If the word ‘hypnosis’ conjures up images of a tourist clucking like a chicken on a Vegas stage, it’s time to reassess.
The truth of the matter is that your unconscious mind won’t consent to behavior that is unacceptable to your conscious mind - sort of makes you wonder about those clucking tourists.
A second truth – you can be your own hypnotist. So, unless you tell yourself to cluck (and you harbor a secret but conscious desire to make a fool of yourself), your safe from chickenhood. Instead, you can use self-hypnosis to relax or help achieve your personal goals.
The procedure of self-hypnosis usually begins with an induction suggesting heaviness of the eyes, deeper and deeper relaxation and a countdown from ten to zero or one hundred to zero. Stay flexible. This is about YOU. Adding your own innovations or developing your own format is fine.
Look upward. When you do so, the natural tendency is for your eyes to close. If they don’t – assume some resistance to the exercise is taking place. Explore the reasons why. After a few minutes, if your eyes aren’t heavy enough to close naturally, close them.
After you become as relaxed as you want to be, make suggestions to yourself related to your needs and goals. Visualize yourself in the act of accomplishing these goals. A golfer might visualize his perfect swing and his ball landing on the fairway. A test-taker with high anxiety might visualize herself calmly and successfully completing her exam. A smoker might see himself taking a walk after a meal instead of lighting a cigarette. Picture the details, engage the senses – the smell of fresh grass, the sound of a pencil writing on paper or the feeling of clean air filling your lungs.
Before you bring the exercise to a close, remember to suggest that each time you do the exercise you will become more deeply relaxed. Select a few keywords – “more and more relaxed” or “heavier and heavier”.
Finally, tell yourself to return to an alert state of consciousness, refreshed and fully energized. Count upward from one to three and be glad you’re not a chicken!