Self Hypnosis has been used by many people around the world and in all walks of life, and has allowed them to get unstuck and moving forward in their desired direction. It is a practical and enjoyable way to help yourself create change in your life. This book provides a quick and easy way to learn the technique, along with a few related others, and be on your way to a better you.
Hayuta wrote Waking Up as a supportive how-to guide for any struggle or desire you may have (big or small) – to run faster, sleep better, sing louder, overcome hurt and pain, feel calmer, and so forth. In short, this book is for you - yes, you.
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This Book Is for You
If you feel stressed and anxious most of the time.
If you feel stressed and anxious only some of the time.
If you think that you are too old to change.
If you have tried to change some aspect of yourself or your life and have given up.
If you want to lose weight, quit smoking, conquer fear, improve relationships, sleep better, be more successful, be healthier, get pregnant, and more.
If you crave peace of mind.
If you are ready to use the power of your own mind to reinvent yourself.
If you are ready to live the life you really want to live.
This book is for you!
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of mind experienced by all on a daily basis. When you are engaged in your daily activities, such as driving, washing dishes, folding laundry, or watching TV, and your mind is wandering, you are in a state of hypnosis. Daydreaming is hypnosis. When you have just driven to a familiar location, such as home, and don't really remember the drive because you were lost in thought - that's hypnosis too.
During hypnosis, a part of your mind is awake and alert, while the other part is not "there."
That other part is simply focused inward, watching a movie, if you will, in that mind-theater of yours - a "theater" that offers horror movies with bad endings mostly, and is ALWAYS open.
Hypnosis is a deeply relaxed and focused state of mind. And, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are in control, not the hypnotist. You hypnotize yourself and you wake yourself up from hypnosis - always.
What Is Self-Hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis is a form of meditation that is easy to do and very practical. During self-hypnosis, through a variety of techniques, you get yourself into a state of active relaxation in order to communicate more effectively with your subconscious mind. The term subconscious mind refers to everything that is out of your awareness - both physically and emotionally - and includes your body, as well as your past experiences, traumas, memories, thoughts, learnings, and possible causes of present issues.
Why Do It?
Stress and Relaxation
Endorphins ("endogenous morphine") and dopamine are some of the most magical chemicals released naturally by your body. These hormones and neurotransmitters are healing elixirs produced by you, for you. They reduce pain, enhance moods, and produce an overall feeling of physical and emotional well-being.
When you engage in active relaxation (self-hypnosis, meditation, yoga, etc.), as well as when you exercise, laugh wholeheartedly, and have sex, among other things - these chemicals are released. It is important to understand that your brilliant body will simply not produce stress hormones and endorphins (or other relaxation-inducing chemicals) at the same time. Since stress hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol, are responsible for the detrimental effects of stress on your physical and mental health, it makes good sense for you to engage as much as possible in activities that allow you to neutralize those negative effects.
See Appendix A for a more in-depth explanation of the fight-or-flight response.
Communicating with the Subconscious Mind
When in a hypnotic state, regardless of its depth, you become more suggestible. (See Appendix B for an explanation of brainwave frequencies and depth.) Suggestibility refers to a state in which your conscious mind is not fully alert or on guard, allowing you to communicate more directly with the subconscious mind. This is crucial because the subconscious mind, according to most theories, is at least ninety percent of your mind, making it quite powerful.
The conscious mind, a mere ten percent or less, is just as misleading as the tip of an iceberg. You consciously understand what is right and even make wonderfully logical decisions with that area of your mind. However, if that big, heavy, submerged iceberg, the hidden subconscious part, doesn't agree to cooperate, there is almost no chance of you carrying out those choices. Any desired change might come eventually, but with much internal conflict and hard labor, if at all.
By gently guiding yourself into a hypnotic state in which you communicate effectively and lovingly with your subconscious, you create an environment of teamwork and collaboration between both parts of your mind, allowing change to occur naturally and with ease.
Setting the Stage
The process of figuring out when, where, and how to do self-hypnosis has two phases: first, recognize what feels best for you, and second, be consistent in doing it.
In the beginning, you want to experiment. Find the time, place, position, and setting that works best for you. Mine, for instance, is in the early morning. I stay in bed a few extra minutes to do my daily self-hypnosis. Perhaps for you the best time would be in the evening or during your lunch break. Explore a variety of locations, too. Will you use your bed, a couch, or a meditation cushion? Will you be indoors or outdoors? At home? In your car? On the beach? At a café? Wherever you choose, make sure that it is convenient, comfortable, and peaceful. For self-hypnosis to work for you, there is no single correct position. You can sit, lie down, cross your legs, put them up, or keep them down. You may even choose to do it while taking a walk, a shower, or a swim – hypnosis is just as effective with open eyes and focused movement. Also, try doing it with relaxing music, a guiding voice (such as on CD or online), or using any other idea that you might have. Remember - there is no right or wrong here. You are looking for what feels good to you.
