Tuesday, 25 October 2011

5 Quick Self Hypnosis Experiments

The only way to truly understand something like hypnosis or meditation is to discover it for yourself. For this reason I have selected five quick experiments you can do alone or with other people to experience what the sensation is like and how mind relaxing it can be. Each ‘experiment’ takes no more than 5-10 minutes to complete and if you take the opportunity to try one I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the results!

1.       Glued fingers

  • Take a comfortable seat in a chair and take some deep breaths to centre yourself. When you are relaxed and ready to begin, look carefully at one of your hands. Connect your forefinger and your thumb making a circular shape. Then close your eyes and focus on that ring you have made actually being a solid ring glued tight together.

  • Focus on that ring being as firm as steel, with a circular energy running through it, moving more powerfully with every breath that you take, making the ring ever stronger and firmer. Imagine the ring is completely sealed tight, then close your eyes but keep focusing on the ring.

  • Take a deep breath and think to yourself ‘tighter stuck’ as you exhale and repeat this breath/thought pattern five times very slowly, but with a greater emphasis on each occasion. When you reach the fifth time your thumb and finger will completely be stuck together, so much so that the more you think about your thumb and finger being a solid ring the tighter they will be stuck together!

  • Keep in mind the thought that the harder you try to pull them apart the tighter together they are stuck, and then actually give it a try. So long as you keep the thought in your mind you will not be able to pull your thumb and finger apart.  As soon as you believe you can pull them apart you will be able to do so.

  • If you are having trouble with this one, go ahead and pretend that your thumb and finger are actually stuck together by some incredible invisible glue. Pretend and make it real enough and you might be surprised at the results!

  • Variations of ‘Glued Fingers’ is glued hands together, glued backside to the chair or glued feet to the floor. If you do find yourself stuck, tell yourself simply that your hands are not stuck together and they will come apart at once.

2.       Counting Backwards

  • Get comfortable in a chair and take some deep, slow breaths as you gently unwind. When you feel ready close your eyes and feel yourself sink into the chair.

  • Take a slow deep breath, hold it for a second then slowly breath out thinking to yourself ‘100 Sleep Now’. Then take a second deep breath and hold it for a moment before thinking to yourself ’99 Sleep Now’ as you gently exhale.

  • Continue in this way right the way back from 100. If you find yourself losing track of the numbers and their order due to sensations of drifting away, this means it is working perfectly. Don’t worry about counting anymore, simple repeat the number ‘1 Sleep Now’ over and over again with each breath.

  • If you lose track of thinking ‘1 Sleep Now’ pause for a moment, then just repeat for however long you wish to deepen the experience.

 3.       Heavy Arm

  • Get comfortable and relaxed in a chair same as in the other examples, and take at least three deep breaths to feel that all important inner balance then close your eyes.

  • Raise one of your arms into the air above your head and make a tight fist with your hand, clenching all the muscles of the arm as hard as you feel comfortable with (don’t overdo it!)

  • Hold the arm in this position above your head as you imagine the arm is slowly transforming from flesh and bone into a hard type of wood, and you feel your arm become heavier and heavier as it changes into the solid wood.

  • Keep the visualisation going until your arm is completely made of wood, and then continues to get heavier and heavier.

  • When your arm eventually drops down to your side you will feel a wave of relaxation sweep all across you body from head to toe, and you will know you have entered into a level of trance state. The further you continue the heavier your arm will become and the deeper you will go into hypnosis solely visualising your arm as a heavy piece of wood. If you wanted to take it further you could visualise your other arm turning to wood in the same way as well as your legs.

4.       The Elevator

  • Get comfortable in a chair and take some deep, slow breaths as you gently unwind. When you feel ready close your eyes and feel yourself sink into the chair.

  • Use your imagination and visualise as realistically as you can yourself sitting inside a spacious elevator, noticing at once the minute details of its inside from every angle.

  • You notice a screen on the wall in front of you that tells you that you are on the tenth floor, with a notice underneath it flashing at you in a red light, telling you that when you eventually reach the first floor you will be in a deeply comfortable state of hypnosis and relaxation.

  • Gently and slowly the elevator begins to move downward, and as it begins to move you begin to feel yourself feeling sleepy, and you notice the lights shining in through the cracks in the doors as you move between the different floors.

