This weekend just gone by, I spoke at the Change Phenomena conference hosted by the brilliant Head Hacking Team. I attended that entire event, as a spectator as well as speaker.
In recent times, in many forums, it has become fairly fashionable to dispute the efficacy or even the existence of self-hypnosis, despite the historical context of the subject, the evidence and my own years of subjective experience of using self-hypnosis myself and teaching it at seminars and to my clients for 15 years.
I am biased about the subject, of course. As an author of a book on the subject, creator of lots of self-hypnosis audio tracks and programmes and teacher of the subject, I have a bias. Though the objective evidence is something I weigh up with as much neutrality as I can. I am digressing…
So as I made my final preparations in the days leading up to the event, I started to worry that the audience may be tough on me and my subject.
Having arrived early and got myself a prime seat in the lecture theatre of the prestigious Guys Hospital, the initial worries turned into pressure, the sensations increased, and not just because I had consumed more than my usual weekly allowance of caffeinated drinks in that morning already… The other speakers were adept and being approved of greatly by those I chatted to in the intervals.
I was on straight after lunch, the time when most people are ready for a nap… More pressure…. I had committed myself as doing a potentially risky demonstration, and I started to catastrophise… More pressure… More caffeine…. As I sat listening to my own introduction delivered by Anthony Jacquin stood at the lectern, I needed to let off some steam before speaking, otherwise it may impair my presentation.
The reality is that I know my subject well, I train and speak regularly on it, I was being irrational due to a particular set of stimulating circumstances.. And my wife will confirm how peculiar coffee makes me get sometimes.
I sat on the front row facing away from the other delegates, closed my eyes for a while and ran through a fast, rapid process which I am sharing with you here today. I am a regular, practicing self-hypnotist and so that sort of mental speed with this kind of technique is something I can get away with every now and then, but of course, as I say on a regular basis here, repetition and practice would have made for a smoother and more effective use of this process.
This particular process does rely you the user knowing what a pressure cooker is… They are not that common today, but we had one at home when I was a youngster, so I am quite familiar.
Essentially, they cook food by being locked tightly shut so that no air can get in or out and thus creates a lot of pressure. They are airtight. Not too dissimilar to what goes on inside a bottle of fizzy pop if you were to shake it while ensuring the lid was kept tightly shut.
If you just casually took off the lid of the pressure cooker, you may lose your head as the lid flew upwards and into the ceiling. So it has a very strong locking mechanism to keep it closed and then a release valve to lessen the pressure before it is all unlocked and the food is taken out. I am sure you see the metaphoric use of such.
Steps To Use Self-Hypnosis To Release Pressure And Enhance Comfort:
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
However, with this process, an induction is potentially too much activity, so I teach my clients how to adopt a hypnotic mindset and simply have a mindset that is positive and expectant. Again, to really understand the cognitive set of the hypnotic mindset, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book where it is explained in simple but comprehensive terms.
Once you have induced hypnosis, move on to step two.
Step Two: Start to tune in to your body and really notice the sensations within it. Scan through it and detect how you feel and get a sense of how you know you have any pressure or stress in your body. You may find that simply being aware of your physical experience of it lessens it or increases it in some way. Just notice that if it does happen, no need to try and change anything just yet.
Be mindful of how you are feeling and scan through your body. Become aware of how your body does the process of stress or pressure, how that manifests itself, just watching it and being aware of it for now.
Use this process to deepen your hypnosis, tell yourself that every sensation takes you deeper into your mind. Then when you are tuned in, aware of your feelings, move on to the next step.
Step Three: Start to imagine that your mind and body possess the qualities of a pressure cooker. Think that your body has similar qualities of a pressure cooker and that it is currently like an airtight vessel.
When you have that notion in mind, then start to imagine that all the issues of life that have contributed to your physiological stress, or pressure or emotional distress of any kind are being projected upon you; like heat firing up the contents of the pressure cooker.
Imagine that your own issues are being magnified and exaggerated, beyond any rational way of being, but without letting it become too uncomfortable – just enough sensation for things to be useful for you here.
You are likely to notice some difference in how you are feeling, and as soon as the sensations get to a stage where they are notable, but not too uncomfortable, then move on to the next step.
Step Four: This is the fun part and the part where we get to change and let go… Find the release valve of your mind. Imagine it in whatever way is best for you. Locate whereabouts it is in your body or perhaps it is just imagined in your mind. Become aware of its size, shape, colour, details and adapt it to your own liking.
Once it is there in your mind, all set up and ready to be utilized with maximum effect, start to let the pressure out. Let the pressure out of the valve in whatever way is right for you.
Watch the old, unwanted pressure being released – maybe you imagine it as steam, or just a colour of some kind (maybe a coloured mist?) or perhaps it has a sound that is omitted (some might imagine the whistling sound of a kettle that has boiled, for example), you choose whatever is the best way for you to imagine and engage with the action of that pressure being released.
As it is released, notice the relaxation and comfort spread through you as even consider letting out a deep sigh as you do that now.
Distance and dissociate yourself from the old pressure.
Notice how different you feel as you let go… Perhaps you imagine your body physically relaxing, perhaps you focus in on and notice the difference in your body as the old pressure dissipates. Notice how you can tell a difference has happened and when you have really noticed the difference, ideally having let go of all (or as much as is possible) of the unwanted pressure, then move on to the next step.
Step Five: With the pressure released, imagine a typical situation or circumstance in your life when you may find yourself under some pressure. Notice the sights, sounds and feelings and really imagine that you are there; be there. Let the pressure felt be just enough for you to notice a change in sensation.
Really be there in that place. Engage in it, and then as you notice any pressure build, just use the same mental valve to let go of that pressure and feel a physical difference.
Tell yourself that each time you practice doing this, it becomes a more readily available tool that you use outside of the hypnosis session and enhances your ability to use this process whenever you need to, simply by engaging your imagination and letting go using your release valve.
Tell yourself that this process inherently lowers and lessens the old responses to those situations, but that this is a useful tool for you to use when needed in real-life terms too. Then move on to the final step.
Step Six: Take a moment to reflect upon the process, remind yourself of how things are going to be different in your life in the future and then take a good, deep energising breath, wiggle your fingers and toes and open your eyes.
That is the process I used, it served me beautifully well and it is a metaphor suggested to me by a colleague and fellow hypnotherapist who uses this with clients.
Enjoy that, and I shall be back very soon.
If you’d like to learn more or if this has resonated with you in some way, then visit these pages:
1. Have frequent low moods held you back and/or is it still doing so now?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason.
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others to elevate their mood?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom a negative thought process is detrimentally effecting the success of your business?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Self-hypnosis is a great way to help elevate mood. If you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.