Self hypnosis is a tool for making changes in your life. Nearly everyone can learn self-hypnosis. Its a skill just like learning to drive or read or write. Self-hypnosis is a self-induced trance-like state. We go in and out of natural trances everyday of our lives. We daydream, fantasise, lose ourselves in music, books, movies and hobbies.
With self-hypnosis we have a clear intention towards an outcome. We create the conditions for our mind to process this intention. This includes creating a state of relaxation, focusing our attention on our intentions, developing the imagery and language to intensify our inner experience so that it seems real, imagining the changes happening in our real life noticing what we will be doing and experiencing differently with a sense of positive expectancy.
We are going to work through a series of steps to help you help yourself with self-hypnosis. This will include setting outcomes that have a positive direction and sense of choice. It will include getting a sense of your own unique way of knowing what this is so that what you say to yourself makes sense to your conscious and unconscious mind. This means we will develop your personalised metaphors. A metaphor is a way of describing something (and I will explain this more in a later blog). It when we say something is like something else. We use metaphors all the time. We talking about time moving forward, getting an icy stare or being given a cold shoulder, that story smells fishy, or taking one step forward and two steps backwards.
Today I want to just write about having a clear intention towards a positive outcome. More often than not we know what we don’t want. We don’t want to feel pain, we don’t want to feel stressed, we don’t want to smoke, we don’t want to feel insecure or lacking confidence. We know a lot about the problem. Its a difficulty we don’t like. An outcome is something we want to have happen – it is not something we don’t want to have happen. We want to move from problem to outcome. Sometimes when we think about this we come up with a middle step – a remedy. A remedy is a desire for the problem to be reduced or not exist.
Let me give you some examples:
Problem: I’m sick of being stressed.
Remedy: I don’t want to be stressed.
Outcome: I want to feel able to cope with normal life challenges.
Problem: I hate being overweight.
Remedy: I want to lose weight.
Outcome: I want to weigh x-kg and be healthy.
Problem: I have insomnia.
Remedy: I want to stop waking in the night.
Outcome: I want to sleep throughout the night and go back to sleep if I wake.
Problem: I feel angry all the time
Remedy: I don’t want to lose my temper.
Outcome: I want to express myself clearly and calmly.
Problem: I’m always forgetful.
Remedy: I don’t want to forget important things anymore.
Outcome: I want to remember important things.
So – just for the moment think of a couple of things you’d like to change or adjust in your life. For the purpose of practising you might like to choose something that is not your biggest issue. Say your biggest concern is a 10 out of 10…then maybe choose something that is a 3 or 4 out of 10 on the concern scale.
1. Now what is the problem? Write it down. You may notice yourself using words like: I’m scared of… I don’t like…I don’t want…My fear is…I always…I’m worried
2. Now rewrite the sentence using this format: “And when (put the problem statement here)…what I’d like to have happen is.…(put your remedy or outcome here). Using the example above the problem is “I’m sick of being stressed”. So this sentence would be rewritten as “And I’m sick of being stressed and what I’d like to have happen is…. I don’t want to be stressed”. Now you’ll notice I have said what I don’t want. This is a remedy. Remedies use words like: I don’t want… I wish I wasn’t…I want to stop…I’d like x to go away…I want to avoid… A proposed remedy doesn’t describe what the situation will be like once the problem goes away.
3. Moving from a remedy to an outcome. If you wrote a remedy you can help it change into an outcome by writing a sentence like this: “And when (remedy) … then what happens?” For example. “I don’t want to be stressed!” is a remedy. “And when I’m not stressed then what happens?” “I will feel able to cope with normal life challenges.” This is an outcome. It is stated in the positive and has a direction for your attention and intentions. You could say it is moving towards something.
So in a nutshell:
To get from a problem to either a remedy or an outcome (and sometimes you can get straight to an outcome) ask yourself: What would I like to have happen?
To get from a remedy to an outcome ask yourself: And when (remedy) what happens next or then what happens?
Let me take you through one more example:
“I panic before presentations.” This is a problem statement.
“And panic before presentations – what would you like to have happen instead?”
“I want the panic to go away!” This is a remedy statement.
“And when panic goes away what happens then?
“I will feel centred and able to focus”. This is an outcome.