Compassionate Counseling

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Auto-Suggestion Level of Self-Hypnosis

Hypnosis, like meditation, has a dubious image. Many people over many years have made their living by overlaying this practical and useful technique with unwarranted mystical and magical rituals. In fact, it is a useful tool for achieving deep relaxation.
Self-hypnosis is when you hypnotize yourself. This is often more practical as a stress management tool than normal hypnosis, as you do not need to have a hypnotist present.

Drawing on the same "relaxation response" that drives meditation, self-hypnosis helps you to relax your body, lets stress hormones subside, and distracts your mind from unpleasant thoughts. The relaxation achieved with self-hypnosis can be intense. Unlike meditation, we often use affirmations as part of self-hypnosis to manage stress and build self-confidence. Affirmations are the positive statements (based on rational thinking) that we make to ourselves to counter stress and unpleasant thoughts.

Along with meditation and imagery, self-hypnosis can usefully be used as a part of a daily stress management routine.

Using the Tool:

First, decide if you want to use affirmations as part of your self-hypnosis session (you will still be able to relax deeply if you do not use them). If you do, then prepare the affirmations you want to use before you start the session, as you will not want to think about them once you have reached a state of deep relaxation!

Next, find somewhere comfortable and quiet, and sit down.

Now, relax your body. A good way of doing this is to close your eyes and imagine waves of relaxation running down your body from your scalp downwards, washing out stress. Let the waves run in time with your breathing, first washing down over your head, then your neck, then your torso, then arms, and finally your legs. Feel the muscles in your body relaxing as the waves of relaxation wash over them.

The next step is to use suggestion to deepen the state of relaxation. This can be as simple as saying something like: “I am feeling relaxed and comfortable to yourself. With every breath I am becoming more relaxed and more comfortable…" Alternatively, use the traditional approach of suggesting sleepiness: "I am tired and sleepy. I can feel the heaviness in my arms and legs. I am more and more tired…"

Once you feel completely relaxed, use the affirmations you have prepared. Mix these in with the relaxation suggestions.
Typical self-hypnosis sessions can last between 15 and 25 minutes; however, they can last for as long as you like.
This article is from an outside source. While it contains a very useful solution to stress problems, it does conflate relaxation, meditation and self-hypnosis. These three things are are related but are not the same. The techniques in this article are at the lowest level, often called "auto-suggestion", of self-hypnosis.

At a deeper level, self-hypnosis will include an "induction" script which induces the hypnotic trance state, often followed by a deepening script and then the hypnotic suggestions. Using this deeper level of self-hypnosis will require more practice, but the rewards are also greater.

There is a more comprehensive article on Self-Hypnosis in this section.