hot-air balloon that is slowly on it’s descent
- As you descent, start telling yourself silently that you are getting into deeper relaxation
- Continue taking deep breaths and start counting down each breath from 10 to 1
- When you get down to 1, imagine getting off the balloon and getting into another one on it’s descent
- Repeat getting on another balloon until you get into a deeply relaxed state
By now, you should already be in a state of trance and feeling awfully relaxed.
At this point, you can either choose to remain in this pleasurable calm state, or get out.
When getting out, a lot of people open their eyes abruptly as if jumping out of bed. And not exactly good for the body and, in this case, state of mind.
The best way is to slowly step out of the trance just like how you had slowly entered it.
Simply count backwards from 10 to 1 and tell yourself that when you open your eyes, you would be awake and feeling totally rejuvenated.
In closing, here are some final tips when you embark on your journey to self-hypnosis.
- Give yourself time to practice. And give yourself time to get into a trance.
- Don’t ridicule yourself for trying it out. Take is seriously.
- Breathing skills can make a big difference to how effective it is.
- Combine it with meditation to attain an even higher level.
- If you like the results you are getting, consider seeing a real certified hypnotherapist.
The world is filled with patients who cannot say enough good things about hypnotherapy. And a lot of them are once the most skeptical about it. So give it a try and you might actually find it an essential indulgence in life.