Want to lose weight or quit smoking? Hypnosis is an effective tool that you may want to put to use, although it isn’t for everybody. Through the development of Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales, which measure the ease with which you could be hypnotised on a scale from 0 (not at all susceptible) to 12 (responds to all suggestions), scientists have found that five percent of the population cannot be hypnotised.
Still, that leaves 95 percent of the population open to hypnosis and most of us fall somewhere between five and seven on the scale. If you are interested in giving this technique a try, this article will teach you step-by-step how to do self-hypnosis.
The key to successfully inducing hypnosis—a state of hyper-attention and hyper-awareness—is to be mentally relaxed and absolutely absorbed in the task at end.
It should feel as if it would take little or no effort to make a decision or perform any action, like lifting your hand or throwing your cigarettes in the garbage.
For many of us, learning to relax is the most difficult part of learning how to do self hypnosis.
At the beginning, it could take you half-an-hour or longer to fully relax. With practice, it may take just a few seconds.
When learning how to do self hypnosis, you may find it easier to follow the Jacobsen Progressive Relaxation procedure.
To do this, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Find an environment with few distractions. Slowly, tense each major muscle group.
Hold it for a few seconds. Then, relax. Begin with your feet and progress all the way to the top of your head.
Enter into a deeper state
The next stage in learning how to do self-hypnosis is learning how to relax more deeply, which will bring about a hypnotic state.
Too often, we try to watch for that magic moment when we are hypnotised. “Aha,” we say, proud that we could pinpoint the moment when we achieved this sought-after state. Unfortunately, we cannot enter into hypnosis unless we are completely relaxed, which requires us to let our guard down and just engage with the practice.
This, admittedly, makes it hard to say for certain whether or not we’ve actually been hypnotised. Continue practising, however, and soon you will begin to recognise what it feels when you have entered a hypnotic state.
Hollywood likes to show hypnotists counting down. In truth, this is an effective way to deepen your relaxation. Begin counting down from 100. With each number, feel yourself falling more deeply into a trance.
As distracting thoughts arise, brush them aside. (This will be familiar to anyone who has ever tried meditation.)
As you practice more frequently, you can try counting for a lower number like 20 to see what works best for you.
When learning how to do self-hypnosis you may also wish to explore other techniques for deepening your relaxation, including the use of a swinging metronome.
At this point in learning how to do self-hypnosis, your conscious mind should be in a hyper-responsive state, with your subconscious mind more open to suggestion than usual.
Prior to beginning the session, you should develop a short, powerful statement that reflects what you wish to achieve.
For example, “I no longer desire or enjoy cigarettes”. You may also rely on an image, instead of a statement.
For example, picture yourself in peak physical fitness, climbing a mountain or lounging on the beach in a bikini.
The key to making this work is practising regularly. You cannot expect immediate results.
Ending the session
Although it may be tempting to do so, don’t fall asleep or leap right up from your session.
Set a clear boundary between hypnosis and the next activity, especially when you are first learning how to do self-hypnosis.
This can be easily achieved by telling yourself that you will be fully alert and awake on the count of three: one-two-three!