Once you've allowed yourself this phase of exploration and practice and have an idea of what works best for you, the next phase is to practice consistently. Our minds respond most effectively by association to repetitive and familiar actions and surrounding details (triggers). After a while, when you sit in the same chair, assuming the same position at the same time of day, your mind will automatically know what is coming and what to do. This consistency will help you relax and go deeper quickly and effortlessly.
If you read only one chapter of this book, read this one!
Breathing is the most important element of self-hypnosis, of any other relaxation technique, and, well, of life.
Whenever you become emotionally or physically stressed and feel pain, worry, frustration, or fear, you instinctively stop breathing effectively. Though you, of course, continue to breathe enough to stay alive, you do not inhale sufficient amounts of oxygen and often exhale too much carbon dioxide. The result is that you deprive your cells of their most important fuel and generally upset their precious natural balance.
The simplest and most effective relaxation breathing technique is known as abdominal, diaphragmatic, or - my favorite - "soft-belly" breathing.
It goes like this:
Make your belly soft and allow it to expand while filling it up with air, as if it were a balloon, to the slow count of four (about one count per second).
Exhale to a slow count of six, while allowing your soft belly to naturally contract.
Six breaths per minute is generally the best rate for relaxation and health.
Please note that counting is just an aid to help you get used to this new rhythm of 'low and slow' breathing. Only use the counting if it helps you. You may choose to simply breathe in and out, slowly and mindfully, or use a pacing aide (device, app, etc.)
Additionally, as you practice relaxation breathing, make sure that your mouth and jaw are relaxed, loose and limp.
You may find imagery helpful. Imagine (visualize, pretend), for example, that there is a blue balloon inside your soft belly, that becomes red when you inhale, and then goes back to its original blue as you slowly exhale. Or imagine your muscles as blue satin ribbons that relax as you exhale. As far as guided imagery goes, it is very important to choose images that are right for you, so be playful and enjoy experimenting with different ideas.
Conscious breathing is a practice that you could (and should) incorporate into your daily routine, regardless of self-hypnosis. Do it when you wake up, when you go to sleep, after lunch, while sitting still at a red light (eyes open), or at any other time that feels right. The more you practice breathing in this way, the more automatic it will become, and the more it will work for you when you really need it. Please continue to practice your breathing, even if it feels as if it isn't working right away (such as when you are very anxious). It is working, and it always works. You will feel the positive effects soon enough. Trust that, and be patient.
Okay, Let's Do It!
1. Make yourself comfortable.
2. Breathe deeply for a while, just noticing the air as it comes in and goes out (keep in mind the techniques we just talked about – soft belly breathing and imagery).
3. With your eyes closed, shift your gaze forward and slightly upward, noticing the space behind your eyelids; the comforting darkness.
4. Relax your body progressively. (See Appendix C for an example of progressive muscle relaxation.)
5. Count down (in your head) from ten to one.
As you count, tell yourself that you are going deeper and deeper with each number, relaxing more and more, like this: "Ten ... relaxing deeply now, nine ... deeply relaxed, eight ... seven ... deeper down ..." and so forth. When you get to number one, say or think the words "Deeply relaxed."
And that's that!
Whether you feel hypnotized or not is irrelevant, just trust the process. Also, do not worry about clearing your mind of thoughts. If they do come, kindly tell yourself "thinking" and then let them be. There is no "should" or "must" with self-hypnosis, only an underlying positive, though subtle, intention.
Now that you are in this state of relaxation and therefore more suggestible, you may begin to give yourself specific suggestions by using words or images. (See chapters 8 and 9 for further explanation).
Here is a faster alternative:
1. Grasp your wrist tightly. Hold this position for a few seconds.
2. Then, while taking a deep and slow inhale, tell yourself "As I let go of my wrist, I instantly go into a deeply relaxed state."
3. Now, all at the same time, exhale, let go of your wrist, and think "Deeply relaxed."
Another way to practice self-hypnosis is by listening to and being guided by someone else. The options are plenty, but whether you buy a CD, search the Internet, or download an app for your smartphone, please follow these guidelines:
Make sure you enjoy listening to the guiding person's voice and that it facilitates a sense of calm in you.
Be mindful of the length of the recording – if it feels too short, too long or just right for you.
Guided self-hypnosis recordings may be general or specific. If you are seeking guidance on a particular issue, the recording should address that directly. (For example, weight, healing, fertility, etc.).
You might even choose to make your own recording. No one knows better than you what music and/or words help you relax deeply, or what suggestions you need most.
As with any other aspect of self-hypnosis, just do your own exploration. Figure out what is a good match for your practice and what feels best for you. It can be any of the above options, a combination of them, or an entirely different method, as long as it helps you relax and lean into a hypnotic state.
Once you are in this relaxed state, it's time to give yourself suggestions. Even if you don't feel that you are in a deep trance, it's okay. Studies have shown that you don't actually have to be in deep hypnosis for hypnotic suggestions to work effectively.
