Have you ever wanted to reach a deeply relaxed state but find it difficult? Why not try this simple self hypnosis technique. Originally designed as an aid for insomnia it uses sight, sound and feeling to lead you into a relaxed state of mind.
If you have any doubts or worries about hypnosis rest assured that you probably drift in and out of naturally occurring trances every day. Finding yourself intensely involved in a book or TV programme or daydreaming your way on a journey so that when you think back to it you can’t quite remember how you got there, are all trance states. There is nothing special about hypnosis it is just a state of concentrated focused attention that we can all practice.
Although this process is simple read it through completely so that you can do it without referring back to the instructions.
1. State what you want from this session. e.g. I want to feel refreshed / more confident / sleep deeply etc.
2. Set a timescale for the session and declare it. e.g. I will do this technique for 15 minutes / 1 hour etc.
3. State how you want to feel at the end of the session. e.g. I will feel more positive / energetic / deeply relaxed etc.
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie, let your focus become soft so that you move into peripheral vision.
- Make a mental note of 3 things that you see and record them in your head e.g. I see a clock, I see a plant, I see a book.
- Make a mental note of 3 things that you hear and record them in your head e.g. I hear a car, I hear the clock, I hear my breathing.
- Make a mental note of 3 things you can feel. e.g. I feel my back on the chair, I feel the breeze from the window, I feel relaxed.
Go slowly, pausing for a short while on each. As you stare, focus all of your attention on the object’s appearance, if your mind wanders gently pull it back to the object you are focusing on.
Now repeat the process but this time…
- Make a mental note of 2 things that you see and record them in your head e.g. I see a doorknob, I see a lamp.
- Make a mental note of 2 things that you hear and record them in your head e.g. I hear the birds outside, I hear myself swallowing.
- Make a mental note of 2 things you can feel. e.g. I feel my feet on the floor, I feel warmth in my hands.
- Make a mental note of 1 thing that you see and record it in your head e.g. I see a picture.
- Make a mental note of 1 thing that you hear and record it in your head e.g. I hear a dog barking in the distance.
- Make a mental note of 1 thing you can feel. e.g. I feel warmth in my hands.
You have now done the external section of the exercise so now it’s time to do the internal part by closing your eyes.
- Imagine one small thing you see. It doesn’t matter what pops into your head just focus all of your attention on it for a short while.
- Imagine one thing you hear. Though this is technically the ‘internal’ part of the process, you can use an actual environmental noise if there is one present it’s better to use it than be distracted by it.
- Imagine one thing you feel. Try your best to focus all of your attention on these sensations as if they were actually happening. Again, if an actual physical sensation comes to your attention, use it.
Repeat the process with two different images, two different sounds, and two different feelings.
Repeat once more using three different images, three different sounds, and three different feelings.
Once you reach the end just notice your breathing and enjoy relaxing for a few minutes. Then you are ready to open your eyes and go about your day.
I hope you enjoy it, I’d love to hear how you got on.
*Based on a technique developed by Betty Erikson.