“Look deep into my eyes, you are now feeling relaxed”
When reading this phrase, most of us would possibly conjure up an image of a charismatic stranger swinging a pocket watch in the face of an oblivious volunteer, speaking in a calm voice, and compelling them into doing weird things. Often wrongly portrayed as mystical or magical, hypnosis frequently gets a bad reputation, but in reality, it’s far from that. So, what exactly is this seemingly strange phenomenon?
To put it simply, hypnosis, derived from the Greek word “Hypnos” (meaning sleep), is a state in which a person is detached from their environment and becomes absorbed by their inner experiences, feelings, and thoughts. Fun fact, we are often hypnotized several times a day! This can happen as a result of reading a good book, feeling intense emotions, and even while driving. 🤯
The use of hypnosis dates back to several millennia, and it has been a legitimate alternative treatment method since the 1950s. The power of hypnosis lies in how willing a person is to it, how focused their attention is, and how robust their imagination. Highly attentive, creative, and imaginative people make the best subjects for hypnosis. Contradictory to popular perception, if and when hypnotized, we do not close our mind off to the world, nor are we asleep. In fact, we become more receptive to the world than when fully conscious, because the negative beliefs and automatic responses that usually hold us back are not in control! We are immersed in a state of trance, which is simply one of intensely focused attention. 😵 When hypnotized by a professional to be in a trance, our minds are open to hypnotic suggestions and thereby change. Used predominantly by hypnotherapists, mentalists, and performers, hypnosis is used for a wide variety of purposes today. You can even use hypnosis to accomplish goals like losing that extra kilo, overcoming your fears, being more compassionate to yourself, or simply just to relax. 🏋️ Although it can seem daunting, it isn’t as complicated as it appears and can get progressively easier.
Self-hypnosis can make moving past your hurdles easier, but before you start, reflect on why you’re doing it and what your ultimate goals are. If this is your first attempt, here are 5 tips and tricks to make things easier:
1. Basic Relaxation Technique (BRT)
A useful technique for beginners, BRT helps you learn where your body holds tension, how to tune into your thoughts and feelings, and how to relax your body. First, choose a quiet location and sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Slow your breathing and pay attention to your breathing pattern. Start to tense and release parts of your body in line with your breathing. 🧘 Once you do that, check if any parts of your body are still under tension and continue to breathe evenly.
2. Relaxing Background Music
Listening to soft, calm music can help you focus your emotions and relax. 🎧 There are several different styles available; you can pick and choose as per your mood or preference. You can download music or buy a CD as per your preference. You can even make a playlist on YouTube to get yourself in the right frame of mind and make the most of your hypnosis sessions, as the platform offers several different kinds of suitable music, like the one below!
3. Guided Hypnosis
Guided Hypnosis is a great tool to use to help you move from a conscious and alert state into a state of hypnosis. The goal is to help you find balance, replace your negative thoughts, and help you let go. There are a variety of hypnosis apps available, but be aware of what these apps promise to do. Do some research to find out what works best for you and your needs. You can also find YouTube videos to guide you, such as this one:
Prefer using an app? Click here for a list of some of the best hypnosis apps you could use.
4. The 3-2-1 Technique
Developed by Betty Erikson, a key figure in the field of hypnosis, 3-2-1 is a popular and easy method of hypnosis. Start by becoming aware of three things you can see in your environment. For example, sunlight, a piece of furniture, or a flower. 🌻 Then notice three things you can hear, and then three you can feel. Repeat these steps, but now turn your attention to two elements instead of three. With the next cycle, reduce your focus to one. Repeat this cycle with your eyes closed, and if done successfully, you should be able to achieve a state of trance.
Once you are able to relax and are in a state of trance, tune in with your emotions and thoughts. Visualization, as a technique, can help deepen your attention and achieve your goals. Picture your best self, your goals, and step into that image. 👩🚀 Detail this image using all your senses; reflect on how you would feel, think, and do differently now that you have achieved your goal. Making this image as nuanced as possible will help entrench it in your subconscious mind, keeping your goals at the back of your mind at all times, and prompting you to act accordingly to achieve them. 💪
Remember to gently emerge from your hypnotic state. Set a soft alarm, or designate a specific phrase to awaken from hypnosis. As with any other skill, practicing regularly is the best way to gain fruitful results. Self-hypnosis has seen results for many health issues like chronic pain, insomnia, weight loss, and even to manage anxiety, stress, and more! Be cautious and ease yourself into the process, and if you find yourself in need of help for your troubles, consult a licensed professional. Explore the various techniques that exist to find the best ones that suit you. Using hypnosis, tune in with your feelings, make positive changes, and find a new you. 🦸
Written and Researched by Parvathy Suresh Kumar