Self Hypnosis

I believe a detailed article on self hypnosis would be of great interest to those interested in using it to relax and improve their mental and physical health.

Self hypnosis, like hypnosis itself is shrouded in mystery for many people making it seem like some kind of mystical, magical or even paranormal phenomenon. Some unenlightened people even link it with some kind of occult practice, which is of course nonsense.

Self hypnosis is a perfectly normal state of consciousness that everybody without exception can and does enter several times a day, every day!

If that statement has you throwing your arms up in the air in exasperation, then you probably don't need to read any further, as nothing will convince you otherwise.

If, however you are of a more enlightened and open minded disposition, then please read on.

Hypnosis is a Completely Natural State

The first thing you need to understand about hypnosis in general, is that it is a perfectly natural state. The term hypnosis is, if anything misleading, as it implies some form of artificially induced sleep or trance state, which it is not.

Hypnosis is as normal as a daydream, and in fact a daydream is a form of hypnosis!

That's right, a daydream is quite simply a mental state where you are thinking of something and at the same time not aware of your physical surroundings. The moment you become aware of your surroundings, you have stopped daydreaming and are fully conscious again!

Try it - it is actually impossible to daydream and carry out any normal conscious function without terminating the daydream!

So is a daydream a form of self hypnosis too?

Yes it is. Totally 100%. In order to enter the state of a daydream, you don't need to do anything. It just seems to happen, right? Of course! It's called a daydream because you are essentially in a dreamlike state, mentally. Its as if you are off somewhere else while still appearing to be fully awake.


What is happening when you daydream is that your body's natural daily rhythm has decided that it's time to take a short break.

So as long as you are in a situation where you are not consciously concentrating on anything, like doing a mental calculation, or doing something physically demanding, like running up stairs, or carrying something heavy, or working hard physically, then as long as you are relaxed enough, then you can start daydreaming.

While you are daydreaming your thoughts drift off to another place, or situation, or time and you stop being aware of your surroundings. The second something requires your attention, you simply "snap out of it" and get on with what you need to do.

Self hypnosis is exactly the same thing.

In fact, self hypnosis has many names and is known by many forms. Meditation, daydreaming as we have already touched on, altered consciousness, deep relaxation are all forms of hypnosis and therefore all forms of self hypnosis.

Self hypnosis is simply hypnosis that is self-induced.

So how do you self induce hypnosis?

Induce Relaxation

Well, the same way you would self induce relaxation. You need somewhere relatively quiet (although there are exceptions) where you are not likely to be interrupted by other people or pets or telephones, etc. A comfortable place to sit or lay down are preferable but not essential.

Before you begin, it will be useful to note the time and to affirm to yourself that you will only remain in self hypnosis for a certain time, say 30 minutes, or however long you have to spare. This will ensure that you will come round no later than that amount of time has elapsed.

Different people will respond better to different self hypnosis induction techniques, but easily the best and most universal is to employ deep breathing exercises at the outset.

The most simple way to do that is to relax yourself in to the position you are most comfortable. Close your eyes and then start by taking three very slow, very deep breaths.

Be conscious of those breaths and as you breathe in, imagine a feeling of calmness drifting over you. As you breath slowly out, mentally say the word relax, but draw the word out for the while length of the exhalation of the breath.

Each breath you take will relax you more than the previous one.

After those three breaths, take several more less deep breaths, but all the while continue imagining the feeling of calmness flowing through you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes and also continue mentally subvocalising the word "relax" as you slowly exhale. All the while be aware of the fact that each breath you take is relaxing you more than the previous breath.

Before you know it you will "snap out of it" and not feel like you ever entered the state of hypnosis and that you had only been doing those deep breaths for a couple of minutes. A quick check on the time, however will tell you a different story.

It's quite normal to have been in a hypnotic state for several minutes or more and not realized.

No Hypnotic Feeling

There is no "hypnotic feeling" as such and you don't go to sleep, but on the contrary remain fully aware of your surroundings, which is why many people believe they cannot be hypnotized, or they have seen a hypnotist who couldn't "get them under."

Well, I'm sorry to dispel that myth, but if you saw a hypnotist who "couldn't get you under," then you saw a novice hypnotist who didn't know enough about hypnosis that they claimed to be able to practice to be able to inform you that the most common "hypnotic feeling" is no feeling at all.

The "nypnotist" should have explained the hypnotic state to you before commencing the induction and you should have been fuly aware that whilst in the hypnotic state, you'll hear every word that the hypnotist says, you'll hear every car that passes, every bird that sings outside - everything.

That's because your senses are actually heightened whilst in the state of hypnosis!

With hypnosis, as with meditation, you are unaware that you have entered an altered state of mental consciousness. To you, your conscious state will appear normal.

All you will feel is pleasantly relaxed and nothing more. The only true indicator of having been in the state of hypnosis at all is the dilation of your perception of time elapsed.

It is most common to believe only one or two minutes have passed, when actually several minutes or more will have passed while you were in the hypnotic state.

That's how you know.

So feel free to safely practice self hypnosis. The house won't burn down while you are deep in some kind of magical trance!

Your heightened senses will alert you to any impending danger long before you would have noticed in the normal conscious state!

Terry Didcott


Posted on 15 Mar, 2008 in Hypnosis | 5 Comments Last Updated on Mon 9 May, 2022

5 thoughts on "Self Hypnosis"

Liudmila says:
15 Mar, 2008

This is really great post, Terry.

I heard many times "breathing following the system" that is common for military training to relax fast and effectively, but could never find What is that sistem.

Goodin says:
15 Mar, 2008

Good information about Hypnosis. Based upon my experience, I would thoroughly recommend hypnosis to anybody who suffers from a fear of flying as this condition can be very effectively tackled; open up a whole new world of travel possibilities!

Terry says:
17 Mar, 2008

Thanks for the replies.

Liudmila, now you know - the breathing is really simple as it should be - if it were complicated, then no one would be able to do it. As it is, because deep breathing is so simple, anyone can do this and it helps in so many situations - if more people learned to take three deep breaths every time they got stressed about something, they wouldn't suffer half the stress they do.

Josh Houghton says:
18 Mar, 2008

I have recently discovered this site and just wanted to say thanks for showing hypnosis in a wonderful life. I, myself have used self-hypnosis for many different situations that have popped up in my life. Self Hypnosis can be a wonderful tool and doesn't take long to do at all.

Terry says:
18 Mar, 2008

Hi Josh, Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad you got a lot from this site on hypnosis.