Guiding Yourself Under Hypnosis

Self-hypnosis is hypnosis in which the hypnotised person and the hypnotist are the same person. Forms of this autosuggestion differ in the way the actor puts himself into a state of hypnosis and in the way the trance itself takes place. Hypnosis as well as self-hypnosis have the reputation of the magical-esoteric, but in contrast to globules or ufo beliefs they are real relaxation methods. Putting oneself into a trance is autosuggestion, and this also includes recognized autogenic training. Originally it was even called “autogenic training for self-hypnosis”.

Supplement to psychotherapy

Self-hypnosis (also called “autohypnosis”) can be a useful supplement to approved psychotherapy. The effectiveness of a method in psychotherapy can only be assessed in relation to the diagnosed symptoms and it must fit the patient. A good treatment plan usually integrates different techniques; putting oneself into a trance may be one of them, but it is not suitable for all patients.

For example, if you have just quit smoking and autohypnosis prevents you from lighting a cigarette, there is little risk. If, on the other hand, you are in psychotherapy for suicidal risk, you would be ill-advised to seek control through other trance states. For such severe cases, hypnotherapy by specially trained doctors would be advisable.

Self-hypnosis applications

To put oneself into a trance is particularly common

  • to give up smoking
  • to alleviate fears like phobias
  • to switch off pain
  • to lose weight
  • in order to fall asleep better
  • to develop a better self-esteem
  • to relax
  • to manage stress

How does self-hypnosis work?

1.) Make sure that you remain undisturbed for at least 15 minutes. Turn your smartphone down, tell your partner and/or children that you want their peace and quiet, or better yet, find a quiet place – a garden shed, a place in the countryside, a loft, etc. – to relax.

2.) Make yourself comfortable. Make sure you don’t sweat or freeze too much. Go to the toilet again.

3) Close your eyes. First you will think of all kinds of everyday problems. Now imagine an open box. You virtually pack all your fears and problems into it, close the box and bury it.

4) Now you are free for self-hypnosis. Breathe in and out evenly and deeply so that the abdominal wall rises. Special breathing techniques are not necessary.

5) You concentrate on your breathing. Imagine relaxing every time you inhale. You can also imagine scenes or pictures that are relaxing. You know which ones are best: The recurring waves on the seashore, a forest lake, or the view from the Brocken. It’s all about these pictures giving you pleasant feelings.

6) Add suggestions to these pictures. Say, for example, “I let myself fall, I become free”.

7) Imagine now how you let go of the tension and how it disappears from your body with every exhalation.

8) If you succeed in relaxing, this is already an autohypnosis.

Through the tunnel

Core elements of such trance states are similar in all cultures that ritually induce them. This is probably due to the fact that the human psyche functions similarly worldwide. In order to intensify your self-hypnosis, you can go beyond the first exercises.

1) Imagine you are at the entrance to a cave leading to a door. It can be a staircase, a passage in a mine, a tunnel in a cave – grab an image that goes through your head.

2) Go down this passage and imagine that the deeper you go, the deeper you fall into your “awake sleep”. Continue to breathe in and out deeply.

3) Open the door. Imagine behind it a room that has everything you love. Here is your resting point. Breathe in and out the air in this room and imagine absolute peace here.

4) Feel happy now. Then imagine a picture for this happiness. Take a bath in light and imagine it running through your whole body.

5) Imagine that in this place you sink into a peaceful sleep that no one can disturb. “Go to sleep”, enjoy your dream. But you don’t really sleep, you let yourself fall even more. If you have not been disturbed so far, now picture worlds appear which you otherwise know from your nightmares, place and time dissolve. You can travel to places you love, travel back in time, talk to the dead or mythical creatures. Your unconscious is now active.

6) When you come back, you notice that your body feels relaxed and remains a dreamy feeling – the longer the more you do these exercises.

End of hypnosis

In self hypnosis, you take on the role of hypnotist yourself. So you end it yourself.

You say “I say goodbye today to this beautiful place, which I will visit again soon, with new powers”. For example, you can count to 3 and say to yourself “I am awake again at 3”.

Wait about 3 minutes until you get up or move after opening your eyes.