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What is Hypnosis?

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I have been a practising hypnotist for over 5 years now, and I really struggle to answer this very basic question.

What is Hypnosis? 

It’s difficult to answer because there are so many answers and so many different experiences of hypnosis. As far as I can tell, everyone seems to experience it in different ways. For some (around about 1-2%) it feels really uncomfortable and they struggle to find a way in. For others (10-20%) it’s a magical experience that alters their reality in easily accessible ways – these are the people who are chosen for stage hypnotist shows where they make things invisible etc. For the vast majority of people it is neither of those things. Instead they will tell me “It was like I was listening to you speak, and I heard what you were saying, but it felt like my mind drifted and it was like I was fading in and out.”

If you ask ‘experts’ on hypnosis you will get lots of different opinions and views too. Some believe it is a state of mind that we drift into and out of all the time. Some believe that it is a way of accessing your true self. Some believe it allows you to reach back into past lives. You will hear words like conscious and subconscious as though they are areas of the brain that can be poked and prodded. People talk of somnambulist (or sleep walkers) and ‘depths’ of hypnosis as though you can be a bit hypnotised or really hypnotised.

At one time I described it as a directed placebo effect as I believed that you had to ‘buy into’ the process for it to work, but over the years I have learned that this isn’t true either.

Let me tell you my truth about hypnosis – it’s just your imagination.

Now, please don’t read the word ‘just’ and think I am not giving your imagination the credit it deserves. Your imagination is probably the most amazing thing about you. It allows you to formulate plans, predict the future, extrapolate ideas, and create stories. It allows you to interpret sound, sight, smell and touch – to understand and empathise. It is essentially you.

The skill of the hypnotist comes into play to allow you to use your imagination in a useful, productive and often amazing way.

Take a look at most Hypnotherapist’s websites and you will find a list of the most common things they deal with..

Addiction (including smoking)

Weight Loss

Phobias

Anxiety and stress management.

What do all of these things have in common? They are created from belief patterns.

I can’t live without…. or I can’t stop thinking about….or I can’t be around…..or I can’t cope with….

Actually none of those statements are true.

You absolutely can live without whatever it is you are hooked on (as long as it’s not food, water, air etc) by changing how you think about it.

You can totally stop thinking of anything.

You can be around something you have a phobia of, as long as you change your fear response (which was created by your imagination in the first place).

You can cope – you just need to learn how.

A skilled hypnotist can provide you with enough input to help you to make a change, but it is a collaborative process. It happens because you want it to. In fact, if you have the skills and knowledge you don’t need another person to be involved at all. Many, many people around the world employ self hypnosis techniques like the Betty Erickson technique, the eye fixation technique or the switch technique – so it’s not something that has to be done to you. You can hypnotise yourself.

So, what is hypnosis? I’m still not entirely sure, but for me it is focused, beneficial use of your imagination to achieve a desired outcome.

Why don’t you have a try for yourself and see what happens? Maybe you’ll get the results you’re looking for. Maybe you won’t. If you do – Fantastic! I’m thrilled you’ve found this potential within yourself. If you don’t – why not give your friendly, local hypnotherapist a call and see if they can nudge you in the right direction.

 

 

 

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Self Care Advent Calendar Day 8

How quickly did that first week go? Welcome to week 2 of our Self Care Advent Calendar.

Where shall we begin?

How about building on that creativity that we started yesterday? This week, let’s try to create something less physical – let’s create a new habit.

Did you know that it is generally accepted that if you do something every day for 21 days you will create a new habit. That means there is just enough time for you to create a new habit before the end of the year.

I want you to think back to January. Did you make any new years resolutions that you haven’t quite got around to yet? It’s not too late – you can still make it happen.

So what sort of habits should we be making?

Well you could do worse than reflecting on the things we covered in Days one, two, three, four, five, six and seven of the advent calendar. Was there anything in there that you would like to establish as a daily habit?

Maybe it’s something else that you want to do. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure it’s something useful to you that makes you and your life better.

This month I am focussing on Self Care, so what habits could you create that would most benefit you? Here are my top 5 suggestions

  1. Meditation

I know this takes practise before you start to see positive results from it, but it’s worth the effort. Creating mental space in your life will help you to be more resilient and better able to cope with whatever life throws at you.

2. Yoga

Depending on the type of Yoga you choose this can involve meditation, but also helps you to be physically strong and flexible which again supports your resilience.

