Guest Blog: Self Care through Self Hypnosis by Linda Bennett
Self-Care through Self-Hypnosis
Linda Bennett, PhD, CCHt
The following is an excerpted article based on the forthcoming book … . to be published by Heart Symbol Publishing. © 2015 Linda Bennett.
What is self-hypnosis? And how does someone go about achieving this state? The reason why most professional hypnotists consider all hypnosis as self-hypnosis is that the subject, the client, is in complete control of their responses and therefore their experience during a hypnosis session.
There are few major elements that must be present for self-hypnosis to be achieved. Firstly, the subject must want to be hypnotized. What would stop someone from wanting to be hypnotized? Unfortunately, there are a number of myths about hypnosis that sways many people from even attempting the process of hypnosis.
These myths range anywhere from “only stupid, gullible people can be hypnotized” to “I heard about someone who got stuck in hypnosis and then went on to commit some sort of crime”. Neither of these is true. To begin with, the more intelligent the person is, the better subject they are for hypnosis and self-hypnosis. People lacking intelligence are not better subjects. It takes reasonable intelligence for someone to experience hypnosis. Someone with a very low IQ will struggle with experiencing hypnosis because they lack the ability to concentrate and focus, which are factors that need to be present for an individual to go into the hypnotic state.
There has never been a documented case of anyone being “stuck” in hypnosis. The idea makes for a great Hollywood movie plot; however, it’s impossible to be unable to come out of the hypnotic state. Now, some people might be reluctant to come out of hypnosis, however, they’ll come out of hypnosis when they want to. The hesitancy for emerging out of hypnosis is that it’s such a pleasant state of relaxation that many people want to prolong the feeling as long as possible. So again, everyone can experience hypnosis if they want too; if they don’t, then it’s not very likely they would allow themselves to go along with the suggestions being offered that would induce the hypnotic state.
We all experience levels of hypnosis every day. Every time we are going to sleep and coming out of the sleep state we are experiencing an altered state of consciousness. This altered state is after or before the conscious wide aware state. So it’s common and we all do it! Have you ever got so engrossed in a book or a TV show that you were oblivious of anyone coming into the room? Once again, this is an altered state of consciousness also known as hypnosis. What about the hypno highway? Think back to a time when you got in your car to go somewhere and drove around the block and then back to your home because you couldn’t remember if you had closed the garage door or not? Or you missed your exit off the freeway because your mind was off focused on something other than your driving. During this state you were in an altered state of consciousness, also known as hypnosis.
Another critical element needed to experience hypnosis is one’s imagination. We all have an imagination, even though some people deny that they do. Imagination is part of all of us, sadly, what we spend our time imaging is usually things that are undermining our success. Instead of imaging what we want in our lives we spend our time imagining every possible negative scenario we can. Einstein was quoted as saying” Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Through our imagination we can take ideas and manifest them into reality. Yes, we all have an imagination, why not use it in the best possible way?
Another key component in achieving our goals is making sure our suggestions are framed in a way to achieve maximum results. Negative words like no and not are hard to imagine. If I say to you “don’t think of the pink elephant in the middle of the room, most of you reading this will immediately conjure up just that…. a pink elephant!
It’s difficult to imagine not, so it’s like our subconscious heard everything but the not, so the subject will likely imagine what they didn’t want to imagine. Therefore, suggestions are always to be written in the positive. What you want the outcome to be, not what you don’t want it to be. Good self-hypnosis scripts will keep this principle in mind when being created.
Self-hypnosis is also about generating change and change can sometimes take some time. Typically, when someone is practicing self-hypnosis they are working on some sort of change. Maybe the change is to alter a behavior, like quitting smoking, or perhaps the subject wants to be less reactive in stressful situations. Or perhaps the subject wants to be free of certain physical discomforts. Whatever change is desired it does take some time to achieve the desired outcome.
There is the commonly accepted belief that it takes a minimum of 21 days to change a behavior. Therefore, it is recommended that you focus on the change you want through hypnosis for a minimum of 21 days and ideally for 30 days. It is also recommended that you focus on one change at a time. When you are working on more than one change at a time you are depleting your efforts. Let’s say you want to lose weight and you want to feel less agitated with your children’s behavior at bedtime. So your subconscious mind has been given two projects to work on at the same time. Where will you put your energy? Part of your attention will go to working on your weight and part on your attention on the anger. So you are only partially invested in either outcome. However, if you focus all of your energy and efforts on one goal at a time you are going to have a greater chance of success because of your undivided focus.
Self-hypnosis requires time. Just like anything new that you want to master, consistent focused energy will assist in producing the desired results.
Self-hypnosis is very much like the art of manifestation. Manifestation has also been referred to as the Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction states that if you think and act in a positive way, good things will happen to you, but if your think and act negatively, bad things will happen to you. Some individuals might see this as the law of Karma and consider these concepts as part of the “New Age” paradigm. Much of these perspectives follow the concept that everything in the world is comprised of energy, including our thoughts. Great thinkers like Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo really set the stage for a shift in understanding energy and its impact. Quantum physics teaches us that our thoughts are vibrations of energy that can influence what happens to us. There is a saying “What you think about, you bring about” ”With that concept in mind, we set the stage for great value in managing our thoughts and imagination in a more productive way.
If we embrace the concept of our thoughts and mental images are energy beginning to draw to us what we are focusing on, than doesn’t it make sense that we need to be more responsible regarding our thoughts and our imaginings?
Instead of being victims of the world in general, why not become more proactive in drawing to us what we truly want. Self-hypnosis can help to achieve your dreams. To change your outer world you must be willing to change your inner world.
Linda Bennett, PhD., CCHt. Is an author, educator and practitioner of the healing arts. Her main focus is Hypnotherapy. Linda is dedicated to whole life living, by connecting the head and the heart. Linda has received numerous awards for her work in the field. She has been recognized for outstanding creative achievement in the classroom, awarded Outstanding Clinical Contribution in 2011 by the National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapy and the 2014 Educator of the Year for the International Medical Dental Hypnosis Association. She regularly offers seminars and presentations to groups and organizations throughout the U.S. Linda teaches at the award winning Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.