While the idea of hypnotizing yourself is gaining popularity on social media, it turns out there are scientifically backed reasons to try it.
Hypnosis is as ancient as medicine, magic, and sorcery.
Many ancient cultures practiced hypnotism in some form or another, including Chinese, Egyption, Indian, Greek, Roman, and Sumerian. Some of the earliest evidence of hypnosis being used for healing dates back to 1550 B.C.
It was practiced throughout the Middle Ages and was used by kings and princes. They were said to have healing powers from the divine because of their “Royal Touch”.
In the 18th century, an Austrian physician named Franz Mesmer became notably skilled in inducing a deep trance state in individuals. He concluded that this was caused by a force that flowed through him and into the person, like an invisible fluid. The term “mesmerize” comes from this belief.
Then in 1841, the terms “hypnotize” and “hypnotism” came from a Scottish ophthalmologist, James Braid. Braid was the first to theorize that hypnotism is actually the result of psychological happenings in the brain, not the magical workings of a divine force.
Hypnotism is still widely practiced today.
Fast forward to today, and hypnotism is a widely accepted therapeutic practice used by many professionals in the health and medicine industry. When it first became popular in modern day Western culture, it was mainly for the uses of losing weight and quitting smoking. However, it is now proven to have many benefits, such as reducing anxiety and depression, calming an overwhelmed mind, improving concentration, helping insomnia, and overcoming addictions of all kinds.
Many doctors, dentists, anesthesiologists, chiropractors, and psychotherapists are trained in hypnosis for those struggling with a variety of medical and mental health disorders.
However, for those who would like to practice hypnosis without the need for professional help, self hypnosis may be an option.
Understanding self hypnosis.
In order to fully understand self hypnosis, one must first understand the definition of hypnosis.
Hypnosis can be described as a trance state with increased relaxation, imagination, and suggestibility. While under hypnosis, the electrical patterns in the brain, or brain waves, enter the Theta state. This is the state we are normally at when we meditate, daydream, or are lightly sleeping. The conscious mind takes a backseat, allowing easier access to the subconscious mind by you or your therapist.
A therapist can induce a hypnotic state with the use of suggestions. Examples of these would be:
Imagine you are in a beautiful, peaceful place.
You feel relaxation spread through your body starting from your head all the way down to your toes.
You will awaken feeling fully alert and rested.
These suggestions only work if you allow them. In other words, someone cannot hypnotize you if you do not want them to.
You can also induce yourself into a hypnotic with these kind of suggestions, called autosuggestions. By telling yourself these phrases, or affirmations, you are able to induce your mind into theta, thus entering into a trance state.
Listening to audio recordings, hypnosis tapes, or MP3s is also commonly used.
The term self hypnosis is redundant, because in fact, all hypnosis is self-induced. Hypnotherapists merely facilitate the process and have expertise in the subconscious mind to help you overcome mental problems that you cannot do on your own. However, you are perfectly capable of reaching a hypnotic state on your own.
Self hypnosis has many benefits that can help in your daily life.
Here are 5 reasons to try self hypnosis:
- Increased slow-wave (deep) sleep for those struggling with insomnia, or similar sleep disorders.
- Pain management for chronic health issues.
- Calming nerves before a presentation, job interview, proposal, etc.
- Boosting self-confidence and motivation to achieve your goals.
- Improving your memory and focus.
**In order to see the full benefits from practicing self-hypnosis, consistency is vital. Practicing for 10 minutes every day can make a huge difference in the long run, and can easily be done in the morning right after waking up, or right before bed.**
While the idea of hypnotizing yourself may sound strange and unrealistic, in reality we enter into trances every single day without realizing it.
If you have ever been driving and lose yourself in your thoughts, then suddenly realize you don’t remember driving the last 5 miles, you were in a trance.
If you have ever lost yourself in a book and forget that you are reading, you were in a trance.
If you have ever watched a great movie and feel as if the rest of the world has fallen away, you, my friend, were in a trance.