hypnosis for stress

If you are alive you have stress in your life. It is every bit as certain as death and taxes.  Stress is a normal part of life, but for some individuals, stress can become so severe that it creates serious physical and emotional health issues. Regardless of the degree of stress, the better we learn to manage it and reduce it, the better off we are. And self-hypnosis can be an easy and effective way to do just that.

While you can go to a hypnotherapist for a session or order hypnosis CDs for stress management, it is also fairly easy to learn some self-hypnosis techniques in order to deal with the stress in your life more effectively. There is nothing magical or mystical about it. Considering one of the primary tenets of hypnosis is that you must get into a deeply relaxed state, hypnosis makes perfect sense as a means to both reduce and manage stress. Doing it yourself also makes it very practical in that you can fit it easily into your schedule. Not to mention, self-hypnosis is free!

When you are experiencing stress, your body is releasing hormones such as cortisol which can have detrimental effects on your health over time. Relaxation can help reduce this release, thus benefitting you physically in many ways. By taking a few minutes daily or several times a week to use self-hypnosis, you can significantly reduce the negative effects of stress in your life. 

The steps to self-hypnosis are really very easy. The first thing you want to do is determine if you are going to use affirmations during your self-hypnosis session. It is best if you create and write these down beforehand, as you don’t want to try to come up with them once you have become relaxed and are ready to use them. It can also be beneficial to set a goal for the session. For example, if one of the stressors in your life is that you don’t allow yourself enough time for various tasks, you may want to create an affirmation to use such as, “I always allow plenty of time for every task” or “I complete every task quickly and efficiently”. 

After you have decided on your affirmations and set your goal, you want to find a quiet, comfortable place where you won’t be distracted by things such as the telephone or other people. Get in a comfortable position which will allow you to relax easily. Generally it is best to sit, because it is very easy to fall asleep if you lay down for this, especially if you are tired!    

In order for hypnosis to be effective, you need to become deeply relaxed. One of the best ways to do this is to close your eyes and start with some slow, deep breathing. You can begin making suggestive statements to yourself such as “I am becoming increasingly relaxed with each breath” or “I feel the tension leaving every muscle in my body as I relax”. Continue breathing deeply and slowly. It can help to systematically focus on each muscle group in your body and relax one after the other. Also, while you are breathing, visualize the stress leaving your body. 

Imagery can be very useful in self-hypnosis. You may want to picture a place you love which you associate with positive feelings and relaxation, such as a sandy beach, or a quiet garden filled with flowers.  Imagine that you are in this quiet, tranquil place. After several minutes of doing these things you should be very relaxed. 

Now that you are relaxed, begin to repeat the affirmation or affirmations that you created specifically for this session. If you did not choose to use affirmations, you can picture yourself as happy, relaxed and free of stress. Focus on this picture or the affirmations. Some people find that it can be very helpful to tape their voice saying both the relaxation statements as well as the affirmations. This will allow you to just listen and focus on the sound of your voice, just as you would if you were in a session with a hypnotherapist.

You can experiment with different things to enhance your self-hypnosis session. You may try doing it in different places, or in a different position. You may try to listen to soft music or just have silence.  Don’t expect instant changes, as the results can often be subtle. But if you engage in self-hypnosis on a regular basis you will definitely find that it has a positive impact on your stress and overall sense of well-being.