Yesterday I wrote about some pretty solid, research backed strategies for boosting memory. (Read that here: 9 Ways To Boost Your memory)
In the past, I have written about and have audio programmes that explore and instruct people how to advance memory with specific retrieval techniques, as well as the use of mnemonics and a variety of other strategies, so I’m not going to repeat any of those ideas here today. Instead, I want to show you how to use self-hypnosis in a way that is quite different to how it is usually used.
You are basically going to use self-hypnosis as the vehicle, the mindset that you create within the learning environment, and then you simply use self-hypnosis to advance and accelerate your learning experience. That is, you learn and engage in self-hypnosis at the same time. In short, you’ll hypnotise yourself, the open your eyes and effectively learn whatever it is you are studying or wishing to commit to memory, and you then come out of hypnosis, review the material and astound yourself at how effective your ability to recall that information has become!
The set up for the learning is the key here, so before you begin with the self-hypnosis process, prepare diligently and ask yourself the following:
Question 1: What do you want to know?
The first thing to ask yourself is: Why you are studying this? What is the reason that you wish to remember and recall this information? Are you learning with a purpose or just for pleasure? What do you want to know it?
This may mean that you will find alternative or better sources for your goals, but ultimately will keep you relatively goal-focused during your learning experience/study period.
Question 2: How deeply will you study the material?
Where you only need the shallowest knowledge of the subject, you can skim material or pay less focused attention to it. For example, you might only read chapter headings, introductions and summaries.
If you want detailed knowledge of the subject, then you need to be aware that you’ll be concentrating deeply and looking to absorb yourself deeply during the period of study.
Question 3: What is the learning material you plan on studying?
Are you going to be reading, listening to an audiobook, watching a lecture or something else?
Different sorts of materials hold information in different places and in different ways. Being aware of this is going to be obvious to begin with, but think about your strategy, think about where to place your attention and consider the best way to enjoy this learning format.
Different formats of information will lead you to reflect and consider the material in different ways and will offer up potentially differing ways to get distracted.
Equipped with the answers to these questions and familiar with the nature of the learning you are planning, you are going to be able to focus effectively and relevantly in the best way for you. You are now prepared to enter the study environment – this may be sat at your work station, sat in a classroom, reading a book, or any other environment where you wish to be able to remember information as effectively as possible. With the information or learning in front of you, you now follow these steps:
Step One: Induce hypnosis.
You can do so by any means you desire or know of. You can use the process in my Science of self-hypnosis book, use the free audio we give away on this website to practice or have a look at the following articles as and when you need them; they are basic processes to help you simply open the door of your mind:
Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method
Using Eye Fixation for Self-Hypnosis
The Chiasson Self-Hypnosis Method
Hand to Face Self-Hypnosis Induction
Using Magnetic Hands for Self-Hypnosis
The Coin Drop Self-Hypnosis Induction
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Relaxation deepener.
Now you are going to use a progressive relaxation process. You learn better when relaxed and you can make this as brief or as lengthy as you feel is necessary and useful for you and your circumstances.
The aim here is to spread relaxation into various parts of your body. As you get better at doing this, you can start to focus on more specific and smaller parts of the body, something referred to by hypnotherapists and fractionation. Here are some ideas of how to do this:
a) Use your internal dialogue and simply tell yourself that each part of your body is relaxing. For example “my toes are relaxing deeper… and now my ankles… moving into my lower legs…” and so on.
b) As you work your way through your body, you may like to use a colour or light or imagined warming sensation and spread that through the muscles and imagine the colour (ideally one you associate with relaxing) spreading through the muscles as you reach each part of your body.
c) Additional cognitions. For example, in one of his audios, Richard Bandler uses the word “soften” as he relaxes parts of the body. He focuses on each muscle and then says “soften” as he works through, you might like to do the same.
d) You may imagine a relaxing sound moving through your body.
e) You may imagine the muscles limp, loose, dormant; maybe like a loose rubber band, or a rag doll, or whatever else you can imagine to indicate the relaxation spreading. i learned a great technique from Terrence Watts who suggested imagining the body as a candle and as the candle softened and got warm and liquid-like, so the muscles of the body got warm and softened and so on.
Ideally, use a combination of these elements. Bask in the relaxation you create, enjoy it and enjoy this time as well spent. You may like to remind yourself that your mind stays focused and alert even though your body is appropriately and optimally relaxed.
Once you have done so, move on to the next step.
Step Three: Positive cognitions and belief.