3. Mindfulness

This has similar benefits to Meditation but is easier to practice in day to day life. When we really focus on being in the moment we can alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety from our lives which has amazing physical and mental benefits.

4. Self Hypnosis

What a fantastic way to achieve the things you want to in life. Take control of your subconscious and make things happen the way you want them to.

5. Organization.

Ok so, this is a bit of an odd one. When you get into the habit of being organized – planning and prepping your life – you might be surprised at the difference it makes. It’s effects can be many and varied. One impact tends to be that you will feel less stress. Knowing what is happening and knowing you are prepared for it can get rid of a lot of worry. Another impact can be an improvement in your diet and exercise. By planning your food and knowing what you are going to eat you tend to make better choices than you would if you decided what to eat when you are already hungry. By planning in your exercise (and maybe organising other people to be involved) you are more likely to complete it. It can also have a financial impact. Less impulse buys + more planned budgeting = more money in your pocket!

One final note on this one – don’t be too ambitious. Create one achievable habit and build on it. Make a commitment to yourself to create one new habit and stick to it for at least 21 days before you even think about trying another one. Slow and steady wins the race!


Some of the most beneficial habits can take a little bit of help to get started with. If you are struggling to change there people out there who can help. There are lots of therapists available with lots of different techniques and tricks to get you where you want to be.

 

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Everyone said

Here’s my weekly poem – I hope you enjoy it

It Couldn’t Be Done

BY EDGAR ALBERT GUEST

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

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Back to work

I’m just preparing for my first client of the New Year.

I’ll be seeing her tomorrow, and I have limited information on what we will be doing, so there is only so much prep I can do, but I have to say I have been enjoying getting ready and making sure that I’m organised.

Don’t get me wrong, Christmas has been lovely. I really enjoyed the break and the down time with friends and family, but getting back to work gives me a wonderful sense of purpose.

I know that I’m lucky doing what I do – I help people.

I’ve had corporate jobs and done the 9-5 office thing and that was OK too, but there is nothing like working for yourself in a job that you love.

So here’e the thing – when you think about going back to work, does it make you feel good or fill you with a sense of dread?

If it makes you feel good – that’s great. You’re doing something that you like/love and you’re probably pretty good at it. Appreciate how lucky you are to be in that position.

If you’re neutral about it – well, that’s OK too. You don’t hate your job, but you don’t love it either. Maybe this year is the year when you could start to think about something that really drives you, something you’re passionate about. Could this be something that you could do for a living? If you have passion for something it makes you keep at it – then you get good at it. When you’re good at anything, you can turn that into a profession, and maybe love your job…

If the idea of returning to work makes you stressed, feel sick, depressed or just unhappy, it really is time to rethink things.

I would suggest that the first thing you need to get sorted is you. Start to do some self improvement work. This can take many forms from reading books, meditating, joining support groups or even trying out some therapy. When you feel strong and confident in your own capabilities, you will have the tools and the energy to make the changes you need to make.

Here’s to 2015!

The year we all find out how to love what we do and do what we love.

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A bit of DIY

do-it-yourself

We’re having some friends over for dinner in a week and a half and it motivates me to to all of those little jobs that otherwise may get left – touching up the paintwork, changing the pictures, sticking down a loose carpet edge.

I want to present my home at it’s best.

I’ll be doing a bit of personal DIY as well, touching up the roots, doing the nails, putting on some fake tan.

I want to present me at my best too.

This got me to thinking – when do we do a bit of mental DIY? What are the triggers that make us work on out inner selves.

Normally it’s times of crisis, when things are difficult to deal with, but why wait that long?

If you work on little things every week you find that you are so much more ready to face problems or issues if and when they arise.

So, this week, check the corners for cobwebs, see if things could do with a little maintenance and get to work.

As with all projects, some are too big to be tackled yourself, or maybe you just don’t have the skills or knowledge to handle them. If this is the case there are always people out there who make it their job to help and support you. It’s no less sensible to call in a professional like a hypnotherapist if you need emotional support or help to change than it is to call in a builder if you need to do major work on your house.

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Do you bully yourself?

bully

When you speak to yourself, are you a bully or a friend?

Most people don’t like to think of themselves as a bully, but when they start listening to their inner voice, they can begin to notice how mean they are to themselves.

Most of the damage to our self-esteem is self-inflicted.

