Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Can "Self" Hypnosis Really Work?

After a hypnosis client has a breakthrough, thanks me, and shakes my hand vigorously, I ask a question he or she does not expect:

"Now are you ready to learn self-hypnosis?"

Some respond with an immediate "Yes!" but a surprising number get quiet.

"You can't really hypnotize yourself, can you, really?" they finally ask.

I know it seems crazy. How can you be the hypnotist and the hypnotizee simultaneously? Can you split your mind that way? Doesn't it take a lot of effort? How would you say the right things and relax at the same time?

I had the same questions when I first learned about hypnosis. You may be as surprised as I was to discover that it is possible, even simple.

Self hypnosis capitalizes on a natural state of mind you've often encountered, perhaps without noticing it.

Here's what I mean: you get into the right mental attitude for hypnosis many times a day naturally, without trying. Or even knowing that you're doing it.

An example: Every time you tell yourself something about how something will be in the future, or repeat the same words over and over in your mind, or conjure up the same mental pictures-you are informally self-hypnotizing.

This can be even more powerful when you're already in a dreamy, meditative state, a state that is hypnotic.

So why not take the ability you already have and use it to your advantage? Sounds smart, doesn't it?

-Refine Your Natural Technique

Because self hypnosis is quite effective, tell yourself only the things that you desire, not what you fear, despise, or want to avoid. Same goes for the mental movies you run. Show yourself the future you desire, not the one you're worried may occur.

Stop telling yourself "I'm going to lose my job." Instead say: "Every day I'm learning, sharpening my skills, and making myself a valuable asset at my current job and for future jobs."

Apply this approach to any aspects of your life (romance, home life, parenting, sports) and you can "hypnotize" yourself into improvement and happiness.

How to get started?

-Recall And Make Use Of Your Good Times

Self-hypnosis usually involves picturing what you want. To make that easier, simply borrow thoughts, feelings and memories from good times that already occurred.

Example: Before I give a speech, as I walk up to the podium, I recall that time I spoke to 550 realtors who were excited and grateful to hear my message. Those 90 minutes in front of an energized room is every speaker's dream.

I use that experience in this way: Before I give a talk, I imagine myself standing in front of that large, enthusiastic crowd of realtors. I recall the eager faces I saw. Feel the happiness in my chest. Hear their loud clapping. It only takes a moment, but it lets me present myself to any group, whether five people or five hundred, with the same feeling of confidence and excitement.

Find your moment. It doesn't have to be a big moment, just one that makes you feel the way you want to feel. Use it relentlessly.

-Put Your Mind On A Diet

When on a diet, smart people put healthy, low-fat goodies in their cupboards and toss away fatty and sugary saboteurs. Do the same with your thoughts. Steer clear of self-blame, ridicule and stories about negative incidents of the past.

Think of them only long enough to decide what you want instead. "Instead of a supervisor who belittles me, I am now looking to work for someone who is fair, helpful, shows me my good points and objectively directs me to improve."

-Edit Out What You Shouldn't Be Telling Yourself

Self critique is smart if it's objective, useful, and quick enough to make its point and move you to what you want-to be, do, and feel.

Run an audit of your thoughts to notice the damaging or unproductive thoughts you've been saturating your mind with. Quickly ask yourself: "What am I trying to teach myself with these thoughts?" Look for simple, sensible nuggets.

A client realized that self-berating thoughts like "You're so fat, you're busting out of your clothes," "You'll never get a great guy like this," and "You're ruining your knees with all this weight" were simply indications of a desire to protect and improve herself.

She changed the ideas to: "You look great when you're lean and your clothes fit well," "You attract a guy who likes you the way you like yourself to be," and "When you're lean, your body feels good and supports you best."

Within three months of changing her thoughts, she lost 30 pounds and was casually dating several men whom she enjoyed being with.

-Make It Feel Real So It Becomes Real

When you allow yourself to sense that, inside, you are the person you want to be, and your outsides (appearance and ways of speaking and behaving) are beginning to follow suit, it feels real. It begins to become real. And soon enough, your goal is fully realized.

All you have to do is start the process, and allow yourself to notice even the subtlest beginnings of positive change.

-Let Go And Enjoy

Once you get yourself started on these changes of thought and action, let your own subconscious keep that ball rolling. Intervene as needed to correct your course, as sailors do, but do appreciate nature's help in moving toward your goal in ways that are unexpected, subtle and surprisingly easy. ©2008 by Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.

Wendy Lapidus-Saltz is a hypnotist & mind coach specializing in smoking cessation, love attraction and career issues. She maintains a Chicago office and works with clients worldwide by phone. Wendy's "Secret Self Hypnosis" CD/MP3 teaches people self hypnosis easily and safely. Reach her at ILAPSAL@aol.com or 312-640-1584. Visit her website http://www.nonsmoker4life.com andhttp://www.hypno-attraction.com

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