Experiment TWelve What Is Self Hypnosis Like

PURPOSE

To experience how the basic self-hypnosis routine works.

METHOD

Guided fantasy. Tape-record and work with a session script.

DIRECTIONS

You are going to have yourself imagine doing self-hypnosis. but not actually do it this time. Prepare your tape and then just listen to it, imagining along with your voice.

SCRIPT

"I am going to let myself experience how it will be to do my basic self-hypnosis routine. As I begin, I am letting myself begin to relax so I can really concentrate and follow along with my directions.

"One. 1 close my eyes and touch a finger to the center of my forehead to start the self-hypnosis process. 1 roll my eyes up to stare at the point my finger touches and then return my finger to my lap . . . just as I will do in self-hypnosis.. ..

"Two. I take a deep, deep breath and tense all the muscles of my body at once, just as I've been doing in my quick relaxation exercise.. ..

"Three. Holding my breath. I count down ... ten ... nine .. . eight. . . seven . . . six ... five ... four ... three . . . two ... I start breathing out . . . one . . . and let my muscles all relax. . . .

"Four. As I breathe out the last of my breath, I whisper "zero" to myself . . . and 1 allow my body to become totally limp and loose when I hear myself saying "zero" this first time . . . and I continue breathing at my own natural rate now for the rest of this session . . . limp and loose . . . and comfortable now . . . feeling so good . . . so good. . ..

"Five. I imagine thinking and feeling and picturing zero now, over and over in my mind . . . one zero makes me feel calm and clear and relaxed . . . not at all hypnotized . . . balanced perfectly . .. but as I keep on thinking and imagining zero, I slip deeper and deeper, faster and faster, more and more naturally into a deep hypnotic frame of mind . . . becoming more and more relaxed as I think and picture zero . . . saying zero for half a minute relaxes me completely ... each additional time sends me deeper and deeper ... if I also squeeze my eyes and relax them a few times while I imagine zero, I can go more easily deeper still ... saying and picturing zeros ... little zeros and big zeros . . . fat zeros and skinny zeros . . . short funny zeros and tall happy zeros . . . zeros every color of the rainbow . . . the sound of zero . . . the feeling of zero . . . slipping out through the hole in the zero and leaving reality behind for a while . . . feeling more and more zero ... like a place holder . . . neither here nor there . . . neither positive nor negative . . . peaceful . . . perfect calmness with me around it ... as clear and still as a diamond . . . zero .. . zero ... a wonderful feeling of peace and freedom and warmth and safety . . . zero . . . saying and thinking zero like this for fifteen minutes or so gives me the relaxation response ... it feels so good I want to do this every day ... to just let go completely . . . perfect peace and comfort . . . letting all the pressure out . . . so good . . . relaxing like this after the day's work is over lets me feel good and really enjoy my hard-earned leisure time . . . more and more every day ... I can enjoy just relaxing like this and doing nothing at all . . . and I find myself more and more enjoying doing all sorts of other things in my spare time also . . . whatever I'd like to do . . . trying new things, new activities . . . just being the sort of person I have always wanted to be ... zero ... zero ... it's so good . . . soooo goood . . . even ten zeros and I'm there ... where 1 want to be in order to make my suggestions and visualization really do what I want them to do l'or me ... 1 will always know when I'm deep enough, because I'll feel it, I'll just know . . . because 1 can really and truly trust myself now . . . more and more .. . zero

"Six. Now I give myself a suggestion when 1 do self-hypnosis . . . I'll just imagine myself doing it this time . . . imagine myself whispering out loud a suggestion like, 'It's good to be alive. 1 can relax and make things go right for myself—I'm free!'

"Seven. Now I imagine repeating that suggestion to myself over and over in my mind . . . feeling even more than hearing it echoing all the way through even the deepest levels of my mind ... as if a chorus of angelic voices was singing it inside me ... reverberating through every strand and fiber, every nook and cranny of my being . . . 'It's good to be alive ... I can relax and make things go right for myself... I'm free!' 110-second pause.|

"Eight. Here's where I visualize myself being and feeling and acting naturally the way 1 have suggested to myself ... I imagine myself being, feeling, and acting free .. . free to make things go right for myself.. . free of anything or everything that could hold me back . . . free of frustrations and problems and blockages . . . really feeling it is good to be alive ... let me see what sort of visualization comes into my mind this time . . . I'll just let myself do whatever comes into my mind now when I think of being free, of making my life work out right . . . {30-second pause| . . . now I let this imaginary reality collapse and shrink into a tiny dot of light and vanish somewhere deep into my mind, where it can work itself into my deepest thinking and feeling.. . .

