By Susanna Sweeney, MSc, MBACP, CHT
To answer the question: “Does self hypnosis work?” I want to come at the topic from a slightly different angle.
Because, you see, here is the truth, which you may find surprising.
Whether you know it or not, you already practice self hypnosis every day. And, does this self hypnosis work? You bet it does.
Let me explain.
How we talk to ourselves internally impacts strongly on how we feel about ourselves. For example, when we talk to ourselves in a caring and compassionate way, this has a consoling effect, whereas if we talk to ourselves in harsh, critical tones, negative feelings will result.
The content of the internal dialogue also has an important role to play in what we focus our minds on.
For example, you can focus on a goal, say on how to improve your life in some way. Focusing on a goal brings positive energy with it, and combined with a positive attitude towards yourself which brings forth positive emotion, this can propel you into a state of high motivation, dedication and achievement.
On the other hand, one could focus on failures of the past, on disappointments or hurt. This will bring forth negative feelings, and if this persists over a long period of time can potentially undermine one’s way forward.
I am not saying to avoid negative feelings altogether, not by any means.
Feelings of grief, sadness, anger, disappointment and hurt are part of
life, they are part of what makes us human. However, and this statement
comes from my own personal experience, one can get stuck in negative
emotions. Some people use the disparaging term ‘to wallow’.
If this is something that happens to you, you are not on your own. Many people are prone to that. Somehow, humans have a tendency to focus on the negative rather than the positive. Psychologists are speculating that focusing on the negative may be a survival instinct.
If you want to go beyond survival, if you want to change your life and move forward, you can consciously chose to cultivate a focus on positive feelings and positive goals. You can use self hypnosis for self improvement to deliberately bring forward the focus on the positive, taking charge of your inner dialogue.
Self hypnosis, self help hypnosis or auto suggestion are the names commonly used for a wide variety of self hypnosis techniques- techniques designed to harness your subconscious mind via different routes. Throughout the process of self hypnosis you act as both client and hypnotist.
These techniques can be very powerful. Will they work for you?
There is no reason why they wouldn't if you are prepared to put in the work. The simple rule of thumb is that the more you practice, the more you are going to get from self help hypnosis.
There is no limit to the uses of self hypnosis. Whether you practice yourself or attend a practitioner, you can use hypnotherapy for change in virtually any area of your life. You can achieve your goals through self hypnosis such as:
Overall, the sky is your limit as to the goals you want to set yourself, but do look out for some common mistakes in goal setting and the benefits of self hypnosis in achieving your goals.
Believe it or not, self
hypnosis has been used for pain control for some two hundred years, for example in dentistry,
even instead of an anesthetic during major surgery and in childbirth hypnotherapy where it is leading to a better birthing experience for mothers.
Reports are that self hypnosis for pain does not work for everyone, but for many people it does. This article written by a neuroscientist gives a great overview of these types of uses of self hypnosis.
Some people find it hard to get going with self hypnosis. Check out my article on overcoming challenges with self help hypnosis, you might find an answer in here as to how you can overcome the obstacle that's presenting itself.
There is a chance also that you may have to remove some underlying issue, such as the imprint of a trauma that's holding you back, before you can fully make self hypnosis work for you. If you have a feeling this may be the case you would be well advised to work with a practitioner first to get the support and guidance you need.
The practitioner can help you clear your issue with suggestion hypnosis or regression hypnosis and can set up a self hypnosis program with you that will work for you. For example, they can help you formulate the right auto suggestions for you, and giude you to use the right auto suggestion techniques.
I hope this article has helped answer the initial question: Does self hypnosis work?
Now, it's your turn. Give self hypnosis a go and form your own opinion. Let our community know how you are getting on in the comments underneath.
Here is to your success and well being!
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