You have probably already heard about hypnosis and its therapeutic benefits. But are you familiar with self-hypnosis? As its name suggests, this technique consists of putting yourself in a state of hypnosis. The main objective of self-hypnosis is to disconnect from the outside world, in order to reestablish a dialogue with one's unconscious mind. Find out more about this practice of relaxation, its methods of learning its benefits.
What is self-hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis consists of a set of techniques to immerse oneself, voluntarily, in a state of hypnosis. Like hypnosis, self-hypnosis is a modified state of consciousness (MOC). It can be similar to a waking dream, or a state of deep relaxation similar to meditation, but it is by no means a state of sleep. Both hypnosis and self-hypnosis allow access to an individual's unconscious mind in order to induce a change in it, the only difference being that the person plunges himself or herself into this state, without the help of a third party.
By entering in a state of self-hypnosis, one focuses only on oneself, ignoring the world around us. All our attention is focused on a specific point, while it is constantly scattered when we are in a state of normal vigilance.
It is a completely natural phenomenon, which does not necessarily require external intervention. In reality, we are in a state of hypnosis several times a day, without even realizing it. With practice, it becomes easier and easier to recognize this state and to achieve it whenever we want. For this purpose, self-hypnosis techniques have been developed.
What are the benefits of this practice?
Being in a state of self-hypnosis allows you to access your unconscious in order to work on yourself. By dialoguing with your unconscious mind, it is possible to induce all kinds of changes: managing stress and emotions, improving self-confidence, overcoming shyness, getting back to sleep, quitting smoking, controlling pain, etc. The applications of self-hypnosis are almost infinite, and this technique can help you at any time.
Concretely, once you have reached a modified state of consciousness, when you have managed to focus on a single element, you can associate the change you wish to see with a positive image. This visualization should be synonymous with calm and serenity, or else awaken the motivation within you.
With a little practice, you can do this on your own, anywhere, anytime. This is one of the main benefits of self-hypnosis. Moreover, it allows you to work on a precise objective, which corresponds to you. When you master the techniques to trigger it quickly, self-hypnosis can be very useful in your daily life.
However, even if it is an effective method, there is no question of miracles: self-hypnosis will have no effect if the suggestions are unrealistic. Nor is it intended to cure serious illness.
What are the learning methods?
To begin with, it is important to learn as much as possible about this practice, as it is essential to understand how it works in order to be able to practice it.
It is possible to learn self-hypnosis during training sessions of about one day, offered by hypnosis schools. During these courses, you will learn the various techniques that allow you to immerse yourself in a state of self-hypnosis. However, you should know that these methods are practiced alone afterwards, and require more or less training, depending on each person's abilities.
If you wish to learn self-hypnosis on your own, you should know that a large number of authors have studied this practice. Thus, you will find various books explaining the different ways to access your unconscious. And of course, there is a large amount of content on this subject on the internet. For example, you will find videos, audio recordings, or adapted music to accompany you towards the state of self-hypnosis. This is an ideal help to start, because the voice serves as a guide, it tells you what to do and helps you to concentrate more.
If you are practicing self-hypnosis for the first time, it is best to do so in a quiet place, such as your home. Afterwards, once you have mastered the different techniques, self-hypnosis can be performed anywhere, anytime: on public transportation, at the office...
Is it accessible to everyone?
This technique is particularly interesting because, in addition to being able to perform it anywhere, anytime, it is accessible to everyone. Of course, it requires practice and concentration, but no particular faculty is required to practice self-hypnosis.
How to practice self-hypnosis?
In order to achieve this altered state of consciousness with the help of therapeutic suggestions, good self-knowledge and a certain amount of control are necessary.
It is also recommended to become familiar with deep relaxation techniques, such as meditation, by practicing abdominal breathing exercises. If you master these practices, it will be easier to reach the state of self-hypnosis.
First of all, it makes you define a precise objective on which you wish to work. If you wish to see results, it must be achievable.
Then, several options are available to you. You can turn to written or audio guides to get you started. Alternatively, you can opt for mental autosuggestion, that is, letting your mind slide into a state of hypnosis by reframing the drifts of the unconscious. There are several possibilities for mental suggestion: recalling a pleasant memory, visualizing a place you like, focusing on a part of your body, etc. It is advisable to try several of them to find the technique that suits you best. However, it goes without saying that this method requires more mastery than the first one.
But with both of these techniques, you are on your own, and it can be difficult for you to know whether or not you have reached the state of hypnosis. This is why it is recommended that you begin your practice of self-hypnosis with a few sessions accompanied by a hypnosis professional, in order to familiarize yourself with this technique and to progress effectively.
To see the effects, practice self-hypnosis for 3 to 5 minutes, several times a week. Although it is best to begin practicing in a quiet place, away from distractions, it is entirely possible to practice self-hypnosis anywhere, at any time.
Is it effective?
According to testimonials, hypnosis and self-hypnosis have many followers. But is its effectiveness scientifically proven? Numerous scientific studies have examined the effectiveness of hypnosis and other techniques, such as meditation and other mindfulness techniques. Thanks to neuroscience, it is possible to identify the mechanisms involved when the human brain is in a state of hypnosis, and to see the effects with neuroimaging.
For example, studies have observed a change in brain activity, in terms of awareness of the external environment and self-awareness, in hypnotized individuals. This proves that hypnosis acts on the autonomic nervous system, using the parasympathetic nervous system, which plays a role in stress management. However, not all the neurological mechanisms involved are known.
It has also been shown that the mechanisms responsible for pain perception involve different brain regions such as the frontal cortex, whose activity can be modulated by hypnosis.
However, it should be noted that these hypnosis studies do not distinguish between hypnosis achieved through external suggestion and self-hypnosis. It is therefore difficult to testify to the effectiveness of self-hypnosis.
In any case, for it to be effective, self-hypnosis requires a learning phase, to discover this practice, to learn more about it and to become familiar with the various techniques. And of course, as you will have understood throughout this article, it requires training and regular practice. Your brain will become accustomed to performing these exercises, which will allow you to reach the desired state more quickly and simply.
Now you know all (or almost all) about self-hypnosis. Ready to try this method?