Unfortunately, we often respond to rejections and failures by becoming self-critical, listing all our faults and short-comings, calling ourselves names, and basically kicking ourselves when we’re already down. We also tell ourselves that we’re ‘not good enough’, that we ‘always mess things up’ or that we are ‘just too lazy and have no self control’. If we had somebody in our lives who spoke to us like that we would hate them and wonder why they kept picking on us. We then use ridiculous justifications to justify the way we speak to ourselves, the way we damage our self-esteem when it is already hurting—“I deserve it,” “It will keep me humble,” “It’s a way to keep my expectations low, or “It’s true; I hate myself!”

If there’s one “program” we could all start that would do wonders for our self-esteem, it’s abolishing needless self-criticism and punitive self-talk – it’s one of the most effective forms of self hypnosis and it’s free!

Try it today – If you hear your inner bully rearing it’s ugly head, see it for what it is, tell it to be nice and get your inner cheer leader out to give you a boost instead.

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How to Say Sorry

im-sorryAs Elton John once sang – sorry seems to be the hardest word.

But it shouldn’t be.

If you’ve done something wrong or have just upset someone – say sorry – it’s often the quickest and easiest way to get past it.

So, bite the bullet, look the person in the eye and say I’m sorry.

Just that – I’m Sorry.

Not I’m sorry that I’m not perfect (that’s passive aggressive and puts the blame on the other person for expecting too much from you)

Not I’m sorry, but ……(that basically means you’re not sorry)

Not I’m sorry that you got upset by what I said (that means you’re sorry for them getting upset where as you should be sorry for what you said)

Not I’m sorry that you found out… (that means you’re not sorry you did it, only that you got caught)

Not I’m sorry, why do you have to keep going on about it (that implies you should be let off just because you have said that you’re sorry)

Not I’m sorry but you were to blame too (blame is not part of an apology – be sorry for your part in it)

Not I’m sorry to have to tell you,,,,,(because it’s just the telling part you’re sorry about)

Say you’re sorry. Say you won’t do it again. Say you’ll try to make it up to them.

Lastly accept when sorry isn’t enough.

Sometimes people just can’t forgive you for whatever it is that you’ve done. When this happens we can feel terrible and the guilt can be devastating. Apologies, when accepted, can make us feel better about ourselves. When they are not accepted you need to find a different way of moving on and letting that feeling go. Self Hypnosis techniques can be really useful with these feelings. If you have feelings you would like to let go of, try one on the self hypnosis techniques I’ve blogged about  (Eye FixationThe Betty Erickson technique, the switch, magnetic palms) and visualise putting something that represents your unwanted feeling in a bubble. When you can see it clearly in the bubble, gently push it away with your mind. Follow it in your minds eye until it disappears from view. You may have to do this several times before you start to feel better, but it’s worth being persistent with.

Hope I haven’t gone on to long…If I did – I’m Sorry

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Self Hypnosis – Magnetic palms

Sue Griffin Hypnotist

People tend to fall into different categories when it comes to how they interpret the world. broadly speaking you are either Visual (you would say things like ‘What would your ideal day look like’) Audio (you would say things like ‘Tell me about your ideal day’) or Kinaesthetic (you would say things like ‘How would your ideal day feel‘)

This technique is more geared towards the kinaesthetic types amongst you, but can be used by the other groups too.


Firstly, position the hands 10-20 centimetres apart in front of you with the palms facing each other. Have your arms straight out in front of you but relaxed and at ease. Fix your eyes on the space in between them.

Now bring your hands in towards you and rub the hands together – really rub them together fast and generate some heat in the palms, then the heat in the hands. When you can feel the energy they have generated put them,back into the starting position in front of you.

This is when you need to engage your thoughts and imagination – the engine for self hypnosis.

Imagine that there is a magnetic force pulling your hands together. You might want to imagine there are magnets placed on the palms of each of your hands and that you can feel the pull of them towards each other. Imagine that you can feel it happening, as if it is a distinct sensation all of its own that is drawing the hands in. You might also say to yourself the words “my hands draw closer together with each breath I breathe” to really engage your brain.

If prefer something more visual, you might like to imagine the ‘magnetic force’ as a light, a wave or a colour that aids the process of drawing the hands in together. Maybe you imagine that string is tied around the hands and is being pulled tighter as the hands draw closer. You could imagine elastic between them that keeps pulling them closer… Basically, anything that you can imagine that would force the hands closer together, make it as vivid and clear as you can and let the process happen.

