Hypnotism has long been associated with stage acts and magic shows. But the real magic is the wool that’s been pulled over our eyes. With a rich and lengthy history in Western therapy, hypnosis provides much more than a laughable performance.
Often referred to as hypnotherapy, hypnosis is a medical practice offered by legitimate hospitals and health professionals. But if you’re curious about hypnosis — and I mean, who isn’t? — it might surprise you to hear that you can hypnotize yourself, without the need of someone to induce it.
Everyone can benefit from using self hypnosis in everyday life. Our comprehensive guide will show you what self hypnosis is, how it works, and how it can lead to self-improvement.
1. What Is Self Hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy is often compared to meditation. While a variety of medical professionals can assist patients to get them in a hypnotic trance, self hypnotherapy is possible. This is a more flexible option since it can be done anywhere and any time you need it.
In popular culture, a trained hypnotist can put anyone in a hypnotic trance and convince them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t. Sometimes the victims don’t even realize they’ve been hypnotized. But in reality, it’s impossible to hypnotize someone who isn’t willing.
This myth is why most people believe it’s a state someone induces you into — but it can be safely done alone.
A hypnotic trance isn’t an out-of-body experience. Instead, it’s more akin to losing yourself in a thrilling novel or show. It comes with a change in perception, but you can ground yourself at any point.
2. Does Self Hypnosis Work?
Hospitals and medical professionals offer hypnotherapy for one simple reason: It works. Have you ever driven someplace and realized you were mentally absent for the entire trip? This is known as highway hypnosis, where your subconscious takes charge while you daydream.
Hypnosis targets your subconscious with positive mental messages. To reach this layer of consciousness, the patient must enter a point of deep relaxation. This is often referred to as a hypnotic state.
At this point, the patient repeats a mantra of positive messages. This can reprogram your consciousness at its deepest levels. Your conscious mind will ultimately benefit.
The science doesn’t lie. There are documented physiological changes that occur when a patient undergoes a hypnotic trance.
In one study, researchers discovered that a hypnotic trance reduced brain activity in parts of the brain responsible for higher-level consciousness. There was also a decrease in connections between different parts of the brain. Researchers concluded that these changes in brain activity made it easier for patients to act a certain way without being hindered by their consciousness.
Our consciousness and self-reflection can both be helpful checks to keep us on task. But when they inhibit us from anxiety, stress, or self-conscious feelings, hypnosis may help.
3. The Benefits of Self Hypnosis
While hypnosis can sound like a pseudo-science, it’s been an accepted medical practice for over fifty years. Hypnotherapy is most commonly utilized to treat crippling anxiety and stress.
The potency can be surprising. Patients who underwent a hypnotic trance before surgery had decreased their self-reported anxieties by half by the time they entered the operating room. The control group, without aid, became 50% more anxious when they entered the room.
This study shows why everyday self hypnosis is a powerful tool in our modern arsenal. Anxiety during medical procedures can cause medical complications and prolonged recovery. This is why it’s a popular treatment among most health professionals.
But along with stress and anxiety, hypnosis can also ease symptoms of PTSD and treat mental disorders, such as bulimia.
Hypnosis is also used to treat some chronic physiological issues. These include head pains, irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and even fibromyalgia.
Situational anxiety is best treated by hypnosis. Since it only occurs when performing certain tasks, such as public speaking, medication is not a reliable form of treatment.
4. How to Undergo Self Hypnosis
With so many benefits of hypnosis, why not try it out yourself? If you’re feeling unsure, consider scheduling a private hypnosis session with hypnotist Richard Barker.
Albeit more difficult, it’s completely possible to enter a hypnotic trance without any help at all. If you’re familiar with meditation, the process is very similar. A self hypnosis session should last about half an hour, with half of that time being used to enter the right state of mind.
Before entering a hypnotic trance, you should have a positive message prepared. First, enter a comfortable place and position to relax. Close your eyes and focus on your breath, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Be mindful of the tension in your body and imagine the weight and pains drifting away. Count down from ten. With each subsequent number, sink deeper into a hypnotic state. After counting down to one, you should be completely relaxed.
If not, take more time to relax before attempting to count down once more.
Now that you have reached a hypnotic state, repeat your positive statement to yourself. For treating stress or anxiety, you might repeat “I am calm and in control.”
Continue repeating this for several minutes. When you are ready to leave the trance, count upwards to ten. With each number, focus on your body and gradually wake up.
Need Help with Self Hypnosis?
Few people are able to easily hypnotize themselves. We offer a variety of MP3 hypnosis sessions to ease you into a hypnotic state. If you’re having difficulty undergoing self hypnosis, these can work in place of a hypnotherapist. They tend to target specific mental treatments, such as reducing anxiety or quitting smoking.
We recommend MP3 sessions to help you familiarize yourself with the self hypnosis process. With some practice, you should be able to continue all on your own.