Does Self Hypnosis Work?

You’ve heard about hypnosis forever, it seems. Now the buzz seems to be about self hypnosis. You may be wondering about it: Does self hypnosis work? Can it really change anything in your life? What is it, anyhow?

Hypnotize Yourself

Does self hypnosis work? – why not try it? There are many good hypnosis downloads available on the Internet, if you’d like some help to begin.

Meanwhile, to hypnotize yourself, find a private and quiet place where you can relax. You can lie on your bed or sit in a comfortable chair (Self hypnosis is great for curing insomnia, by the way.)

Tell yourself to relax, relax completely; and when you think you are totally relaxed, let yourself go even further. You may want to imagine a flight of ten stairs leading downwards, and count silently to yourself as you imagine going down the staircase step by step. Once you reach the bottom of the staircase, open the door you see there. This is when you begin giving yourself effective autosuggestions, prepared in advance, to make some change in your subconscious mind.

does self hypnosis work

Your suggestions to yourself may be in a form like, “I'm fulfilled and happy who is in love with life,” or they may be simple images of yourself in this condition. Perhaps one of your goals in self hypnosis is to lose some weight. You can picture yourself more slender, moving easily, getting in and out of your chair without difficulty; or you can silently verbalize to yourself, “I am slender and agile, and I can move with ease and grace.” Or you can do both.

When you are ready to “come back,” imagine yourself going back through the door. As you climb the staircase, count backward from Ten to One. On One, you will open your eyes. You see, you are perfectly in control of the whole process; there is nothing strange or “weird” about self hypnosis at all.

“Practice” Makes Perfect

Many people who perform self hypnosis on a regular basis refer to their self hypnosis as a “practice.” You’ve probably heard people who do yoga talk about their yoga practice, or people who meditate regularly referring to their practice of meditation.

“Practice” really is used in two ways here: to mean the ongoing performance of self hypnosis, and to mean the act of exercising yourself in self hypnosis as you gain proficiency in the technique. Dr. Charles E. Henderson of Hypnotica offers a great many hints on the practice of self hypnosis, compares it to learning how to play a musical instrument. He reminds us that “like any skill it requires the development of correct technique. You have to do it right to get the most out of it and that comes only with practice. And in a way self-hypnosis is a little harder [than playing an instrument] because it is all in your mind!”

But Can I Really Change Myself through Self Hypnosis?

You certainly can.

Self hypnosis can help you alleviate distressing symptoms, substitute strong responses for weak responses, help overcome bad habits, create good habits and help one's power of concentration. You can give yourself permission to be happier, more self-confident, less shy and more outgoing – just by using the right message.

The key to all this is the fact that the human mind operates on two distinct levels: the conscious and the subconscious.

Although the conscious takes up only about 10% of your mind, it is normally “in charge.” We think with the conscious mind, and most of the time that we’re awake, we are thinking. On the other hand, says Dr. Henderson, “the subconscious part of the mind is really running the show. It has a vested interest in much of what we do. When it wants or needs a certain behavior or condition, it makes no difference that we may consciously know better.” We find ourselves following the wishes of the subconscious, and giving it what it wants.

To achieve real change, it’s necessary to change the subconscious; and the best way to develop influence over the subconscious mind is through the skills of self-hypnosis.

These skills include conscious relaxation, framing your autosuggestions to convey the right message to your subconscious, and the skill of self hypnosis itself.

As Dr. Henderson has said of self hypnosis – “It is a great way to do anything that depends on your own efforts.” If you want to learn another language, you will still have to study it, listen to tapes, and practice speaking aloud. But your skills in autosuggestions and self hypnosis will enable you to learn the language faster, easier, and more thoroughly – thanks to your control of your subconscious!

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