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Can "self" Hypnosis Really Work?

Apr 8, 2008
After a hypnosis client has had a breakthrough, thanked me, and shaken my hand vigorously, I ask a question she doesn't expect:

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

Some answer with an immediate and boisterous "Yes!" but a surprising number go quiet.

It's not that they begrudge the time or money spent on an extra session or two to learn the art. It is incredulity: "You can't really hypnotize yourself, can you, really?" they ask.

I know, I know, it seems crazy. How can you be he hypnotist and the hypnotizee simultaneously? How do you split your mind that way? Doesn't it take an awful lot of effort? How can you be working so hard and relaxing at the exact same time?

I had the same questions myself. But you may be as surprised as I was to learn that it is possible, even easy.

Self hypnosis capitalizes on taking a natural state of mind that you already know how to achieve instinctively (even if you don't know that you know) and using it to your advantage--with a little know-how and nudging.

What I mean is that you naturally get into the right mental attitude for hypnosis many times a day without even trying. Or knowing that you're doing it.

Why wouldn't you want to take the ability you already have naturally instinctively and use it to your advantage? Put it to work FOR you? Sounds smart, doesn't it?

Here's an example: Every time you tell yourself something about how something will be in the future, or repeat the same words in your mind, or conjure up the same mental pictures--you are informally self-hypnotizing. This is especially true when you're already in a dreamy, meditative state, a state that is very hypnotic.

Self hypnosis is quite effective, so tell yourself only the things that you desire, not what you fear or despise. 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 tell yourself: "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 will "hypnotize" yourself into improvement and happiness. How to get started?

-Recall good times-

When taught, self-hypnosis usually involves picturing what you want. To make that easy to do informally, simply borrow thoughts, feelings and memories from good times that already occurred.

Before I give a speech, as I walk up to the podium and 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.

Now before I give a talk to any group, I imagine myself standing in front of that large, enthusiastic crowd. 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 till you own it.

-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 toward making improvements."

-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 do want, to be, do, and feel.

Do 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 quick, 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 want to attract a guy who likes you the way you like yourself to be," and "When you're more 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.

-Making 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, but feels real. It begins to become real. And soon, enough it is fully realized.

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

-Letting Go and Enjoying

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 as nature helps you move toward your goal in ways that are unexpected, subtle and seem too easy. 2008 by Wendy Lapidus-Saltz. All rights reserved.
About the Author
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, offering a free phone consult. Wendy's "Secret Self Hypnosis" CD teaches people self hypnosis easily and safely. Reach her at ILAPSAL@aol.com or 312-640-1584. Visit her website http://www.nonsmoker4life.com and http://www.hypno-attraction.com.
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