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A Journey into the Subconscious - A Guide in Hypnosis
Sit back and relax. Clear your head. You are about to take a journey into your subconscious.
When most people think of hypnosis, they envision an alluring individual standing on stage surrounded by a highly susceptible participants sitting in chairs. These people are the guinea pigs of the show. They are for the purpose of the audience to laugh at while they perform different acts in the name of entertainment.
Some people believe hypnosis is real; some think they are cannot be hypnotized. Yet, most people find the idea of hypnosis intriguing. But, do you really know what hypnosis is?
Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility while in an artificially induced altered state of consciousness. Depending on the situation, the person can be in a sleeplike condition where they are willing to take direction from the hypnotist.
There are a few different forms of hypnosis. For the purpose of this article, hypnosis will be referred to as the regular form of hypnosis (not the entertainment kind) or self-hypnosis. These types of hypnosis are intended for reaching into your mind and learning more about yourself. While hypnosis shows can be entertaining, other forms can also be very beneficial!
Dr. Frank Mesmer was one of the first people to induce a person into a hypnotic state, which is where the word mesmerized was derived from. Mesmerized is a former word for hypnotized and is the ability to hold someone as if they were spellbound!
The history of hypnosis can be confusing. A long, long time ago, hypnosis was thought to be magical and a form of occult power. They could be seen as a way to communicate with gods and spirits or healing the sick. However, once the 18th century came along, hypnosis could finally be seen from a scientific point of view. Through the work of Frank Mesmer, there was finally a consistent method of hypnosis, which through the years, have been passed on and further developed by his followers.
Mesmer was famous for performing mass inductions and usually did this by dressing in a dark cloak and playing ethereal music in the background. This gave way to the magical sense of hypnotism. It was also tied to his downfall. However, hypnosis worked. And with further research from others, including James Braid in the 19th Century, they were able to further develop the theory to what we know today.
What's your answer!
Have you ever been hypnotized before?
Every person reading this article has been hypnotized at least once. Don’t believe me? Have you ever caught yourself in a daydream? Have you ever been driving home from work and suddenly you are pulling into your driveway without even remembering the drive? Have you ever meditated? I am sure many of you have experienced these types of situations, or many others. Which tells me, you have been hypnotized in the past.
Hypnosis works, and using certain techniques to induce self-hypnosis can be very beneficial to your health and your ability to deal with stress. It is also a great way for you to tune into your inner thought process and will help you open the door to your subconscious mind, all while you are sitting at the controls.
According to Oxford Hypnotherapy, “Self-hypnosis is a perfectly safe, pleasant, non-toxic and often more effective alternative to tranquillizers or painkillers. Self-hypnosis allows you to rejuvenate your body and mind, leading to a greater sense of well being.”
What can you do with Self-Hypnosis
- stop unwanted habits (like smoking, drinking, bad spending habits)
- manage stress
- increase concentration
- improve athletic performance
- improve self-confidence
- lose weight
- improve sleeping
- achieve goals
- tap into your ESP abilities
Now that you know all the benefits of self-hypnosis, are you ready to get started?
You are getting sleepy...
Imagine yourself on the top floor of a very large building. You are standing in the elevator and about to go down. Looking around, you notice the elevator is completely made of glass so you can see gaze at the beauty of outside.
The sky is a light blue and dotted with a few fluffy and soft clouds. The trees are flowing in the wind and the birds are chirping a quiet and peaceful melody. You are feeling very relaxed as you are encased by the beauty of nature.
The elevator slowly starts to move downward as you continue to look at the peaceful scene outside.
You have started to descend. As you reach the 9th floor, you feel your body getting comfortable. Your arms are becoming heaving, your breathing is become slow and rhythmic.
You descend another level. Your eyelids feel like they are filled with sand and they slowly start to close.
Floor seven. Your entire body feels heavy and relaxed. Your breathing becomes slower and slower and slower. Your eyelids are heavier and heavier. The more you fight, the harder it is to keep them open, until finally you can no resist. You close your eyes.
You are completely and fully relaxed.
