What self hypnosis is and the brainwave states
The human brain is amazing it runs our bodies and takes care of things like breathing, food digestion, growth, bodily repair and a host of other things without any conscious thought or real effort from us. Many of us over look these facts and think more about our limitations and what we can’t do and wonder why achieving certain goals in life can feel impossible.
Self hypnosis is just one method of invoking change but to understand why self hypnosis can be so beneficial we have to first understand the 5 states of the human mind and the frequencies they operate at:Information processing and insight mode this is known as Gamma (27 Hz and up)
When we are alert and awake alert and focused activity this is known as Beta (12 – 27 HZ)
When we’re in a state of relaxation this is known as Alpha (8 – 12Hz)
When we are in a state of: light sleep, deep relaxation, REM dream state or daydreaming this is known as Theta (3-8 Hz)
The deepest state the brain gets into is where we experience deep dreamless sleep this is known as Delta (less than 3 Hz)The Theta state is ideal for self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy because it’s the realm of the subconscious and this is the area hypnotherapy works. Both the Theta and alpha state are very beneficial because they are known to decrease stress, anxiety, pain, as well as improving memory
Hypnotic induction/Hypnoidal state:
Hypnosis has 3 states:
This is the part where you physically relax by making yourself comfortable, taking deep breaths in and out, This is a ‘light’ state of relaxation and inner focus and is usually indicated by fluttering eye movements. This state is usually experienced right before going to sleep or first thing in the morning when you wake up. In this state hypnotic suggestions can be successfulHypnotic State/Cataleptic State:
The second stage is a deeper state where it’s perfectly normal for someone to tune out everything that’s happening around them. This state is regarded as the optimum state for hypnotic commands because in this state you become more open to suggestion and when you come out of this state you’ll usually have a vague memory of the sessionHypnotic Suggestion/ somnambulistic state:
This stage is very deep and is just above the coma state. In this state the body and the mind are in a total state of relaxation to the point where the mind is doing nothing, there are no thoughts going on, the mind is in a state of nothingness and is characterised by the eyes rolling upwards. This state is considered by some to be the ultimate state because suggestions face zero resistance the Conscious Critical Faculty simply cannot over-ride any suggestion. The suggestions are received at a totally unconscious level and you may not have any memory of ever hearing them
Self-hypnosis can modify your behaviour as well as your emotions and can be applied to so many areas of your life: overcoming fears and phobias, addictions, relationship problems, anxiety, sports performance, stopping bad habits and forming good habits the possibilities are huge for within you lies the key to solving some of life’s problems hypnosis just helps you unlock that potential that you already have within you.
Hypnosis can be used by itself or combined with other forms of therapy like CBT(cognitive behavioural psychotherapy)CBT combined with hypnosis enhances CBT treatment by:
The applications of self hypnosis
- Shortens treatment time
- Hypnosis allows you to reach deep states of relaxation which is central to some CBT treatments
- Hypnosis can help give someone a higher level of expectancy about results. I. E a “placebo effect”
Hypnosis can be combined with meditation where you can reach deep levels of relaxation faster than you normally would, which is also useful for the healing process as the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic Nervous System reach their optimal state during deep levels of relaxation
Reasons why hypnosis hasn’t worked for you
Now I don’t know your situation but you maybe one of those people who has tried hypnosis and felt that it didn’t work for you so Let’s look at some possible reasons why that maybe the caseWhat are you expectations:
if you have un-realistic expectations because of what you may have heard or seen on T. V then you maybe setting yourself up for disappointment. Its best to approach the subject with an open mind as well as letting go of your preconceived notions as to what is supposed to happenWhat sort of training and experience does your hypnotherapist have:
Not all therapists are equal. A good therapist is one who practices their skill on a very regular basis. Some therapists only do hypnotherapy on a part-time basis and have another form of employment that they do full time. A therapist that is enthusiastic and passionate about what they do and has a good level of knowledge on the subject will come across differently form one that is only interest in taking your money
it’s not magic you have to do your part too: Hypnosis isn’t a magic switch that will instantly fix all of your problems, you have to want to change in order for this to work. Expecting a result but at the same time wanting things to remain as they were before means your pulling in two different directions and because the habit or thing you’re trying to change already has a foothold in your life guess which one is ultimately going to win
what reward does your current bad habit/ thing you want to change give you: Say for instance you want to give up smoking but whenever you smoke you feel your stress levels dropping. Your stress levels dropping is the reward smoking gives you. The reward needs to be re-framed and redirected to the benefits of what making changes will ultimately do for you. Some people tend to believe that no matter what they do the results will always be the same and this type of thinking is called learned helplessness. There are ways to over come this type of thinking but ultimately one needs to take responsibility
