Negative Suggestions in Hypnosis - Learn to Say No


I have heard that the subconscious mind does not hear “negative words” like “not” and such. But how can that be true , this recording seems to work. What about the wording “can’t do that” in this context? How is that interpreted by the mind? Subconscious mind does hear everything – both positive and negative words and it takes everything literally. Subconscious mind likes to work with symbols, and while words are symbolic representations of ideas, so are the images – and the ideas he person visualizes would also have an effect on how the messages are interpreted by the subconscious mind. Subconscious mind is also a realm of emotions and how it interprets the suggestions would depend on the intensity of emotions associated with those suggestions.

The best way to find out what is going on in your subconscious mind is to simply pay attention to what you are subjectively experiencing when you say different suggestions – what images and feelings are you experiencing and are you feeling empowered or disempowered in the process – are you experiencing desired change or not?

Often as an example of negative suggestions people tend to offer a statement

“Don’t think of a pink elephant”.

In that example, since the only imagery offered is pink elephant, there is nothing else left for you to think about but the pink elephant.

If you were to say “Don’t smoke” – the imagery accompanying that statement may be you or someone else smoking, and whether the suggestion would entice you to smoke or deter you from smoking or mean nothing much to you, would depend on what emotions you have associated with smoking – do you enjoy smoking, or does smoking disgust you, or you don’t care much one way or another. Whether the emotional emphasis is on “don’t” or on “smoke” would also make a difference, as will any emotional associations you may have to that statement from the past. If the idea of smoking elicits feelings of revulsion within you, it will most certainly not entice you to smoke, but the phrase will reinforce your desire to have nothing to do with smoking. If you are addicted to smoking, then the statement may entice you to smoke, unless you have some unpleasant experiences associated with that phrase in which case those emotional experiences would be triggered and influence your neurological response.

If someone were approaching you and wanted to say or do something to you that was out of question for you and you firmly and congruently said “Don’t!” – you whole body posture and neurology would be backing up what you meant, creating effectively a barrier and stopping that which you wouldn’t want to experience. What exactly is it that you are attempting to stop, and how you are envisioning it, would also have its effect upon your subconscious mind. For example, I have a friend who habitually used to repeat throughout his life “I don’t want to hear it” – particularly when he was in the presence of people who liked to talk a lot. His desire to NOT hear prompted his subconscious mind to eventually create a tinnitus problem and then a deafness in one of his ears. Likewise, an elderly lady, developed deafness in both of her ears and no doctors could help her, and yet she was only totally deaf when she was around her husband. When she was away from her husband, her hearing was back to normal.

It works the same way with any other statements which are stated in the negative. When you say “can’t do that” – what emotions are you associating with that statement in a particular context? Are you saying it because you don’t have the ability to do something, or because you do not have desire to do it, or because you don’t have time and what are you feeling in association with that statement in that particular context – helplessness, frustration, desire to get someone off your back, desire to do something else instead?

This also brings me to the word “try”, which while not a negative statement, many people have been teaching not to use, following the example of Yoga from Star Wars with “Do or do not do, there is no try!” – but in this case also you should pay attention to what do you feel inside of you when you use this or any other word or statement. Sometimes “try” may work better than “do”, because the person doesn’t feel the pressure to do something he doesn’t yet know how to do, but may experience the freedom to experiment, the freedom to make a mistake, whereas if the person is expected to “do” something he doesn’t know how to do, he may feel paralyzed into doing nothing.