NOTE: This is a great way to descend into hypnosis... however, for the purpose of this article, I didn't finish the script. Feel free to add any other imagery you find relaxing to complete your journey.
A few suggestions...
While you are putting yourself into a hypnotic trance here are a few suggestions.
- NO SUDDEN or HARSH CHANGES OR WORDS. Remember, this is relaxing and using words in your mind like suddenly or abruptly can impact the relaxation part of the process.
- Make sure to add a suggestion that upon waking from the trance, you will feel fully recharged and refreshed. You want to be alert when you come out of your hypnosis session. This is a great thing to add in at the beginning of the session (especially since it isn’t uncommon to dose off during a self-hypnosis session if you are inexperienced). If you add this suggestion, a 20 minute hypnosis session will make you feel completely revived, almost as if you had taken a 4 hour nap.
- Add a suggestion to make it easier to go into a trance the next time you try self-hypnosis. As with most things, hypnotism becomes easier with practice.
- Concentrate on your body parts. Individually tell each one to relax, including the muscles in your face. This will help you obtain complete relaxation.
- Create your own inner world. You are in control of your destiny. If you find floating on a cloud relaxing, include this in your setting. Each person is different and each session will vary depending on how you want to create your inner world.
- Do not use hypnosis as a way to take a nap. While it is possible to dose off during a hypnosis session, if you fall asleep, you will no longer be receiving the benefits of the suggestions. If you would like to fall asleep afterwards, you can add this in as a suggestion to fall asleep after the hypnosis session has ended.
NOTE: Feel free to comment below and add other suggestions that you have found beneficial to use during self-hypnosis.
What just happened?
You may recognize this technique. You may have heard a hypnotist use this to put someone else under during a show, or maybe you have been to a hypnotist yourself. This is, or something similar to it, is the process to bring a person deeper into their subconscious.
You may use the script above as a guideline. This is also a great place to input your goals. For instance…
You have descended to the 6th floor. A picture of you has entered into the scene. You will notice something is different. The person you see is not the person in the elevator. This person is stronger, has more confidence. This person is you in the future after you have (insert bad habit here!)
Self-hypnosis is the ability to offer suggestions to better reach a person’s goal. However, to be successful it is very important to know what is to be achieved. To be better organized it is advised to grab a notebook (or perhaps have a separate notebook just for your hypnosis suggestions and goals) and write out your hypnosis session.
Each session should only concentrate on a total of 1 to 2 goals. Be clear about your goals and write them down. This will help you set them in your mind.
The next step is to have a plan. Write down a script (similar to the one above) and include what you want to say during your hypnosis session. This is the spot to repeat your goals. It is ideal to express the same goals in different ways to help reinforce them into your subconscious.
Self-hypnosis is very personal. You are going to want to create your own vision of what is relaxing to you. You are going to want to imagine your goals and how you will achieve them. If you can see it happen, it can happen. You want to reflect your own experiences. Talk to yourself. You want to walk yourself through the whole process.
After all the prep work has been done, you can either record your script and play it back to yourself or you can speak the script in your head. Now make yourself comfortable. Get as relaxed as possible and try to make sure you are at a point where there will be little (preferably no) distractions. Now count yourself down.
NOTE: Thank you drbj for pointing this out. After all, we don't want you implanting difficult to remove suggestions. IMPORTANT: Your mind will not accept a negative suggestion while you are hypnotized. "No" and "not" are not recognized.
In other words, if you tell a subject or yourself, "You will no longer have a desire to smoke," the mind will only 'hear' "desire to smoke." If you say, "You will no longer wish to "eat any type of candy," the mind will hear, "eat any type of candy."
- The Sense in Extra Sensory Perception
Do you have ESP? Do you understand the background and how it has been used? Take a look and learn more about the background of extrasensory perception.
- The ESP Frequency
Do you understand how the brain works? The brain communicates in frequencies. By understanding the frequencies, you may be able to dive in a little closer to tapping into your ESP abilities.
