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Hypnotizing Yourself

Self-hypnosis is a method of accessing the power of the subconscious mind by relaxing the body and calming the conscious mind. The objective is to reach deeper states of inner awareness and release tension.  Your subconscious mind is very powerful, and even short amounts of relaxation can be very beneficial to body, mind and spirit.  

Ideally, set aside 10-20 minutes a day to practice, but any amount of time is better than no amount of time - under stressful conditions even 2 minutes can make a difference.  Following are five simple steps to achieving relaxation and busting stress with self-hypnosis:

1.    Make yourself physically comfortable and relax.  If you are sitting, either lean your head back against whatever is supporting you, or drop your chin down onto your chest.  Let your eyelids and mouth close gently.

2.    Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth, and imagine a wonderful sense of relaxation washing over your body.

3.    Breathe in deeply to the count of four - mentally count 1,2,3,4 while bringing air in through your nostrils and down into your abdomen.  Feel your stomach rise as you inhale.

4.    Breathe out slowly to the count of eight - mentally count 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 while sending the air out of your abdomen through your nostrils.  Let your shoulders slump as your stomach falls.

5.    Repeat until your time is up.  Know that you have not failed if distracting thoughts come to mind.  Just the opposite is true!  Whatever comes to mind as you focus on counting and moving air in and out of your body is what is being released.  Thank yourself for the thought and return to counting.

This exercise can be done anywhere at any time. If you are really concerned about not going over a time limit, supply yourself with a timepiece that keeps seconds and simply watch the seconds tick by. What is important is that you keep your focus on counting and the movement of your breath.

The more you practice this, the easier it becomes. The easier it is, the more you'll want to do it, and the more beneficial it will become.

Testing Yourself

There are no specific sensations that go with self-hypnosis and so it is easy to doubt that it is working for you. If you wonder whether you're doing it right, the following is a simple exercise to demonstrate to you how relaxed you actually are. You will need to set aside some time for this one - this is not a good exercise to try while on the job. :-)

  • Lie on your back with your arms at your side. Position your hands palm down on the surface you're lying on.
  • Take yourself to a state of relaxation using the four stress-busting steps to self-hypnosis.
  • Once you are relaxed, imagine that someone has tied a giant helium filled balloon to your right wrist. You will almost immediately feel a tug upwards.
  • Imagine that another giant helium filled balloon is tied to your right wrist. Two balloons pull even harder on your wrist than one.
  • Feel your right arm begin to rise upwards, pulled by the two balloons. Sense the dent being created in the surface under your right elbow.
  • Imagine a third balloon tied to your right wrist. With each balloon your arm feels lighter and your hand goes higher.
  • Go ahead and try to hold it down. The harder you try to hold your hand down, the higher it will rise. Your arm cannot resist the pull of the balloons.
  • Keep adding balloons until your hand is about six inches above the surface you're lying on, and then gently return your hand to the starting position.

Every time you do this exercise, fewer balloons will be required because relaxation will take over more quickly. Practicing this regularly will help you to be able to reach deep levels of relaxation more and more quickly, which means that when you are under stress, the stress busting exercise will work faster and better.

It's worth it!