Hypnosis is a wonderful relaxation technique. There is nothing odd about hypnosis – whenever you daydream or go into a trance state you are in a state of hypnosis. By learning to hypnotize yourself, you are simply tapping a resource you already possess.
First of all you need to create an image of a safe place that you can retreat to during your session – somewhere comfortable and calm and completely removed from all stress and tension. It could be somewhere that you have been to in the past, on holiday perhaps, or it could be a completely fictitious place. Depending on the location of your haven, you should be able to hear the sound of a stream or the sea, smell the grass or feel warm wind brushing your skin. As you become more accomplished at this you can change or improve upon the image, but it should always be far away from anything stressful.
Think up a couple of post-hypnotic phrases that will help you stay relaxed after the session. They should be placed in your immediate future so that your subconscious mind can get to work on them. You could use for example:
• ‘My body is feeling clean and pure.’
• ‘Whenever I start to think about giving up, I can take a deep breath and carryon.’
• ‘My mind will be an oasis of peace and tranquillity for the rest of the day.’
Read through the following sequence and familiarize yourself with it so that you can recall each stage. Imagine saying each suggestion slowly, clearly and calmly. Wait for each statement to sink in before moving on to the next one.
• Close your eyes and take a deep slow breath.
• Take another deep breath and as you breathe out.
Concentrate on relaxing your body. Relax your legs, then your arms, and say to yourself, ‘heavier and heavier, more and more deeply relaxed’.
• Relax your forehead and cheeks and say ‘smooth and relaxed, letting go of tension’.
• Relax your jaw and say ‘loose and relaxed’.
• Relax your neck and say ‘loose and relaxed’.
• Relax your shoulders and say ‘relaxed and drooping’.
• Relax your chest and stomach; take a deep breath and as you exhale say ‘calm and relaxed’.
Count backwards slowly from ten to one. This represents the steps leading down to your special place. With each step become more deeply relaxed. Once you have arrived, feel completely peaceful and safe. Look around you, take in all the features of your special place. Try to use all your senses.
To deepen the hypnosis repeat the following phrases over and over, in any order, until you feel a deep sense of calm and letting go.
• ‘Drifting deeper and deeper, deeper and deeper.’
• ‘Feeling more and more drowsy, peaceful and calm.’
• ‘Drifting and drowsy, drowsy and drifting.’
• ‘Drifting down, down, down into complete relaxation.’
After spending some time in your special place, repeat your post-hypnotic suggestion at least three times.
When you are ready to come out of your hypnosis count back up from one to ten. After each number remind yourself that you are becoming more and more alert, refreshed and wide awake. When you get to nine, tell yourself that your eyes are opening. When you reach ten tell yourself that you are totally alert and wide awake.