Hypnotize Yourself Right Now!
I want to show you a really interesting technique to hypnotize yourself. It is known as the Betty Erickson technique as she devised it to hypnotize yourself. Betty’s husband Milton Erickson is someone I have referred to on several occasions in my work as a renowned hynotherapist and psychiatrist and someone whose work seems to hypnotize me all the time. This technique to hypnotize yourself is entirely attributed to her.
Hypnotize Yourself Betty Erickson Method:
This method to hypnotize yourself is based on the following premises and ideologies. While there are a number of counter-examples to these notions, they will be of value in understanding and utilizing this method to hypnotize yourself.
We think our thoughts in pictures, sounds and feelings.
When we think in pictures we refer to the external things we see and the internal images that we create. This includes remembered images (“What does your bedroom look like?”), constructed images (“What would it look like if it were redecorated?”), as well as the actual, real things we see about us.
When we think in sounds these are the things we hear and the internal sounds that we create. This includes remembered words or sounds (“Think of your favourite pop song”), imagined words or sounds (“Imagine that song being sung by someone else”), and also includes your internal dialogue as well as all of the real, actual, live sounds around us.
Thirdly, are the things we feel. These can be actual physical sensations or imagined ones. Can you imagine being at the seaside and paddling in the cool sea?
Most of us use one of these ways of thinking more than the others; though we each use all three of them. Since this is usually the case, an individual who “thinks” in images wouldn’t hypnotize themselves the best simply by visualising.
Stereotypical images of hypnotists holding watches or other fixation devices for clients to stare at are the result of much misunderstanding about hypnosis. I for one have long ago banished my velveteen smoking jacket and watch on a chain for more modern methods of hypnotic induction! The experience of hypnosis is typically an inwardly focused one in which we move away from the environment around us and turn our attention inward. This technique to hypnotize yourself is doing that even more.
Hypnotize Yourself Technique:
Step 1: Find a comfortable position and get your self relaxed and settled. Get into a position that you will be able to maintain easily for the time you are going to hypnotize yourself. It can be sitting or lying down, though sitting is recommended to prevent you from falling asleep. Get yourself centred, just looking in front of you and breathing slowly and easily. Let yourself relax.
Step 2: Think about the length of time that you intend to spend in this state and make a statement to yourself about it such as “I am going hypnotize myself for 20 minutes … ” (or however long you want) You will be delighted to discover how well you “internal clock” can keep track of the time for you.
Step 3: What would you like to get out of this? Make a statement to yourself about the reason you want to hypnotize yourself. In this process, you allow your unconscious mind to work on an issue rather than giving suggestions throughout, (that is another technique) so our purpose statement should reflect that fact. Here’s how I recommend you phrase it to yourself : ” I am going to hypnotize myself for the purpose of allowing my unconscious mind to make the adjustments that are appropriate to assist me in Filling in the blank with what you want to achieve such as “developing more confidence in social situations.” The actual words aren’t nearly as important as the fact your statement acknowledges that you are turning this process over to your unconscious mind.
Step 4: Looking in front of you, notice three things, one at a time, that you see. Go slowly, pausing for a moment on each. It is preferable that they be small things, such as a spot on the wall, a doorknob, the corner of a picture frame, etc. Some people like to name the items as they look at them – “I see the hinge on the door frame”.
Step 5: Now turn your attention to your auditory channel and notice, one by one, three things that you hear. (You will notice that this allows you to incorporate sounds that occur in the environment rather than being distracted by them.)
Step 6: Next, attend to your feelings and notice three sensations that you can feel right now. Again, go slowly from one to the next. It is useful to use sensations that usually are outside of your awareness, such as the weight of your glasses, the feeling of your wrist watch, the texture of your shirt on your body, etc.
Step 7: Continue the process using two Visuals, then two auditories and then two kinaesthetics. Then, in the same manner, continue (slowly) with one of each.
You have now completed the “external” portion of the process to hypnotize yourself. Now it’s time to begin the “internal” part.
Step 8: Now close your eyes. Now, bring an image into your mind. Don’t work too hard at this; this is fun, remember? You can construct an image or simply take what comes. It may be a point of light, it may be a beautiful beach, or it could be your car or an apple. I shall not scare you with the ideas that randomly pop into my mind. If something comes to you, just use it. If nothing comes, feel free to put something in your mind.
Step 9: Pause and let a sound come into your awareness or generate one and name it. Although this is technically the internal part, if you should hear a sound outside or in the room with you, it is OK to use that. Remember that the idea is to incorporate things that you experience rather than being distracted by them. Typically, in the absence of environmental sounds; I often imagine hearing whooping hallelujahs from a gospel choir; don’t ask me why, that just happens in my mind.
Step 10: Become aware of a feeling and name it. It is preferable to do this internally – use your imagination. (I feel the warmth of the sun on my face) However, as with the auditory, if you actually have a physical sensation that gets your attention, use that.
Repeat the process with two images, then two sounds, then two feelings. Repeat the cycle once again using three images, three sounds, and three feelings.
Then to complete the process, open your eyes when your alloted time is up – It is not unusual to feel a little bit “spaced out” or wander off somewhat. At first some people think that they have fallen asleep. But generally you will find yourself coming back automatically at the end of the allotted time that you set before you chose to hypnotize yourself. Trust that you weren’t sleeping and that your unconscious mind was doing what you asked of it.
Many people don’t get all the way through the process. That’s perfectly all right. If you should complete the process before the time has ended, just continue with 4 images, sounds, feelings, then 5 and so on. It is a simple way of just getting you acquainted with how to hypnotize yourself.