Many people have seen hypnosis on the TV and associate it with people doing things beyond their control. This type of hypnosis uses a lot of suggestion and a certain amount of trickery to work and, only works on a small proportion of the population.
When we use hypnosis as a therapeutic tool, we are talking really about hypnosis that is similar to being absorbed in a really good book. It is a calm and relaxed focus that allows us to calm the mind and the body so that we can start to train the mind to think differently.
This is particularly useful with issues such as anxiety because it can help combat the overactive mind and physical issues that come with anxiety.
Self-hypnosis is hypnosis that you can do on your own, you don’t need a therapist or an mp3 to talk you through it. There are loads of benefits to this approach but the main one is that you can take control over how you think and feel without the need for loads of therapy sessions.
Learning self-hypnosis does take some practice which is why the Learn Self-Hypnosis online course has broken the steps down so that you can practice them at your own speed.
These two approaches are very popular ways for people to learn how to manage anxiety, there are now loads of apps available that can offer guided mindfulness and often the language and techniques used are very similar, if not the same as hypnosis.
There is some evidence that both approaches use the same areas of the brain, specifically in areas associated with focus and attention, however the neuroscience in this area is still ongoing.
From a personal point of view, and a some one who uses both mindfulness and self-hypnosis, the experience of the two can be different.
I tend to use mindfulness for relaxation and to dissipate feelings of stress or anxiety and self-hypnosis for more therapeutic exercises such as visualisation, self-motivation, building resilience and improving confidence.
Self-hypnosis is much more goal oriented as generally speaking we do self-hypnosis to improve or prepare for something. Mindfulness is much more about the present moment and not thinking about the past or future.
Both approaches I find to be really effective and they both work really well together as part of an overall mental health support and wellness strategy.
A lot of the scientists who research hypnosis and self-hypnosis argue that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. This is because it is not possible to hypnotise someone unless they want to be hypnotised and are engaged in the process. Even when I am with clients, I can’t control what happens in their mind. I make suggestions and it is up to the client to go along with them in their head.
The difference between learning self-hypnosis and having sessions with a hypnotherapist are that there is more guidance from the therapist as to what suggestions would be beneficial to your problem and can give instructions on how to make those changes.
Any good hypnotherapist will teach you self-hypnosis after a few sessions anyway so that you don’t need constant support from a therapist to help with difficulties that come up in your life, for the rest of your life.
Self-hypnosis does take a little more discipline as it is a little easier to have someone talk you through what you need to do while you do it.
This is why I have created my Learn Hypnosis Online course because it takes you through each simple step one at a time so that you can learn self-hypnosis in a really easy way.
Ultimately if you feel that you would need more support then sessions with a therapist will be more beneficial to you.
The benefit of self-hypnosis is that it is a skill that you can learn and then use in whatever way best suits you personally. On a personal note, I have used self-hypnosis to overcome negative thinking about myself, control the uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety and to build self-confidence. All of those outcomes have had a huge impact on my life and the things that I am able to do.
There has been some research into self-hypnosis with Richardson and colleagues (2006) stating: “Children can be taught self-hypnosis because this has the potential to facilitate self-management of symptoms, thus providing a sense of self-efficacy and mastery over pain and distress. Active participation in one’s own care has been shown to have an additional beneficial therapeutic effect in paediatric cancer patients.”
This is a very specific example, but it seems that the effectiveness of self-hypnosis is related to the amount of control that a person feels they have over the issues they are facing. When we are talking about anxiety, often the anxiety is caused by a feeling of not being able to cope in certain situations for example in social settings for someone that has social anxiety disorder. When I teach a client how to take control of these issues then their self-belief improves and therefore so does their ability to cope in the situation.
Like all therapeutic interventions, there will be some people who dislike the approach and therefore don’t see the benefits. However, self-hypnosis is a skill that anyone can learn and benefit from.
The way we think has a huge impact on our mental health. If you are looking to overcome your anxiety or just improve your mental health then first you need to know what thoughts are making things worse.
This download gives you a list of the most common ways we think negatively. All you need to do is see which ones you do most.
Also, keep an eye on your emails! I will be sending you a really useful video that goes with this exercise.