Understand Other People

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Self-Hypnosis for Everyday Life

Learn to control your beliefs and thoughts and manage them differently.

Have you ever had the experience of driving your car, arriving at a destination, and not being able to fully remember what you saw all along the way? Have you been in the shower and found yourself mentally transported somewhere else for a few minutes? Have you lost track of what was happening in the environment around you because you were thinking about something else?

All of these experiences are a form of hypnosis. We self-hypnotize ourselves multiple times throughout the day, but we don’t know it. Anytime we aren’t in full awareness of what’s going on, what we are thinking and experiencing and why, we are experiencing a form of self-hypnosis.

It’s a natural state, so the good news is that we can learn to use it to our advantage. We walk around all day relying on our conscious mind – “I think I’ll go there and do that”, “I like that color”, “I don’t like that person” etc., etc. While we think at a conscious level, it’s actually our subconscious that is driving our thoughts. Why don’t we like certain things and people? Typically it’s because somewhere in our subconscious they remind us of someone or something else – from our past. Why do we believe certain things to be right and wrong? Because we have learned them from past experiences.

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We are being driven all day long by our subconscious mind. Hypnosis allows us to get hold of this aspect of our beliefs and thoughts and manage it differently. Instead of being pushed and pulled by it, we can control it to our betterment.

If you want to start practicing self-hypnosis to become calmer, to approach situations in a cool and collected manner, and to help you stay on track to meet your goals, here are the simple steps to start:

  1. Find a safe place you can sit and be uninterrupted. Make sure you turn off your phone, and won’t be disturbed by the doorbell or by someone calling for you. Have the place you find be a calming and peaceful location.
  2. Get comfortable. Put both feet firmly on the floor – don’t cross your legs or arms. Allow your hands to rest comfortably in your lap. Be sure your back is supported and you are comfortable in the place you are sitting. Don’t lie down, as sometimes this can induce sleep.
  3. Take three deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the breath and imagine a blue balloon in your stomach. See it filling up as you breathe in, and emptying as you breathe out.
  4. Upon the third breath, close your eyes. Continue to breathe deeply and stay focused on your breaths. Try to allow any thoughts to float out of your mind and just focus on your breathing. Don’t worry if you are doing it “right,” just breathe!
  5. Once you feel your body responding to the breathing, begin to count down in your mind slowly from 10 to 1. With each number you say to yourself, follow it with the word “deeper.” Imagine that each number you say, your mind and body continue to get calmer and calmer. Let each number push stress, negativity and tension out of your body.
  6. Once you reach the number 1, say to yourself, “I am calm, I am confident, I am at peace.” Continue this mantra many times until you feel your body responding.
  7. Now you can say positive things to yourself in this state of self-hypnosis – imagine your desired outcome and get a picture, as best you can, about what you want. See, think, feel and experience yourself as you would like to be.

Use words in your mind to support your goals. “I am in the best health of my life,” for example, or “I make good decisions in every moment of my day,” or “I stay calm in the face of trouble.” It can be helpful to identify what you want, and write them down so you are ready to say those things that matter to you once you are in a deepened state.

After you have completed your mantra, sit quietly for a moment. Bring your attention back to your breathing. Breathe in and out, and again focus on the breath.

Now, count slowly from 1 to 5. With each number, imagine energy returning to your body; you feel in good health and rested. You are ready!

The entire process should take no more than 3-5 minutes. Practice this as many times as you can throughout your day.

And remember, you can always pause – wherever you are and whatever is happening around you – and choose to breathe and say your mantras over and over again. That’s the nice thing about getting practice doing this, you can call upon it anytime you need it!

Beverly D. Flaxington teaches at Suffolk University.

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