Updated: Mar 3, 2021
Self-hypnosis is a play on guided meditation and visualization and it can be a great tool for exploring the subconscious mind, relaxation, mindfulness, and gaining insight from within. Self-hypnosis is inherently a creative act and full of potential when approached with curiosity. Below, I'll dive into the five steps of self-hypnosis!
Important notes about self-hypnosis:
Hypnosis is a state of altered awareness, please only practice when you can fully relax and let go (ie: not while driving or doing something that requires your focus).
Your subconscious mind has one primary goal: to keep you safe, it will never put you in harms way. One tool to support this is dissociation: if at anytime you want to step back from your journey, imagine floating up out of the story and watching it from above, watching it as if it's on TV.
Please do not attempt to address past trauma through self-hypnosis, this is best done under the supervision of a qualified hypnotherapist.
This is not medical advice - this practice is for building self-awareness and self-exploration.
Here are the 5 steps to self-hypnosis!
1. Orient yourself with an intention
Your first step is connecting with your intention. This intention will help guide you through your practice and give you an idea of what you want to address. The intention doesn't have to be fancy, just something that gives your mind a general focus.
If you need some ideas to put your thoughts into intentions, try pulling tarot/oracle cards or putting pen to paper and free writing for a bit. Here's a few prompts:
Is there a conflict or decision I've been thinking a lot about lately?
How am I feeling right now?
How do I want to feel?
If I could change anything in my life, what would it be?
2. Think about where you'll go
Self-hypnosis is about free expression and exploration, but it can be helpful to think about where you might go in your journey. Once you get started, you can let go of the reigns and see where your mind takes you or stay on your conscious path - it's all correct for you.
Here's a few ideas to get you started, but I encourage you to get creative! The subconscious mind responds beautifully to metaphors and stories.
For peace, explore your happy place
To gain insight: visit a library full of books
To quiet the mind: find a room full of boxes/jars/containers where you can put thoughts
To transform, plant, and nurture: visit a familiar garden & tend to it
To connect with self: visit water (reflection), meet a higher self/wise advocate to ask questions, connect with your inner child.
To reinforce change: a movie theatre to visualize yourself in a new state
3. Quiet the conscious mind
There are a number of ways to do this and each individual enjoys different ones! The general idea is to enter a state of relaxation using the breath and awareness. Below are a few ideas. Play with them, combine them, stack them, make new ones up, find something that feels good to you.
Focus the gaze on a point in front of you and allow your eyes to soften. Without moving your eyes, begin to fill in the peripheral vision - see as far to the left, the right, up, down, without moving your eyes from that point.
Breathe deeply - deeper with each breath. Imagine the body softening deeper with each exhale.
While focusing on the breath, open they eyes on each inhale and close them on each exhale. Notice the heaviness of the eyelids, but try to keep them open. When you're ready, allow them to fall shut.
Close the eyes and imagine a light (of any colour that feels good) flowing through every part of your body. Start at your head and bring this relaxing light to each part of the body. Breathe into any areas that need extra care.
4. Go deeper
As your body relaxes, imagine you're at the top of a beautiful staircase. Notice how it looks, what it's made of, what colour it is. Then counting from 10-1, taking one step with each number, make your way down the stairs. Here you'll find a door.
Observe the door and notice it's intricacies, then open it to reveal whatever space you set to visit. Landing in your "happy place" where you feel safe is always a great start, from there you can go anywhere.
Explore your subconscious, receive what you need to receive, then when you're done, return to that door and make your way back up the stairs.
As you return to your body, return to the breath, wiggle your fingers and toes, bring awareness back to the room.
5. After your self-hypnosis
While you can end there and go about your day - oftentimes some of the best insight comes from the reflection afterwards. This might look like, but is not limited to:
Journalling about what you saw/felt/heard
Drawing a picture
Free-writing for 5 minutes
Telling someone about it
Returning to your original intention to see what you learned
Self-hypnosis is a wonderful practice that you can tap into as often as desired. If you're curious about exploring more in-depth subconscious stories, explore working with me through Human Design and Hypnotherapy! In our sessions together, I support you by guiding you along in your journey so that you can transform the beliefs that might be holding you back.
Your mind is open to change, I'm so glad you're ready to explore it!