Hypnosis Self Help Books in a Nutshell
Not long ago--quite recently, in fact--I wrote an article about the five steps to hypnosis as detailed in many of my self help books and self help hypnosis cds. These five steps, if you don't recall, are preparation, relaxation, deepening, suggestion, and termination. I mentioned last time that preparation is creating a time, place and ritual for relaxation, which is the next step. I also emphasized the importance of practicing self hypnosis at the same time each day as it reinforces suggestions. Additionally, practicing self hypnosis in the same place also becomes a reinforcer of the desired suggestions. Simply sitting or lying in that place will trigger a memory of what you are desiring to accomplish. If possible, it should be a unique place you usually don't use and where little activity occursnot at the kitchen table, the computer desk or even your bed. All of these are filled with different experiences that quickly cloud your fragile seedling of new thought.?Find a new place. Sit in the chair in the corner you never use or the unused hammock in the back yard.
Ritual makes your time special, with a candle, music, perhaps an aroma. We are not only people of routine, we are people of ritual. Religious ceremonies are an excellent example of ritual inducing a state of consciousness. The more we prepare our environment, the more we ground our suggestions in our lives. Every conscious preparation becomes a subconscious trigger reinforcing our desires.
Relaxation is the ability to move from fight/flight to rest/repose. Fight/flight is output being prepared to respond to your environment. Rest/repose is input, the absence of the need to respond. It is being able to practice self help hypnosis without the phone ringing, the kids calling or balancing on a straight back chair. Ritual is an ally to relaxation, assisting you to be conscious of your environment and modifying it to match your desire to retreat from outside stimulation.
As relaxation addresses the physical environment for successful self hypnosis, deepening addresses the needs of the mind to participate. The first rule of thumb is dont try not to think. Try counting from one to ten without thinking of three. Dont think of pink elephants. What happens? (You think of them immediately.) Instead of trying to force your mental activity, use your thoughts as a vehicle to reach your destination. Control them as you would a car on the road. Let those unwanted and annoying thoughts simply flow through your mind avoiding the hook of emotion that locks them into your conscious. Without emotions, your thoughts will become still and calm as the surface of a pond.
How you achieve this state can be done in a few ways. A few deep, slow intentional breaths, exhaling just as slowly is a physiological auto response for the mind to relax. Believe it or not, try relaxing your tongue. Try relaxing your tongue and think at the same time. What did you notice? A sure-fire trigger to relax you mind and enter the subconscious is to close your eyes and look up towards your eyebrows, avoiding the tendency to raise your head. Hold that eye position as long as possible without tiring the eyes and then relax them forward. Have you ever noticed when you try to recall something, you have a tendency to look upward? That is an auto trigger for entry into the subconscious.
Now that we have erased the blackboard of your mind?the deepening is accomplished by visualizing or imagining yourself going down an escalator or floating down a winding river. You say you cant visualize. Describe your bedroom. Recall your last birthday. Got ya! You may not visualize in cinematic proportions, but if you didnt visualize you would not be able to find your way home from the grocery store. In fact, you wouldnt know where to find your car or that there was a grocery store to go to.
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