Can you hypnotise yourself?
Yes, you can! Hypnosis is, quite simply, a very relaxed way to be. It’s a natural condition and everyone experiences a trance state from time to time. It usually just happens, sometimes watching the TV or at the cinema, other times absorbed in a favourite pastime. It’s also possible to use resources to induce trance deliberately and then use it to initiate useful changes in your life.
What is self-hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis is a commonly-used term but it is more precisely described by the term self-induced hypnosis and is also known as autohypnosis. Trance is induced by the subject – you – using resources that may include a recording of an induction and some basic trance work. The recording can often be bought on a CD or downloaded as a sound file to be used on a MP3 player or iPod. Alternatively, you can read a written script out loud and record it yourself – or get a friend to do it for you – and you can listen to that.
Listening to the recording is something best done in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and the session is likely to take about 20 minutes or half an hour. Some are longer and others shorter.
Self-hypnosis was developed from the mid-twentieth century, much later than the basics of hypnotism and hypnotherapy. It has become much more popular since the advent of convenient personal audio players.
Why hypnotise yourself?
Hypnotherapy combines elements from a number of psychological disciplines. A hypnotherapist uses psychotherapeutic techniques alongside trance work. Sometimes a therapist will suggest self-hypnosis after a consultation. In such instances, self hypnosis can be used to follow up the initial work with the therapist. In other cases self-hypnosis can be used in place of consulting a therapist. This can be useful when it is not possible to get to a therapy session.
How do you hypnotise yourself?
Inducing a trance in yourself is most easily achieved by listening to a scripted induction that has been recorded, as mentioned above. You will certainly need to find somewhere quiet and you’ll need to sit in a comfortable, supporting chair – some people prefer to lay on a bed; it’s up to you. You shouldn’t listen to the trance induction recording while driving to work – or driving anywhere else – as you’ll probably be closing your eyes. The same goes for working with machinery – just be sensible, is probably the best advice.
There are many different approaches to trance induction and these are often selectively used by therapists to meet each individual client’s needs. Self-hypnosis resources usually try to use tried and tested, general-purpose techniques that will work with most subjects. If you’d like to try out a very straightforward technique to help your sleep, visit this page.
If you use a well-crafted induction and intervention and use it as instructed in a quiet place, you are almost certain to reach trance. But the secret is definitely choosing an appropriate time and place and using the right recording. Most subjects do best using headphones rather than having the session blaring out from loudspeakers.
An opportunity to try it out…
If you would like to experience guided self-hypnosis you can download my Feeling Good session. It’s a standard MP3 audio file.
This track lasts twenty minutes and was created to evince your potential to feel good about your life and yourself: to provide an opportunity to improve self-esteem and encourage health and relaxation in day to day life.
Also, please note: the recording is primarily intended for use by subjects who do not have significant visual impairment nor any physical disability; for those who do not have issues with the countryside, woodland or outdoor activities. (It uses visual imagery, guides you through references to your limbs and uses further references to fields, woodland and meadows.) People who judge themselves to be included in those groups should look for material that is intended for them or is otherwise more applicable – you should always choose resources for self-induced trance work that suit your own preferences and circumstances. You are welcome to get in touch to discuss these issues or your own special requirements: please use the contact form.
How to use the download
Once you’ve downloaded the session, use the recording on a MP3 player – or on an iPod – or a computer. The track can be transferred to a CD or onto a tape or other medium if that’s what you prefer.
Find somewhere where you are fairly sure you won’t be disturbed for about twenty minutes – somewhere quiet although this doesn’t need silence. And somewhere you can be comfortable. Definitely don’t try mixing the session with any other activity. If anything needs your attention while you are in trance, you will be able to deal with it easily and in your usual manner. After you’ve dealt with whatever it is, it will probably be best to start again with the recorded session. You won’t be asleep or loose control – you will simply be very relaxed and focused on the task in hand.
If you decide to stop then you can do so at any time although, of course, you will only gain the full benefit by completing the session. When you do complete the session, notice how you feel at its end and how different that is; compare how you feel afterwards with how you felt before. What do you notice? Repeating the session two or three times will enhance its benefits to you.
After you’ve listened to the Feeling Good track, please let me know about your experiences. You can use the form on the contact page. If you enjoy your self-induced trance or benefit from the recording you’re welcome to pass it on to others.