Hypnosis deepening is an important self hypnosis technique. When you are learning how to do self hypnosis it is worth taking a little bit of time to ensure that you are capable of deepening the hypnosis to a level at which successful transformational work can be done.
The purpose of hypnosis deepening is to make sure the conscious mind has truly taken a back seat! When you are doing self hypnosis, you don’t want your conscious mind interfering and analysing everything. So, in order to switch the conscious mind down a little and give yourself the opportunity to work with the unconscious mind, the self hypnosis technique known as ‘deepening’ is used.
It’s also worth remembering, though, that everybody experiences trance in his or her own way, so it’s important not to get too bogged down with trying to create the deepest trance in history! It’s not always necessary to be in a deep trance, in fact, it is desirable not to be too deeply in the trance when you do self hypnosis, because, if you are too deep, you probably won’t remember your suggestion! There are two parts to hypnosis deepening: physical relaxation and mental relaxation
Hypnosis deepening by physical relaxation
Physical relaxation is an important part of self hypnosis. If your body is not relaxed (if you are tense, or agitated, or uncomfortable) then you will be more aware of your body. Your conscious mind will remain too active, and your trance will not be deepened. But if your body is relaxed enough, you will find that you become unaware of your body, and you can work more easily with your unconscious mind.
Although some hypnotherapists (and some books) recommend physical relaxation starting from the toes and working upwards, my preference (and judging from my experience as a hypnotherapist) is for physical relaxation to start at the top and move downwards. So that is the way I would recommend – physical relaxation from top to toe.
1. After you have close your eyes at the ‘Induction’ stage;
2. Think about the little muscles at the corners of your eyes – imagine them relaxing, the muscles easing out and becoming limp and slack;
3. Now imagine that relaxation spreading to your cheeks – then your mouth – and then your jaw – all those muscles relaxing, eating out and becoming limp and slack;
4. Now allow that relaxation to spread over your forehead and your scalp – down the back of your neck – then allowing your shoulders to relax – any tension easing out as you feel those muscles becoming limp and slack;
5. Feel the relaxation spreading down your upper arms – down through your forearms – through your hands – down to your fingertips;
6. Feel your chest relaxing – and allow the relaxation to spread down over your abdomen – down through your thighs – all the way down your legs – through your feet to the tips of your toes;
7. As you take your next breath, feel a wave of relaxation moving down over your body – from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
I would recommend that, when you first start doing self hypnosis, you give yourself the above instructions verbally in your mind by saying to yourself: “the muscles in the corners of my eyes are eating out...”, and when you are able to follow this progressive relaxation, then you can do it just by feeling the relaxation as you focus on each part of your body in order.
Hypnosis deepening by mental relaxation
When you are physically relaxed, you can continue the hypnosis deepening through mental relaxation. There are two ways to do this:
Hypnosis deepening by counting down
This is quite simple, but once again it’s a good idea to give yourself the suggestion of relaxation before you start to count: “As I breathe out I count down from 10 to 1; on each breath, on each count, I drift deeper into the tranquil stillness of mind.”
Then start to count downwards as you breathe (preferably as you breathe out). If you are breathing quickly, count on every second breath to slow you down. When you reach the number 1, you should be more deeply in trance. Once again, your unconscious mind will tell you whether you need to repeat the breathing and counting. Don’t worry if you do – just keep repeating the process until you are comfortable with the level of relaxation you have created.
Hypnosis deepening by visualisation
Hypnosis deepening by visualisation is done by creating pictures in your mind of places (or times and events) in which you can feel the tranquil stillness of mind – these can be real places or imagined places. Whether it is real or imagined, it is important to ‘see’ this place as if you are there – not seeing yourself in that place, but seeing the place through your eyes – as if you are there – as if it is happening to you now.
Here are some of the places people use to create peace of mind: a garden on a summer’s day; a meadow; a woodland walk; a gently flowing river; a mountain path; a mountain lake; a quiet golden beach at sunset. I’m sure you can create your own.
It is possible to combine visualisation with counting by imagining some steps (10 steps!) descending to your imagined location. Count yourself down as you slowly walk down the steps.
Other hypnosis deepening visualisations:
Imagine yourself going down on an escalator – as you descend you drift deeper into relaxation.
Imagine yourself in a lift going down 10 floors – as you reach each lower floor, you drift deeper into relaxation.
Imagine yourself overlooking a beach – the number 10 descends from the sky and sinks slowly into the sea, then the number 9, then the number 8, and so on until the number 1 sinks out of sight. As each number sinks into the sea, you become more deeply relaxed.
I’m sure you can create your own visualisations by keeping the main principal in mind: