Recently, in the midst of a discussion I was having with a prospective student, we were discussing the importance of being able to engage our imagination. Those of you that read my blogs on a regular basis will be aware that mental imagery techniques and processes are central to the way I employ self-hypnosis.
Yet this particular woman, like so many others that I encounter stated that she really struggled to visualise or even to get any modicum of stability in the images that were in her mind. She got flashes and had distractions and found it thoroughly frustrating.
That frustrated sense is really going to impede the ability to visualise in hypnosis sessions and what we often refer to as the ‘The Effort Error’ which can obstruct us greatly not just with visualising, but in using self-hypnosis at all with any degree of success.
Really throughout our hypnosis sessions, we do need to avoid any excess mental or physical effort that can frustrate and hinder our progress, and therefore although it may not be the most fashionable, slick or dynamic thing to do, using progressive relaxation techniques in conjunction with self-hypnosis can actually be incredibly useful.
If we have any anxiety, concern or even a fear of failure, any one of these things can obstruct the progress we desire with self-hypnosis and mental imagery processes. So practicing relaxing throughout is one particular means of helping providing a solid
In line with autosuggestion pineer, Emile Coué and his law of reversed effect, we want to stop trying and exerting ourselves so much as that obstructs our progress.
Everyone is capable of visualising and using mental imagery to great effect in conjunction with self-hypnosis. When we have a positive expectancy, correct expectations and engage our imaginations, the process can and does become smooth with practice.
Today I thought I’d highlight a very simple, but often overlooked way to simply practice getting better at visualising within self-hypnosis sessions with the use of cognitions to direct, guide and keep on track. You’ll be incorporating verbal affirmations that accompany your visualisations and repeat the process over and over. What tends to happen is that the cognitions keep the focus, block out potential distractions and engage the mind in order that you learn (with repetition and over time) how to focus on the images and your mental imagery prolongs and becomes more vivid.
Simply follow these steps: Using Cognitions Within Self-Hypnosis Sessions To Enhance Mental Imagery:
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, or just adopted the hypnotic mindset, move on to the next step.
Step Two: Firstly imagine yourself in a favourite place. It can be somewhere you have been to before, or somewhere you are creating and imagining in your mind. Let it be a place where you feel safe, secure and at ease.
Start to get a sense of the scenery of this place; notice the colours, shades of light and textures of what you see. You can notice sounds too, and enjoy the comfortable feelings, but primarily we are working with your visualisation here.
Just get as much detail as you can for now, and then move on to the next step.
Step Three: Now begin to state clearly to yourself using your internal dialogue the scene that is around you. Use statements that affirm what you are visualising and include the fact that you are seeing and visualising these things within your statements:
For example “I now picture the trees being blown slightly by the breeze” “I notice the green colour of the leaves of the trees” “I am imagining the trees to be 20 metres away from me” “I am visualising the trees to be in a group, clustered together”
The above was fairly tree-centred. However, you can then move on to other facets and aspects of the scene around you, just stating and repeating that you are seeing XYZ happening and that you watch ABC in detail.
When you have done this for the entire scene, then move on to the next step.
Step Four: Now think of some desired outcome that you have for yourself in your life. Perhaps it is a health and fitness outcome, or something to do with your work or aspirations or family. Whatever kind of desired outcome you have, start to have a think about yourself successfully taking the actions required and start to think of that target situation. As you imagine and visualise the scene with you in it, doing that successful outcome, again, start to use your cognitions to affirm your visualised scene:
For example; “I now picture myself confidently presenting in a meeting.” “I see myself in that situation making healthier food choices.” And so on.
While you repeat these statements, let your internal dialogue be calming, soothing and enjoyable. Let it enhance your relaxation as you do this. Remember that remaining relaxed and positive throughout, with a peace of mind is important to help you develop proficiency with this.
Then move on to the next step.
Step Five: As you continue to describe what you see, using your cognitions to keep your mind focused, repeat those cognitions and statements over and over and gently. Keep telling yourself that you can see more detail and picture things more vividly as you focus upon it and as you use your cognitions.
Step Six: When you have practiced and repeated the cognitions for this scene to the best of your ability, then take a couple of nice big deep energising breaths, wiggle your toes and fingers and come out of this session.
This depends on repetition for your visualisation to get better. If you practiced this process a couple of times a day for a couple of weeks, you’ll start to notice distinct results with your own visualisation skills within self-hypnosis and those of you that are hypnosis professionals can of course use this process and instruct your clients to use their own cognitions throughout hypnosis sessions if they ever struggle to visualise in therapy.
Ok, the Olympic Torch mania is coming to Bournemouth today and I’ll be off to wave and cheer as it moves past our road. Have a great weekend, I’ll be back next week.
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. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.