"Nine. This is where I can work with my self-hypnosis techniques and train myself in the informal tactics I can learn to work with outside hypnosis when on the spot. ...

"Ten. This is where 1 count myself up. out of my session . . . however, this time, I will only imagine doing so ... I imagine I say my suggestion to myself again, 'It's good to be alive, I can relax and make things go right for myself—I'm free!' . . . and I imagine then taking a deep breath, counting from one to ten. opening my eyes, and really feeling just great, wide awake, refreshed, relaxed and wonderful . . . really feeling the beneficial effects of my session . . . and feeling also those strong pleasure feelings flooding through my body and mind that I always feel when completing a session of hypnosis, when I've used one of my techniques, or when I've done anything else to assert my freedom and my self-control . . . but now, I just let myself relax for a few more minutes and allow the certainty that I can and that I will be able to do self-hypnosis successfully, easily, and with great benefit grow deeper and deeper into my mind ... I feel I want to do it every day . . . that I will let nothing stop me because this is something I am doing for myself . . . [5-second pausel . . . and now. 1 actually do take a deep breath, count from one to ten, and feel exactly as I've imagined feeling after my sessions . .. [15-second pausel .. . wide awake, feeling wonderful!" End of script.

After your session, note how it went, how you are feeling, and anything else worth recording. Do not save this tape, however; you want to learn how to do it on your own.

It's as easy as that to do. Unfortunately, developing a workable self-hypnosis technique can be something of a chore. At least it was when I began working in this field; nobody seemed to think it worth bothering to explain the practical logic involved. 1 had to work this out for myself in five years' clinical practice. Now I can explain to you not only what to do, but how to build a self-hypnosis exercise.

By studying this logic, you can both help yourself work with self-hypnosis to your greatest benefit, and you can see how to modify the basic technique or eventually develop one of your own to better fit your own unique needs. The only claims 1 make for this basic technique are that it is easily learned, easy to do, works well, and can be easily adapted to the greatest possible variety of uses. Let us. therefore, look at what goes into this routine.

First, it has a beginning and an end. This fact is really quite important. By clearly defining when you begin and end your session, you do several things. You make it clear to yourself that your hypnosis is only a temporary state of affairs, that you will return to "normal." so you don't have to worry. In fact, it clearly shows you how to bring yourself back.

Although in fact you can just snap back into everyday functioning at will, a ritual like this gives you something to rely on. That's why your standard routine is so very important. It gives you clear and unmistakable milestones telling you for sure where you are now. where you've been, and what comes next. These will always be there for you to hold on to. so you can relax, let go, turn your back on reality for a while, and have no fear of somehow getting lost inside yourself.

By ritualizing this whole process, you make it safe for yourself. It gives you something known to always rely on. It ensures that you will be able to return; it gives you control over what happens to you. It is not necessary, but I cannot overemphasize how much it can help you.

This is the reason I've taught you all along that you can at any time bring yourself out of session by just taking a new breath, counting from one to ten, and opening your eyes. To your self-hypnosis we add the step of repeating your suggestion; this will keep it on your mind as you return to normalcy.

The awakening procedure is similar to others used by nearly all hypnosis practitioners. Its primary function is to serve as a cue to yourself, signaling that you are leaving hypnosis and resuming normal, reality-based functioning. Technically, the deep breath makes a pause in the ongoing action and creates physical sensations providing a cue on the feeling level. Counting up provides a gradual, clearly marked transition, while giving you the sense of returning from deep within. Opening your eyes restores the visual cues by which you anchor yourself in the environment, telling you where you are located in space and time.

This touches upon a second important point: Always coupie verbal definition of the situation or promptings to do or experience something with physical actions that will add a clear feeling component. This is one of the unspoken secrets of effective hypnosis. It both adds the sense of reality to your statements and eases the process of routinizing hypnotic tactics—making actions or procedures your habit, so you don't have to consciously attend to or think about them. By using this trick, you set yourself up to respond spontaneously to your own cues.

If you are wise, you'll select behaviors that are easy to associate with the meanings you want to give things, or with the events you wish to prompt. Consider the very first step in your basic self-hypnosis routine.

Hypnosis Plain and Simple

Hypnosis Plain and Simple

These techniques will work for stage hypnosis or hypnotherapy, however, they are taught here for information purposes only. After reading this book you will have the knowledge and ability necessary to hypnotise people, but please do not practice hypnosis without first undergoing more intensive study.

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