ESP, brain waves and hypnosis
What do they have in common? Many people are intrigued by the inner workings of the brain. Some believe you can tap into the different levels. Psychics, strange occurances, déjà vu, the third eye - we all want to know more; some of us want to develop our own abilities. Do you have what it takes?
ESP (extrasensory perception) is the ability to perceive or sense something outside of our 5 senses. All of us have ESP, however, some may not believe they do, and others are not aware of how to clear their mind enough to actually tap into their ESP abilities.
Parapsychologists believe the human mind has powers we truly do not understand and we can take in information without it passing through any of our 5 senses. Yet, not all scientists are in agreement with ESP findings, since it has not been effectively proven either way.
However, if you believe in ESP and you think hypnosis works, you can combine the two to help develop your own ESP. These telepathic abilities are buried deep within your subconscious. With hypnosis, you can tap into these abilities. So, if you feel like brain tapping, maybe we should think a little bit about brain waves.
The brain produces an electrical activity that we can measure. These are called brain waves. The electrical impulses are measured in hertz. Each different wave state, has a different frequency. The four states of brain waves are: Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta. Each of these brain states relate to hypnosis in some way.
Beta is when you are completely awake. When you start a hypnosis session, this is were your brain waves will measure. This is the state where your conscious mind is dominate. The brain waves measure at 15-30 Hz.
Alpha is the daydreaming state. You may have closed your eyes and you may be relaxed. This is the state when your subconscious is coming to the forefront. This is the part where you will be able to tap into your inspiration and you will be at a heightened level of creativity. You will be in a light hypnotic trance as your brain waves measure about 9-14 Hz. This is were hypnotic suggestion will have the most powerful effects, since your subconscious mind can not distinguish between imaginary and physical reality. It just does what it is told or shown until it becomes a habit.
The Theta state is where the subconscious dominates and you will be in deep hypnosis. When working with a hypnotist, this is were they will find out about past lives or surface those buried emotions. This is also where a person must be if they are using hypnoanaesthesia, where you are so deeply relaxed, you don’t feel any pain. During this stage, your brain waves are 4-8 Hz.
Delta is the stage of unconsciousness or sleep. You will not remember anything during this stage. This is not a stage used during hypnosis. If a person falls into this stage, they have lost focus and are no longer under hypnosis. While it is normal for a person to fall into this stage for a moment or two, most will go right back into the Theta state. In Delta state, suggestions will not be held in your subconscious mind. Your brain waves will measure from 1-3 Hz.
Understanding brain waves and how they work with hypnosis is not necessary to become hypnotized. However, it can help you connect the experience to understand the whole process. During hypnosis, whether you have a hypnotist or you are doing self-hypnosis, it is best to be in either the Alpha or Theta state. In Beta, your conscious mind has too much control and in Delta, you can’t suggest anything to your subconscious mind.
Every time you hear a bell ring, you will quake like a duck!
There is no danger involved in hypnosis, just the danger of being ignorant. Many people may shy away from hypnosis because they feel it is playing in the devil’s playground. However, there is no suggestion strong enough to make you do something you wouldn’t do in normal life. Therefore, those who are afraid of going in a hypnotic trance and suddenly become a psycho killer, don’t truly understand hypnosis. Unless you already have tendency, you will not do anything from a hypnotic suggestion that you wouldn’t do in real life.
According to Andre M. Weitzenhoffer, Ph.D., authority in the field of mind science, “Hypnosis… is no more dangerous than natural sleep. There is no evidence that hypnosis in itself weakens the will, damages the nervous system or in any way adversely affects the physical or mental well being of individuals.”
As of 1958, hypnosis was documented as a legitimate medical and dental treatment by the American Medical Association. Hypnosis, while some may view it as brainwashing, is far from it. While under hypnosis, you still remain in control of your actions, thoughts, and feelings. With the help of a hypnotist, which is more like motivational coach, you can tap into your subconscious.
If you are trying to fight bad habits or lower stress levels, hypnosis is a great tool to use. However, it is not guaranteed. While it can improve your odds of success, you still have to want to accomplish your goal.
Some may shy away from hypnosis because of fear. But, isn’t it more dangerous to not fully understand how to use your mind?