It is important that you have a conviction and a belief in your ability to learn effectively. So state a series of affirmations, self-suggestions and positive cognitions to yourself to create an internal environment that is positive for learning. Ideally, use your own preferred language, but these sort of statements are ideal and give you an idea of what I am referring to. Phrase them in the present, make them simple, positive and repeat them over and over with a felt-sense of belief – say the words like you believe them to be true and make them your reality:
I am going to learn effectively here.
I remember and recall this information.
I absorb information naturally.
I understand more wonderfully.
I am a learning machine.
Studying is easier and easier for me.
I am a super learner.
Step Four: Perception and further belief building.
Consider your goal for this learning session and adopt a particular perception with regards to it. That is, observe it in a way that is going to create positive expectancy and advance the learning session.
As you consider your successful outcome for the learning session, your learning goal, think to yourself;
a) I just know this (successful learning goal) is going to happen.
b) I deserve this (successful learning goal).
c) Achieving this (successful learning goal) is going to be enjoyable and fun.
Sometimes, learning is considered a chore to people, and so we want the perception to be one that will advance the learning and not hold it back. The principles underpinning this were mentioned in yesterdays article, do review it if you have not done so already (Read that here: 9 Ways To Boost Your memory).
Step Five: Open eyes and learn.
Tell yourself that when you open your eyes, you remain deeply hypnotised and are incredibly receptive to new learnings. The goal information becomes easier and easier to absorb, and that you go deeper into hypnosis with every moment of the learning session.
Then open your eyes and start enjoying your study in whatever format it may be in. Read, watch, listen, engage, study…..
As the learning happens, every now and then imagine your brain absorbing the material and becoming more readily available to you, and continue to expect yourself to learn it effectively and deeply. Maintaining the beliefs from earlier in the session. Then as the learning starts and continues, move on to the next step.
Step Six: Manage your mindset.
As you continue to absorb yourself in the learning experience, every now and then manage your mindset by revisiting some of the earlier steps if you feel you need to – maintain relaxation, deepen hypnosis, reiterate suggestions and belief. Be self-aware from time to time so that you can do this, though if you are simply too engrossed in the study materials, then there is no issue at all.
When learning is completed, or the time has elapsed, or the lecture has ended, then you move on to the next step.
Step Seven: Review: Keeping Knowledge in Your Short-Term Memory.
Close your eyes again. Breathe comfortably and calm yourself.
Typically, peoples’ memories of things they have learned are clearest immediately after they have learned them. They will then forget more and more knowledge as time goes on. After a few months they may only be able to recall only a tiny percentage of what was initially learned. This makes relearning information difficult when it needs to be done.
If you review knowledge frequently, however, then you will be able to keep it fresh and alive in your mind. This makes it easy to recall when you need it with a minimum of effort.
Metaphorically review the information you have learned inside your mind and then tell yourself you plan to review this information regularly in the future to consolidate the learning too. You might imagine reading the pages of the book again but much speedier and highlighting sections that stood out to you, you might recall passages spoken by the lecturer, or whatever it may be, all the time reminding yourself that you have learned well here.
Just review the material casually and briefly for a few moments before moving on to the final step.
Step Eight: Exit hypnosis.
If you use my own protocol as shown in my science of self-hypnosis book, count yourself up and out from one through to five. Otherwise, open your eyes, wiggle your toes and get oriented to the place you are in.
Step Nine: You now need to plan when you are going to review the information and whether you will run through this process again with the same information. I recommend that you spend a few minutes reviewing the material without self-hypnosis immediately after the learning session.
This helps you to:
Confirm that you understand the material.
Reduce the time needed to relearn information when you need it.
Improve the quality of future learning, by building on a well-remembered foundation. This helps your mind to make connections and linkages that it would not otherwise make.
A good way of carrying out this review is to rewrite or tidy up notes.
After this, reviewing information should be relatively easy and need not take long. Plan to review the material again that week and then however many further times you feel you need to really assure yourself of a deep ability to know the material and easily recall it. Review the topic by taking a few minutes to jot down everything you can remember about the subject, and compare this with your notes. If you feel the need to do so, also schedule another time to study it with self-hypnosis in this same fashion.
If you practice this process, you should get to the stage whereby it simply becomes second nature to read, study or listen to materials in conjunction with self-hypnosis all of the time. If you advance your belief in the process too, it’ll have a fabulous impact upon your memory. Enjoy that! Go be a fast and awesome learner….