Have you tried sitting quietly, observing your breathing or contemplating your navel and 30 seconds later you start thinking about work or what’s for dinner?
Would you like to be able to meditate? Would you like to quieten your mind and find that inner peace? Do you then realise that you’re thinking when you’re supposed to be meditating and get frustrated with yourself?
If you have a busy mind then learning to meditate can be quite challenging. It can take time and perseverance to master the art and lots of people give up trying because it feels all too hard. On the other hand, learning self-hypnosis can be surprisingly quick and, believe it or not, it has all of the benefits of meditation plus more.
Self-hypnosis is not only a great way to achieve deep relaxation and reduce stress but it’s a way to become skilled at managing your thoughts, clearing negative emotions, changing unwanted habits and creating more positive beliefs.
Although many people are a little wary about allowing someone to hypnotise them, when you use self-hypnosis you are fully in control. You get to be the hypnotist and the subject all at the same time. You give the hypnotic suggestions and create the changes that you choose. It in fact gives you much more control of your mind than you might otherwise have. Self-hypnosis can give you access to your wisdom, creativity, insight and intuition.
So how do you hypnotise yourself?
- First, ensure you won’t be disturbed.
- Sit comfortably in a chair with your legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your thighs.
- Without tilting your head back, roll your eyes up towards the ceiling until you feel a little pressure in the top of your eyes.
- Focus on a real or an imaginary spot on the ceiling and gaze at it lazily.
- Take three deep, slow breaths and pay attention to your eyelids. Simply imagine that your eyelids are feeling heavier with each breath. When you imagine something well enough your body actually begins to experience it. As you exhale the third breath slowly, close your eyes and silently say the words ‘SLEEP NOW’. (They become your trigger words to go into trance.)
- Now count the first five breaths and relax the following body zones with each breathe out: 1- relax the head and the face, 2- drop your shoulders and let the arms go limp, 3- let the chest relax, 4- notice the hips sinking into the chair and 5- let the legs melt.
- Imagine drifting deeper with each breath and each sound you hear.
- When you’re very relaxed, imagine your eyelids are so heavy they don’t want to open. Make an attempt to open them and you may find they resist. Stop trying, relax and go deeper.
- Now simply enjoy the peace and tranquility of your inner mind.
- You can focus on a peaceful image like a beautiful place in nature, a healing room or floating on a cloud. Or you can repeat an affirmation like, “I always make wise choices with food.” You can focus on a goal and the wonderful feeling of having achieved it or ask a question and wait for the answer.
- After five minutes return to full awareness by counting backward silently from five to one and opening your eyes.
You can initially ask someone to slowly read these instructions, or you can record them in your own voice. Once you’re familiar with the process, you can do it at any time without guidance. Enjoy!
Alison Burton is one of Melbourne’s leading hypnotherapists and owner of Simply Natural Therapies, a busy natural health centre in Doncaster East. Alison is fascinated by the mind-body connection and is dedicated to bringing common-sense back to health care. simplynaturaltherapies.com.au
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