For a couple of articles, I am going to be focusing on using self-hypnosis to help with emotional issues and achieving emotional balance.
In recent weeks, at a time when my own immediate family has been growing, I have also been confronted by a number of very sad deaths and am reminded of the fragility of life, a subsequent desire to enjoy every moment and to value the ability to be able to manage emotions with the use of cognitions to improve the quality of one’s ongoing experience of life.
Within the training courses I run, we often touch upon the field of REBT – Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. This field was pioneered by Albert Ellis PHd and can be read about within any of his brilliant books on the subject. One of the core techniques within REBT is the use of Rational Emotive Imagery (REI), which is the focus of today’s entry here. As tends to be the case with what I offer here, I shall be offering up some steps for using REI in combination with self-hypnosis.
The main purpose of REI is to aid us in identifying an appropriate and rational emotions that we experience in certain problematic situations or scenarios of our life. Additionally though, and similarly to a lot of the cognitive focused sessions I share here, REI also looks at the kind of coping statements that we use when in those same situations.
This is a process that you learn a great deal about yourself throughout. Also, it is grounded in realism and balance; that is, you are not attempting to feel wonderfully happy in every situation or circumstance in your life. Sometimes, it is absolutely appropriate to be upset in a particular situation or circumstance. However, there is a difference between being healthily upset and unhealthily upset. This process aims for us to be aware of and to be healthily upset.
The key is for you to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy negative feelings and to change the unhealthy ones into healthy.
Prior to starting, identify a situation whereby you have had an unhealthily upsetting emotional response to. That is, in the past you have had a problematic emotional response to. You might like to think about a better or healthier emotion to experience in that situation already, but it is not essential at this stage, you can think it through within the session instead.
Get yourself into an attentive, seated posture where you’ll be undisturbed for the duration of this exercise. Then proceed with the following steps:
Hypnotise yourself. 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.
Imagine being in the previously identified difficult situation. The situation or scenario that caused unhealthy upset in the past. Really immerse yourself in that scene. See the sights, hear the sounds and allow the scenario to stimulate those feelings.
Imagine going deeper into hypnosis with every detail of being in this place. Engage your imagination and make this as vivid as possible whilst remaining as relaxed as possible.
When you are imagining being in that situation to your satisfaction, it is as real as you can make it for now, move on to the next step.
Now label the upsetting feelings you have in that scenario. What are the names of the emotions you feel when you (imagine being) are in that scenario? (for example; anxiety, anger, fear, worry, jealousy etc.)
Just identify the feeling or feelings and when you are sure you have identified them and have an awareness of them, move on to step four.
Now focus on changing the upsetting emotional response to one that you consider to be healthier, more useful emotion, even if it remains a negative one.
You might firstly identify or think about what would be a more healthy upsetting emotion or feeling to have in this scenario and then do whatever you need to in order to feel that way instead.
Take all the time necessary to change the old, upsetting emotional response to a healthier one. Be thorough and diligent with this step, it is important, then move on to the next step.
Come back to the here and now sat in the chair and start to reorient yourself with your real-life environment. Now you are going to spend some time reflecting upon what you did within the previous step. Start to reflect upon what you just did. Ask yourself:
“How did I end up feeling?”
“What did I do to change my feelings?”
“How can my thoughts help me to feel more healthy upset rather than unhealthy upset in the future?”
Answer each of those questions in turn and really get a good understanding of each before you move on.
Then think about a rational statement that you can say to yourself in real-life situations in the future, for example:
“Getting angry does not change her and simply serves me poorly.”
“Failing at something does not make me a complete failure.”
When you have put that together, and answered all the reflective questions, move on to the next step.
Imagine yourself in the future, in a similar situation and notice yourself thinking and feeling healthily upset, as much as is appropriate. Notice how it makes you feel and how it changes your responses to how they were previously.
Whilst there, state your rational statement to yourself forcefully and with real meaning. Notice how it helps.
Reassure yourself of your ability to cope appropriately with future situations, then move on to the final step.
Exit hypnosis. Take a couple of energising breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes and count from one to five (if you use my suggested process of self-hypnosis) then open your eyes and reorient yourself with your surroundings.
Practice this process a couple of times, then go and place yourself in those situations (if it is appropriate to do so) and be aware of dealing with your feelings differently. You might like to have a go at role playing that scenario before you engage in the real-life scenario, stepping up your rehearsal of your rational response 9so to speak) which is one of the things I’d do in therapy sessions with my clients.
I hope you enjoy that. I’ll be back with more here soon.
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studies?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, 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.