Suggestions must be:
In the present
Positive means that you focus on what you want. Negative means that you focus on what you don't want.
For example, if you are afraid of dogs and would like to change that, a positive and effective suggestion would be, "I love dogs," or "Every time I am around dogs, I relax, pet them, and enjoy myself." In contrast, a negative and ineffective suggestion would be "I am not afraid of dogs," or "I hope I don't get anxious next time I see a dog."
Here is why positive suggestions are important: your subconscious mind, comprising the majority of the mind, always strives to make you happy. It takes anything that you focus on as an order. So, if you focus your suggestions on the negative, even unintentionally (with the words "afraid of dogs," or "anxious"), it will "help" you make that happen, thinking that being afraid of dogs is what you actually want. Whether you think 'yes' or 'no' (for example, "I am afraid of dogs," or "I am not afraid of dogs") is beside the point. The focus of your attention is the point (in this case - your fear of dogs). And as far as the subconscious mind is concerned, if you focus on it - you are asking for it.
Therefore, when communicating with yourself, you need to clearly say what you want (for example, "I love flying," "I eat healthy," "I easily focus," etc.), not what you don't want.
Here is another, quite popular way to understand this concept: whatever you do in the next moment, do not think about a skydiving pink elephant! ... now, what were you thinking about? When told not to think about something specific, you will automatically think and see just that, always and without fail. In order to not focus on a skydiving pink elephant, you ought to focus on, say, a surfing purple giraffe. That is to say, in order to change your way of thinking and behaving, you have to shift your focus entirely. Hence, the need for and effectiveness of positive suggestions.
Suggestions have to be simple.
In an attempt to elicit as much cooperation from your subconscious mind as possible, you must communicate with it clearly and simply, stating exactly what you want it to do for you. I liken it to talking to a young child. Any perceptive parent or teacher learns quickly that if you want children to listen and cooperate, you need to speak to them in simple terms: short and understandable sentences rather than long and winding lectures, close-ended statements rather than open-ended ones, and periods rather than question marks.
So, imagining your subconscious mind as a young child, tell it specifically what you want it to do for you: "I am calm," "I sleep soundly till morning," "I walk for twenty minutes every other day," "I practice self-hypnosis every morning."
Suggestions need to be spoken in the present tense.
Keeping the goal of subconscious cooperation in mind and the subsequent need for effective communication with the subconscious mind, it makes sense that your suggestions be rooted and relevant to the present time. Your mind is not capable of remembering suggestions for a future date, it cannot write a little Post-it note as a reminder for itself. Your mind is concerned only with what is happening in the Now.
So, for instance, if you have to take a difficult test one month from now, you could say, "Whenever I sit down to take a test, I become instantly relaxed and have total recall of everything that I have learned." or "My mind is like an open book; everything I study and learn is always there and available." I will not say, "Next month, when I take this test, I will be very relaxed," or "I will do well on the test," as these are future-based statements that my mind will not be able to grasp and utilize.
Positive, simple, and in the present. Remember these three easy guidelines and you will be just fine.
Suggestions can be used in many different ways and altered to fit your evolving needs and desires. Some days, you might choose a very specific suggestion to help yourself with a task (for example, a test, presentation, important meeting, or family trip), while at other times you might want a more general, feel-good suggestion (for example, "I joyfully go through my day").
Examples of Specific Suggestions:
"As I stand in front of the audience, I become very calm and full of confidence. The words roll off my tongue. I easily maintain contact with my listeners. I move with ease and am passionate and engaging."
"I love flying."
"My body temperature is completely normal."
"As I go to bed at night, I instantly relax into a sound and peaceful sleep."
"I sleep soundly till morning."
"I wake up refreshed in the morning."
"I eat slowly, paying full attention to every bite."
"I eat less and enjoy it more."
You may choose just one suggestion and repeat it many times, or a few sentences (as in the first example).
Examples of General Suggestions:
"I am calm."
"I am having a lovely day."
"I smile a lot."
"I am at peace."
"I choose to trust the process of life."
"I am safe."
Excerpted from "Waking Up"
Copyright © 2017 Hayuta Goren Cohen.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
1. This Book Is for You, 1,
2. What Is Hypnosis?, 2,
3. What Is Self-Hypnosis?, 3,
4. Why Do It?, 4,
5. Setting the Stage, 6,
6. Breathing, 8,
7. Okay, Let's Do It!, 11,
8. Creating Suggestions, 14,
9. Guided Imagery, 19,
10. Mindfulness and Meditation, 22,
11. The Pause Method, 25,
12. Please Know This, 27,
13. It's Only the Beginning, 28,
Appendix A: Stress Mode: Fight or Flight, 29,
Appendix B: Depth and Brainwave Frequencies, 31,
Appendix C: Progressive Relaxation, 33,
Thank you, 37,