Don’t deliberately move your hands together – let your subconscious control that process. It might happen quite quickly, or it may take a while to get going, but you tend to find that the closer your hands get, the faster they draw together. Stay relaxed and enjoy the process. You may find the movement is steady and smooth, or you may find that the movements are jerky and a bit twitchy. Notice the sensations that you feel in your fingers, hands and arms.

The moment that your hands come together you can relax your hands and arms and let them drop. Notice that the moment that you do this you can feel all the muscles in your body relax and you can drift downwards into a really comfortable and relaxed feeling.

This is the time that you can use a deepener to go even further into trance and then carry out any change work that you want to do ( you can read about this in other posts ) or you can just enjoy the sensation and say a few positive affirmations – the choice is yours.


I hope you give this a try, and if it doesn’t feel like the right approach for you try one of the other self hypnosis techniques I’ve posted.

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Don’t sweat the small stuff

small stuff

I read a great post yesterday on Second & NE about taking time out and not getting too caught up in everyday stresses.

It reminded me of the fact that we can all get lost so easily in our ‘normal lives’ that we forget to take even the smallest of times to refocus on ourselves and clear our minds.

Sometimes clients will say to me – I haven’t got time for that.

The standard answer is – If that’s the case you, can’t afford not too.

You see, the more stressed and busy we become, the more important it is that we give ourselves time to recharge.

Not only does this help us mentally and physically, but it also makes us better able to focus and be more productive when we have go back to doing our tasks.

The break you’re giving yourself doesn’t have to be a two week holiday in the Bahamas (though that does sound quite nice), it can just be taking a few minutes to relax or even a few seconds to really breathe and centre yourself. Using a form of meditation, mindfulness or self hypnosis will deepen the benefits of this, so use them whenever you need to.

Working on relaxation is just as important to most people as going to the gym should be – your body and mind work together. If you want to stay healthy it’s important to look after all aspects of yourself.

Wishing you a relaxing stress free Thursday

Ω

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Self Hypnosis – The Switch

Self Hypnosis Technique

Eye (2)

The Switch is one of my favourite Self Hypnosis techniques, but if you are just beginning to use self hypnosis you may want to try something else to begin with, like the Betty Erickson Technique or a progressive relaxation.


To begin with, decide what you want to achieve with this session – summarise your goal into one simple line e.g. I want to be more confident or I want to feel more relaxed. Try to avoid using dead men’s goals.

Now, make yourself nice and comfortable. I usually find that it is best to be sat in a comfy chair with my feet resting flat on the ground, but you can choose whatever feels right for you. Just make sure you are in a safe place and that you have enough time to complete the exercise.

Start by imagining that you have two kinds of wires that go into every nerve and fibre of your body.

One kind controls all of the automatic functions of your body, like your blood pressure & heart rate. Decide what colour this is.

The other connects to every single voluntary part of your body that you can control e.g. breathing, limbs, muscles and your speed of thought.  So, if you were to reduce power in that second bundle, your limbs, breathing and mind would instantly relax. Decide what colour this one is.

Now lift up the index finger of your left hand, and imagine under that index finger is a switch that will turn on or off that entire bundle of voluntary muscles and mental speed.  Right now that light switch is in the ON position.

Close your eyes & take a very deep breath and hold your breath for approx. 5 seconds.  To relax into self-hypnosis, simply imagine the coloured wires of your voluntary system going to that switch and when you breath out turn off that light switch by slowly dropping your finger.

As you do, slow your breathing, relax all your muscles and limbs and allow yourself to relax completely, as if all of the power had simply been turned down.

With the power down, focus on your goal. See yourself successfully doing your new goal. Hear all the sounds that are important to you and really feel what it will feel like. Multiply the positive feelings you will have of you achieving you goal / new habit – make them bigger, brighter and stronger until you feel absolutely brilliant.

To get maximum effect, repeat the above in different scenarios & situations and notice how you are different in the future to how you are now.

You might also notice all the little, achievable things that change to get you to your goal. See how easy they were to do and how amazing you feel when they are done.

When you’re ready to be your usual self, simply tell yourself that’s what you’re going to do. Take a deep breath in and as you do, lift your finger back up. Don’t be surprised if you feel the energy flooding back into your body when you flick the switch back to ON. By the time you breathe out, notice how you feel completely back to normal and positive, but bring with you the sense of achieving your goal and the knowledge of how to do this in the right way for you.


I hope you give this one a try. It can help you to do amazing things!

Let me know how you get on

Ω

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