  • As you reach level nine you feel the sensation of deep hypnosis sweep all over you as you begin to feel more and more relaxed. Keeping your eye fixed on the dial the elevator continues to slowly move downwards and as it moves you feel drowsier with every second and with every level you pass deeper down into the building.

  • You pass the eight and the seventh level and slip deeper and deeper still, fading away as calm and comfort surrounds you. The dial ticks past six and reaches five and you are half way there already, your mind is peaceful and quiet, you are comfortable and deeply into hypnosis.

  • The elevator moves past four and three, and on reaching two you realise how close you are to the finish. As the elevator moves onto one you are completely relaxed and sleepy, your mind is conscious and free. As you see the number one appear, say the words in your mind 'sleep now’ and enjoy the sensation of being in a state of complete relaxation.

  • Memorise this simple process to experience the deep state of relaxation it brings and remain there as long as you like. When you wish to return simple visualise going back into the lift and up to the tenth floor again where you will feel wide awake and refreshed!

5.       Visualising a Journey

This is a quick technique to apply, but takes a little longer than the others to set up.
Sit in a comfortable chair and relax for a moment, then start this exercise by taking three deep breaths with recovery breaths in between, thinking to yourself ‘deeper relaxed’ as you exhale each time. On the third breath out slowly close your eyes and feel yourself sinking into the chair as you let go both physically and mentally, and drift away into the surrounding sensations you find yourself in, letting them come and go naturally until the sensations settle themselves and you find yourself in a state of balance.

Next you must use your imagination as vividly as you possibly can, and imagine yourself actually doing what I am about to describe in as much detail as possible.

‘You find yourself walking in a warm comfortable sun light, a gentle breeze brushing softly against you face as you find yourself outdoors and walking in the beautiful surroundings of a paradise beach, your bare feet sinking into the soft wet sand as you walk, shallow gentle waves tricking over your toes and cooling you all over with each wash. You can smell the salt of the seam and you can hear colourful birds singing from the nearby lush green palm trees, while the rhythmic sound of the lapping waves and the reflection of the light off the water takes you deeper and deeper into trance.

You continue on your walk, all your senses working together as you explore your new environment intently. A flock of distant seabirds fly overhead in the perfect blue sky as you look around and survey the stunning scenery of this paradise beach and marvel at its beauty. As you look around you see an intriguing pathway leading upwards from the beach. A gentle waterfall winds its way down from a steep slope along a series of smooth large rocks, and so you decide you begin climbing your way up. The rocks are warm on your bare feet, and as you steadily progress your way upwards you find yourself quickly surrounded by beautiful tall green plants and the sounds of the jungle, colourful wild flowers that give off the sweetest scent you have ever smelled, the sound of trickling water all around you.

The climb is quite steep and you begin to tire, the further you go the harder it becomes, but you realise you are half way from the top already, where awaiting you a hammock sits strung out between two trees overlooking a wonderful view of the paradise beach. You slow down and think about stopping for a rest but you know you are not far away and want to reach that hammock so you can lie down again in such a beautiful place. There are only five steps left…five…four…you are feeling very tired but carry on going…three steps…drowsy and heavy all over….two steps…you are almost there…one step until you can rest…last tired step now…you are there! You reach the hammock and touch its soft material, watching it sway gently in the breeze as it looks so inviting and comfortable. Feeling so tired you roll into it and feel immediately a wave of relaxation echo through your entire body from head to toe. Every muscle relaxes as you lie in the comfortable hammock overlooking the gorgeous scenery of Paradise bay. You feel fantastically relaxed and deep into hypnosis’

The exact wording of the scenario is not too important, what is important is the pleasant scenario that you can see, touch, hear, smell or even taste - that you slowly envelope yourself in at a very slow and steady pace. At the end of the imagination you will find yourself in a pleasant state of hypnosis and your subconscious mind will be open to suggestions. You may either memorise the piece described above, or record yourself telling this story (or your own) very slowly and play it back when in a comfortable position. It is a very simple method to reach a relaxed state in a relatively short time.

  • How did the different techniques work for you? Did one work better than the others? What did you experience?

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