There’s a long list of high profile celebrities, high rollers, world leaders and game changers who have used hypnosis to achieve their goals, but is it possible to hypnotise yourself? The short answer is… YES. And here’s how…
Did you know that your mind goes in and out of trance all day long? Yep! As easy as 1,2,3… *CLAP* and you’re back in the room!
Many daily human activities induce trance quickly and easily. Simple tasks like watching TV, washing the dishes and listening to music can lull you into a cozy state of trance. Trance occurs when the mind is taking care of two things at once, when the conscious mind is distracted by a task and the subconscious mind is forced to take over the controls.
For example, when you’re driving a car, it’s your subconscious mind that is moving the pedals and directing the steering wheel. It may be listening to the radio and looking out for danger at the same time too. Your conscious mind is probably wondering what you will have for dinner when you get home, or re-running a difficult conversation you may have had at work today.
See how easy trance is to create? In Hypnotherapy sessions, it is never the hypnotherapist that takes you in to trance. Sure, they can do their best to lead the way for you, but it is YOU that finds trance by allowing the conscious mind to take a back seat for a while. This leaves room for the hypnotherapist to weave in some artfully crafted positive suggestions in to the rich tapestry of your subconscious mind.
Trance is a dream-like state whereby the subconscious mind is easily accessible.
Your brain is an immensely powerful tool, composed of both the subconscious and the conscious mind. Your subconscious mind takes up a huge 90% of your brain capacity.
Let’s imagine your mind is an iceberg.
Your conscious mind gets things done by using WILLPOWER. Let’s be honest, how often has willpower got you to the gym on a rainy cold morning? Or helped you to finish that juice fast you were on? The conscious mind falls victim to critical thinking all too often and willpower crumbles.
The subconscious mind holds your core beliefs and values, your emotions, creativity, imagination and it controls your habits and addictions. Hypnotherapists access the subconscious mind for this reason, to get straight to the deep heart centre of your instinctual reactions and learnt behaviours.
So how do I hypnotise myself?
Self-hypnosis is a fantastic self-help tool, but it is recommended that you see a professional Hypnotherapist if you are looking to heal deep seated negative beliefs and past trauma. You may require multiple sessions to find the ‘Initial Sensitising Event’ or I.S.E in your subconscious mind.
- Make a mental note of how positive you feel about the issue that you wish to heal (or the goal that you wish to find motivation to do) Grade how positive you are feeling out of 10, this enables you to track your progress.
- Begin by finding a comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. (Please note do not try this whilst driving or operating machinery, in case you find deep trance or fall in to sleep state)
- Close down your eyes and take a deep breath in through the nose, filling up the lungs, imaging a balloon inside your chest inflating. Hold your breath for 4 seconds when maximum inflation is achieved and then breathe out through the mouth as slowly and steadily as you can. *Repeat 5 times.
- Focus your attention on the space above the top of your head. Approximately 2 inches above the crown, use your eyes to look up in to this space but keep your eyes closed.
- Visualise a ball of energy building just above your head, it is made of your favourite colour associated with positivity. It is swirling and moving with energy, colour and light.
- Drop that ball of positive energy on to your head as if dropping a water bomb, and allow yourself to visualise the colour washing down your face, torso, arms, hands, legs and finally to your feet. Filling up each toe with colour, just one toe at a time.
- Now visualise that colour moving slowly up the body again, filling up each area of the body with energy, light and the same favourite colour of your choice. Move it all the way back up to the head.
- Notice the colours behind your eyelids. Can you make out any shapes?
- Create a staircase in your mind using your favourite colour.
- As you visualise yourself stepping down each step of the staircase, affirm to yourself now in your own mind or out loud ‘1… I am going deeper… 2… I’m going deeper 3… I am going deeper still’ ‘4 …deeply relaxed… 5… deeply calm… 6 … deeper now’ each step of the way.
- When you reach the bottom of the staircase (Step number 10), you visualise a door. Step through the door and in to a place you find comforting and peaceful.
- Affirm to yourself out loud or in your own mind ‘I am safe, I am peaceful here, I am the creator of my reality’
- In this space you can create the desired state you ultimately wish to achieve. Use this space to visualise and imagine yourself in situations acting the way you would when you have achieved your goal. For example if you want to be less anxious, visualise yourself acting with confidence, standing proud, smiling in the exact situations you want to be. If you want to lose weight, visualise yourself eating nutritious healthy foods and loving the way they taste or see yourself exercising regularly with confidence and passion. If you want to stop smoking, visualise yourself refusing a cigarette and achieving the goals you want, like having a full wallet full of cash, or riding a bike without coughing. Imagine the detail of how you will think, feel and behave when you are living out your goal. Notice how it feels, tastes, smells, sounds and looks, be sure to use all 5 senses.
- To bring yourself back to consciousness, visualise walking up a staircase made of your favourite colour.
- Affirm to yourself as you climb the staircase. Only 5 steps up this time. (5… I am coming back to my body, 4… I am feeling more energised now, 3… I am feeling positive and happy now, 2… I am coming back to my body, 1… Feeling fully alert now, opening my eyes, fully awake. OPEN YOUR EYES.
- Finally, notice what your new level of positivity is by marking it out of 10.
By finding the time to visualise ourselves in our desired state in each and every day, the subconscious mind can store the information in long term memory. We can become familiar with what it feels like to really live out our goal. We can begin to teach our subconscious what it looks, sounds, feels, smells and tastes like to be a non-smoker or a confident high achiever for example.
This act of repetitive visualisation ensures that our brains become familiar with our goal and see it as a completely achievable possibility. Our subconscious absorbs the new habits and circumstances we create in our desired state and makes it easier for us to reach our goal! We are not simply operating on willpower anymore, as now our brain knows what it will actually be like to live out our desired state. Through doing this exercise we are forming neural pathways for new habit creation and emotional associations with a situation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be sure to see a fully qualified practitioner if you have any difficulty achieving trance or visualising your desired state. Self-hypnosis should be used as a tool to help you strengthen your commitment to a desired goal and should not be used to attempt to heal past traumas alone.
Article written by Sinéad Rochford. BA, Nlp, Dip. Clinical Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Transformation Coach.