By Susanna Sweeney, MSC, MBACP, CHT
In this article, find detailed auto suggestion techniques to help you design, administer and troubleshoot your self hypnosis affirmations successfully so that you can use them to change your life. Includes 9 affirmations for boosting your self love.
According to Émile Coué (1857- 1926), the originator of the concept of auto suggestions, you must be very particular with your use of language, if you want your auto suggestions or affirmations to work.
Your use of language must be positive rather than negative. This is because your subconscious mind is not able to distinguish between positive and negative language. That means if you tell it NOT to do something, it will take it as a command to do just that.
First and foremost, this boils down to avoiding the words 'no' and 'not' in your auto suggestions. Also avoid any 'don't', 'won't', 'can't' and so on.
Instead use positive language, stating clearly what you DO want your subconscious mind to do, for example: "All of me wants to quit smoking."
Your auto suggestions should mostly be written in present tense. Again, this is because of the way the subconscious mind works. You have to give it very literal instructions. As you want to stop smoking right now, you must specify the exact timing to your subconscious mind. Say: "now" or "right now" to indicate this.
If you were to use future tense as in "will stop smoking", your request would be filed away as 'not urgent'- along with a stack of other files, and would not be acted upon.
According to this principle "All of me wants to quit smoking." now becomes: "All of me wants to quit smoking now."
Below find a more advanced technique that does use past and future tenses for a particular purpose, but do take it that mostly your suggestions should be in present tense.
A more modern addition to these ideas on how to design self hypnosis affirmations that work is the concept of letting your affirmations speak to your subconscious mind with conviction.
The idea behind that is again about how the subconscious mind works. The filing system there will give priority to items that are charged with emotional content. Therefore, if you infuse your affirmations with plenty of positive emotion, they should work better.
"All of me wants to quit smoking now." then becomes: "I am quitting smoking now and very cell in my body feels enthusiastic about it." While saying this quietly to yourself, the recommendation is to connect with the positive emotional content and to feel it as much as possible.
The language of the subconscious mind is largely image based. Therefore, another clever auto suggestion technique you can include to make your affirmations or auto suggestions stronger is to include positive images. These images can either be incorporated into the affirmation itself, or you can simply elicit an image while saying the auto suggestion quietly to yourself.
In the first scenario, your affirmation to quit smoking could now become something like: "I am quitting smoking now and very cell in my body feels enthusiastic about my bright and healthful future full of light, success and positive feelings." Where in the second scenario you could charge the same affirmation further by designing an image that stands for this 'bright and healthful future' for you. For example, you could see yourself playing sports being cheered on by your friends and family, or you could see yourself going on your dream vacation to a beautiful spot.
One of the most clever auto suggestion techniques is to pretend to your subconscious mind that your goal has already been achieved and all the work is in the past and that your future has already arrived.
Here, your auto suggestion for quitting smoking could become something like this: "I have stopped smoking for good now and will never smoke again. Every cell in my body feels enthusiastic about my new bright and healthful reality which I embrace fully."
Can you see how you are cheating your mind by pretending that the job is already done? Once your subconscious mind accepts an affirmation like that you can expect the job to become really easy, without any struggle.
Coming back to the work of Émile Coué, here is another design principle you should always keep in mind when writing auto suggestions: never accept any limitations.
According to Émile, the only limitations there are in real life are those posed by the laws of nature itself. It follows that outside of that, anything is possible for you to achieve.
There are many, many inspirational stories about people who achieved what was believed to be the impossible- be it in sports, politics, science or any other area. What propelled them forward and made them continue against the perceived odds? Nothing but their vision and determination.
If you hold a clear vision and let that spurn your determination and if you support that by using auto suggestions, anything is possible. Personally, I used these principles when studying for an MSc.
I had been out of education for more than 15 years and was dreading academia- I never did enjoy it all that much. With the help of auto suggestions I developed the vision and determination to not only finish it but do very well. In the end, I finished on a First Class Honors- a fact I am not mentioning to brag but simply to illustrate that you, too, can achieve anything you set your mind to, and the auto suggestion techniques in this article can help you with that.
As Émile Coué moved away from hypnosis and started teaching clients how to work with auto suggestions, he recommended frequent repetition as the only delivery method. In other words, you must recite your suggestions to yourself- out loud or quietly inside yourself, as you prefer- several times a day.
The idea here is that the subconscious mind likes repetition. Even unfamiliar items which upset the existing subconscious mind programming can gain acceptance into the subconscious if they are repeated often enough. (This fact is used by advertisers extensively. They know that if they can get their message in front of you multiple times, you will eventually become curious and buy.)
The other delivery method that is sure to soften your subconscious mind towards the new ideas you are trying to introduce is self hypnosis trance. The underlying concept here is that when you are very relaxed, the censors around your subconscious mind recede somewhat and are more likely to get you to embrace new concepts- which they usually will reject when in ordinary consciousness.
So if you practice self help hypnosis regularly, you can include the auto suggestions you have designed. Not only will you benefit from the deep relaxation that comes with self hypnosis, but- by using auto suggestion techniques, you can now also use it to change your life.
If you start working with auto suggestions or affirmations and are getting stuck- this next section gives you some ideas for what to look out for.
Above you have read about what you must look out for in designing your auto suggestions. I brought your attention to the particular use of language you must adhere to in order to make them work for you.
The same is true for your overall use of language- while working with auto suggestions and even if you are not. My article "Does Self Hypnosis Work?" explains in detail how we are constantly conditioning ourselves with our thoughts and beliefs and our resulting internal self talk.
We do the same with the language we use in conversation.
"I am dying to have ..."
"This is such a pain."
Every such statement has the power to become a negative auto suggestion and, in the long run, may bring about negative consequences for your emotional well being as well as your physical health.
Start directing your attention to the language you use, and when you find yourself making any such negative statements, correct them immediately and make them into a neutral or positive statement instead.
For example: "I am dying to have a cup of tea." becomes "I would really enjoy a cup of tea now."
Also, be mindful of complaining a lot, as complaining will bring about more and more negative emotions which in turn might well attract more negative energy into your life. Instead, consciously start bringing positive emotions and positive language into your thinking and into your conversations.
The purpose of auto suggestions is to focus all your energies towards your goal. However, look out for cross purposes that might emerge as soon as you start working with your affirmations.
What are cross purposes? In your conscious mind you want to change your life. You use affirmations to do so. But then your subconscious mind says, not quite so fast. Here are a few obstacles you must negotiate first. We refer to cross purposes when your conscious goals are in conflict with your subconscious mind programming. The resistance that surfaces is in direct contradiction to your stated goal.
Imagine for example that you want to stop smoking. You have designed your affirmations and start to use them. Things are going well for a couple of days, but then cross purposes start to come up. Thoughts emerge, such as: I always did enjoy a cigarette with my coffee in the morning- maybe I'll have just the one cigarette. One won't hurt. An emotional craving emerges.
When cross purposes emerge you have to commit to the change process even more and keep going with your auto suggestions until all of you agrees with them.
As long as there is any disagreement from inside you, either in the form of emotions or thoughts, these cross purposes are in danger of undermining you.
There is no easy way to get rid of cross purposes.
I have written this article on auto suggestion techniques to put you on the road for your work with suggestions and affirmations. I do hope you feel more confident now and have sharpened up your skills on how to formulate and apply your suggestions.
In the comments below, let our community know what progress you are making! I look forward to hearing from you.
Here is to your success and well being.
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I have struggled with anxiety and self-confidence issues for as long as I can remember. I am an artist, therefore as creative person, I struggled with