Hypnosis

Self Hypnosis ABCs And Techniques

Most Kindergarten school teachers tell their students to always define a word before talking about the word. I might have not clearly understood the concept behind this theory but in honor of all those teachers out there whose students ended up living with their parents up to age fifty I will define the term hypnosis and give a brief history of its origin.

Definition Of Hypnosis And Brief History

Many definitions have been brought forward about the word hypnosis though the definition that best describes it is that hypnosis is an altered state of mental consciousness with a markedly heightened degree of responsiveness to suggestions and an increasingly high level of concentration. In lay man’s language I would simply put it as an increased state of mental consciousness.

Just as there are many definitions, so are the theories of the origin of hypnosis. The debate on the true origin is still ongoing with new contradictions being brought fourth with each rising sun. According to Will Durant , for example, hypnosis may have originated from a group of Hindus that resided in ancient India. It is believed that these Hindus would take their sick members of the community to some sort of shrine or temple where, through hypnosis, they would be cured. Whether there is any logical or scientific backing to this theory still remains an unanswered question for many. On the other hand, some people believe that Franz Anton Mesmer was the founder of hypnosis. All in all, countless hypotheses have been brought forward to try and shed light on the origin of hypnosis but truth be told , the origin is not as crucial as people make it out to be. After all, someone somewhere in the books of history said that better is the ending of a matter than its beginning.

Types Of Hypnosis

Depending on the mode used in inducing hypnosis, we can have two broad classifications of the latter. On one extreme end we have self hypnosis otherwise called autohypnosis. As the name suggests, this kind of hypnosis is self induced. On the other end we have hypnosis induced by a hypnotist. By definition, a hypnotist is a person who hypnotizes people. In this latter type of hypnosis, two or more parties may be involved, Sure enough, these types of hypnosis can be further divided into smaller sub groups such as hypnotherapy and mass hypnosis (as seen in the movie produced by Alex Kurtzman,”Roberto Orci and Bobby Cohen titled “Now you see me or the novel by F.E, Higgins titled “The lunatic’s curse”)

Why We Practice Self Hypnosis

As humans, we always try to find a reason for each and everything that is done on this planet(which is quite ok because frankly there has to be a reason for everything)

  • Keeping Off Bad Habits. These bad habits could range from drug addiction and alcoholism to terrible eating habits and late rising. It is amazing how an individual can program the mind through self hypnosis to quit certain behaviors. Of course it takes time because old habits die hard but eventually within a shorter time than expected, the habits are gone. I know of a guy ( true story by the way) who never wore any underpants until he was 23 years old when through self hypnosis he gave up this practice….and guess what? He now wears two pairs of underpants!!! Can you believe that. We live in a very crazy world.
  • Relaxation. Some people simply engage in self hypnosis to relieve themselves of their daily stresses such as a hard days job with a merge salary or an awaiting workload. So really, we don’t need to go scuba diving or jelly fishing just to relax; that’s why they discovered self hypnosis.
  • To Do A Away With Certain Perceptions And Mentalities. Some people are held captive by certain ideologies that they have in their minds. Sometimes they even fail to listen to people’s ideas and opinions simply because they have their own preconceived perceptions and mentalities. For such a person to turn over a new leaf and do away with such ideologies, they could autohypnotise and target to be open minded.
  • For Self Improvement. Self improvement in this case could be equated to achieving certain goals such as being the best at their work place.
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Do’s And Dont’s Of Self Hypnosis

Do’s

1.Choose Appropriate Dressing

Although the ultimate decision for dress code depends on a persons preferences, it is advisable to put on loose fitting clothes. The reason for avoiding tight clothes is quite obvious. One of the key components of a self hypnosis session is maximum concentration therefore having that tight bra or those really tight skinny jeans could make one uncomfortable and hence loose concentration.

2.Choose An Appropriate Location

Quiet areas seem to be the best for self hypnosis as distractions such as cell phones and cars hooting or kids playing in the house are avoided. This is paramount for maximum concentration and focus.

3.Know Your Target For The End Of The Session

Self hypnosis is not just some ritual. It has to have purpose; you have to have a certain goal you want to achieve by the end of the session. You could repeat the goal to yourself before the session or even during the session and then later after you are done, you could ask yourself if you attained your goal.

4.Choose An Appropriate Posture

Statistically it has been shown that over 45% of the people who engage in self hypnosis while lying down, like on a bed, end up feeling drowsy and sleeping having not attained the goal for the self hypnosis session. It is therefore better to sit. However, adopting the sitting tailor position could be tiring and uncomfortable.

