We are creatures of habit — otherwise, we would not be able to get through the day. The skill of driving is one such habit. Walking, talking and typing without looking at the keys are others. Our habits are created and stored in the subconscious area of our mind. Some habits benefit us, others don’t. Self-hypnosis is one way we communicate with our subconscious, to change a habit without the sometimes torturous use of willpower, that it may take to stop smoking, stick to a diet, conquer an emotion — we have all been there.
You can use self-hypnosis to improve what’s already in your life, such as negative feelings and thoughts about yourself, someone else, or a cautious situation. You can create a new habit — exercising, smiling more, being punctual, you name it. It’s easier than you think. Here’s how to do it. I’ve chosen, for an example, starting an exercise regime.
Prepare an affirmation that states what you want to do. In this case, for an exercise regime you could say: “I really like my exercise sessions every day. I get in better shape each and every day.” Keep your affirmation short, simple and positive. It’s important not to use any negative words, such as “won’t,” “can’t,” “don’t,” or “not.” Your subconscious doesn’t “recognize” these words, and you could end up producing the opposite effect! The next step involves a short meditation.
1. When you have 20 to 30 minutes to yourself, sit comfortably (or lie down if you won’t fall asleep), close your eyes, and relax different parts of your body, one at a time. For example, focus on your left foot, and mentally say, “relax.” Move on to the right foot, right leg, left leg, and on up, saying, “relax” each time. By the time you have completed relaxing your entire body, you will feel quite peaceful and ready to program (or reprogram) a habit.
2. Now repeat your affirmation, and as you do so, imagine yourself working out, feeling good, and looking good. Continue this visualization for as long as you like. When you are done, wait a minute or two and then slowly open your eyes.
Your new “programming,” needs to be reinforced, for it to become a solid habit. Repeat your affirmation and visualization practice followed by your exercise session for numerous days, so that it begins to feel like a habit. The self-hypnosis practice and the exercise routine can be as long or as short as you like.
When reinforcing a new habit, repetition is key until it is running on autopilot. And that way, you’ll miss it when you don’t do it.
You can apply this technique of self-hypnosis for most things. When it comes to a bad habit, I have always found more success in creating a new habit rather than changing what’s there. In time, the new habit will supersede the old one.
Now that you know what to do, I’m sure you can think of plenty of ways to put self-hypnosis to good use.