There is no one size fits all: OK so you’ve tried a hypnotherapist and you didn’t get the results you want does that mean that hypnosis doesn’t work. For some people trying one therapist and one approach is enough for them to quit but if one car mechanic can’t replace a blown bulb on your car do you say that’s it the bulb can never be replaced it’s broken for life. No of course not you find another mechanic who can do the job and that is the approach that you may need to take to get what you want. Remember you have to want to achieve the goal because you’re the only one who can achieve that goal the therapist is there to guide you along that pathmy experience with self hypnosis:
My experience with self hypnosis has been a varied one I have tried programs to help me start habits and break other habits. I have been successful in areas like giving up sugar in hot beverages like tea, losing weight, starting habits like exercise, yoga and meditation and I have found that part of my success has been putting myself in situations where I had to make changes
For instance with exercise I set my alarm clock earlier and once I was up I made myself exercise. I started off with small sessions and built up the difficulty overtime. My self hypnosis was done by using prerecorded MP3 sessions and taking action almost straight after. I would love to say that I have achieved everything I’ve wanted to achieve but I haven’t I still have a sweet tooth which is something I have been working on for a while and although I’ve lost body fat I’ve put some back on due to my love of cookies so I’m my own work in progress
Is it guaranteed to work
Hypnosis is prescribed for just about everything from quitting smoking, losing weight, anxiety and even things like biting nails. There is a good reason why it is used in so many situations and that is because it empowers people to change by updating their beliefs.
In short Hypnosis isn’t guaranteed to work but it is powerful in the area of helping us to alter our beliefs. Our conscious actions are driven by memories, experiences and expectations and this is all done automatically so we largely aren’t even aware that this process is what is driving us. This process is rooted in our subconscious mind, part of the way we perceive the world around us is through pattern recognition for instance what colour is the word “BLUE” written in.
If for a brief moment you thought the word “BLUE” was written in blue it shows that you thought of the colour and mentally you saw the colour even though the word isn’t even written in the colour blue. Our expectations and memory of the colour took over without conscious thought but you probably also experienced a moment when you suddenly thought “wait a second this word blue is written in black not blue”.
This is how our minds work, over our lifetime we develop mental patterns about what we call reality that are formed by our memories, assumptions, negative experiences and positive experiences which overtime reinforce and solidify our perceptions. So think about that for a moment, not everything we see, hear, and assume is 100% correct. What we think is true is actually moulded to fit what we already believe
Hypnosis overrides our pattern based thinking by bypassing the part of the mind that questions and critiques everything and goes straight to the root, the subconscious part which will take suggestion without questioning if that suggestion matches our existing thoughts. Continued use will help our minds to respond differently and create a new reality, in which, healthier, more helpful responses are triggered by what we perceive around us
is it the same as meditation
If you’re someone who has practised both meditation and self hypnosis you may think that they are both one and the same thing. After all they both give us pleasant and positive experiences, so are they one and the same thing, well not exactly they have similarities in that they both allow you to reach a deeply relaxing and calming state of mind and guided meditation is very similar to self hypnosis but the main difference between them is what they are supposed to achieve
the aim of meditation is to focus on the here and now, meditation in it’s purest form (not guided meditation) is to reach a state where your mind is free of thought, a state known as the pure state and this is usually achieved by focusing on a single object and nothing else like a flower that you picture and hold in your mind for the duration of the meditation.
Self hypnosis on the other hand goes further and deeper into a trance like state where the mind is open to suggestion so positive changes can take place. So pure meditation is about the absence of thought and hypnosis aims to change our pattern and belief system through suggestion
So hopefully this guide has given you an insight into what self hypnosis is, it’s many benefits and what it can do to help you change certain areas of your life. Remember hypnosis is about going into a different state and we all go into different states throughout the day. Have you ever concentrated on something so hard that you when someone calls your name you don’t even hear them, well that is a hypnotic state and self hypnosis simply puts you into a state like that so that suggestions can be made to the subconscious mind and positive changes can be made to your life.
I have included a free Ebook for you to read more about Self Hypnosis and its applications to your everyday life