Self Hypnosis

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Dont’s

1. Take A Heavy Meal Right Before Self Hypnosis

The reason for this is simply. Taking a heavy meal will lead to accumulation of gases in the gastrointestinal tract leading to bloating. Now I know our mamas tell us that everything is possible but trust me, the day you get a bloated stomach is when you will realize that your mama has been lying to you for 15 years or more.

2.Go For A Self Hypnosis Session With High Expectations

Everything takes time. We can not get over heroine addiction overnight, we cannot quit sex addiction in an hour(even my grandma knows that).All I am saying is that patience is a virtue we need to acquire.

Techniques Of Self Hypnosis

Concentrating On A Major Life Event

We can choose to focus on one event that is a major milestone in our lives. By channeling all our thoughts and emotions to this one event, we get to forget about the current prevailing situations. I am a living testimony that this actually works. On the 13th of august 2009 ,I was involved in a car accident that left several injured. During one of my self hypnosis sessions, I thought about the events of that day. I played out these occurrences one after another in my mind; how excited I was that evening when my friends called to tell me that they were all set and ready to roll, how we had been so excited to get to the bar, how we had one too many drinks, how I ignored my friends when they said I was too drunk to drive, how I lost control of the car, how the car rolled severally before landing into a ditch a few miles from home, the screams and blood. As I played out these events in my mind, everything else faded away and for a moment. I forgot all about school,
family and friends. I thought about how one night of recklessness and alcoholism had cost one of my friends their sight and had cost me one of my legs. By the end of the session, just like I had set out in my goals. I would always stay 12 feet away from alcohol.

You can choose to close your eyes or keep them open when focusing on that landmark in your life though. I prefer having them closed. The event does not necessarily have to be a sad or tragic one, you could think of happy moments you have had such as finding the girl or boy of your dreams or that huge test that you aced. The key idea is to use that one event to briefly escape from reality.

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Humming To A Song

There is always that one song that we can never get out of our minds no matter how hard we try. We could try humming that song in a poorly light or totally dark room with our eyes closed. At one point, though we can never tell exactly where that point is, we will stop humming. It is at these moment that our subconscious mind takes over and we are able to focus on our target. When humming, try starting with a high tempo and pitch and then coming down at a slower tempo.

Concentrating On An Object Within Your Vicinity

After obtaining the perfect posture, try staring at several objects in the room like a spot on the wall, the ceiling bulb, the skirting of the floor and lots of other things. Then focus on one specific thing of all those. This keeps your conscious mind occupied while your unconscious mind wanders away to your target for the session.

Concentrating On Sounds Around You

Sounds of the fan, the radio, cars hooting outside, your heartbeat and even your own breathing are all sounds you can listen to and just as in observation, hearing keeps your conscious mind alert while your unconscious mind is elsewhere trying to concentrate on the goal.

Chanting Words Or Phrases

Most people would find chanting as a rather grotesque or absurd method of self hypnotizing especially because there will always be that question of “Is he or she sane”. I have never chanted before(probably because I live two blocks away from the biggest asylum in my country and I have noisy neighbors) but I am almost certain that it works just as well as the other techniques. In chanting, all you have to do is repeat one or more phrases. For instance, lets take this 27 year old girl who wants to become a model but everyone thinks she is a disaster and a disappointment to the world of modelling. If she chooses the chanting technique of self hypnosis and chants the word “I am a conqueror” eventually, by the end of her session she will actually believe that she is a conqueror. There is power in confession because what we confess is what we possess.

Conclusion

In as much as I have portrayed self hypnosis as a great art, it is saddening that even with all its benefits, it has a down side to it. It is kind of like how they say that, not all that glitters is gold. Unfortunately some people have used self hypnosis to convince themselves to engage in different grades of malpractices and illegal affairs under the justification that it is for a noble cause. Take drug dealers and terrorists for example. I know of a true life story where a young man probably in his late twenties, was convicted for a crime of defiling a minor. The most shocking bit was that when he was arraigned in court, not a single sign of remorse was on his face and he proudly told the judge that he had no apologies to make and that if given one more chance, he would do it all over again. His line of defense was that the girl had been sinning, more precisely stealing, and therefore she needed to pay for her sins. It was out of line for the young man to think that he
could play God running around punishing people for their sins but I knew that behind his smug facade was a young man, who probably through self hypnosis, had convinced himself that he was doing the right thing. I could go on talking about all the stories I have witnessed, read or heard about people who convinced themselves that the evil they were doing was noble and for a just cause, but that would only make self hypnosis look bad.

Nonetheless, the positive still outweighs the negative by far and it is safe to say that if you Ain’t self hypnotizing ….. ..well, you Ain’t living.

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