You’re about to discover how to use self hypnosis for anxiety. But first, we need to cover some basics
The good news is it’s not a hard skill to master.
The bad news? You’ll need to find some time to practice a little bit every day. 10 to 20 minutes a day is all you need to see some great improvement.
First things first, what is self-hypnosis?
The easiest answer is it’s the process of inducing a hypnotic trance in yourself. A hypnotic trance that will allow you to plant seeds. What kind of seeds? Idea seeds. Ideas that will grow into healthy and positive habits and thoughts.
While self hypnosis for anxiety is effective…sometimes it’s quicker to hire a hypnotist who specializes in hypnosis for anxiety.
NOTE: Make sure to practice self hypnosis for anxiety reduction as much as possible. The more you practice the more you’ll find yourself able to handle damn near any situation.
Keep in mind there are countless ways to use self hypnosis for anxiety. For the self-hypnosis techniques that use hypnotic suggestions, I’d recommend creating those suggestions ahead of time.
4 little known secrets to creating power self hypnosis suggestions
Take a moment and think about what your ideal outcome / goal is in regards to your anxiety. Think of a hypnotic suggestion as a narrative or a story of a really good movie. You want a hypnotic suggestion that will convey a complete story to your subconscious.
Self hypnosis secret #1 Hypnotic suggestions need to be phrased in the positive.
“I’m a calm person that handles situations with ease”
In other words, focus on what you want. Don’t focus on what you don’t want.
Don’t do this – “I don’t want to be nervous in social situations”.
Do this – “I feel calm in social situations”
Self hypnosis secret #2 Your hypnotic suggestions should be achievable and attainable by you.
By this, we mean it should something you can directly control. Think of it this way – you have more control over your emotions…versus controlling how people react to you. Or even controlling a situation.
Don’t do this – “People like to talk to me”
Do this – “I’m comfortable and confident when I’m talking to people”
Self Hypnosis secret #3 Deliver hypnotic suggestions like you mean it.
It won’t help to tell yourself “I’m a calm and confident person” in an anxious voice. You’ll do more harm than good.
So a good rule of thumb is to only practice self hypnosis when you’re ready. And when you can safely mentally detach.
If you’re in a bad mood, don’t practice any self hypnosis for anxiety techniques. These techniques are designed to give you the most bang for your buck over time.
Self Hypnosis secret #4 Use self hypnosis to master self hypnosis.
This might sound like a no-brainer. But it took me a long time to learn this. Start practicing self-hypnosis with the intention that you’re doing it to become better at self-hypnosis.
“I’m practicing self-hypnosis to master the power of self-hypnosis in my life.”
“The more I practice self-hypnosis the better I get at self-hypnosis”
“Every time I practice self hypnosis I go deeper and deeper…and I become better and better at self-hypnosis.”
You don’t have to use self hypnosis to get better at self hypnosis. You can jump right into using self hypnosis for anxiety if you want.
Self hypnosis for anxiety technique # 1 – The Safe Place
Step 1) Find a comfortable and spot to sit in. A distraction free environment (or as much as you can get) is a great way to relax.
Step 2) Close your eyes and breath deeply. Take a minutes to breath in deeply and rhythmically. A good practice is to breath in for the count of 4. Pause for a second. Then exhale for the count of 4.
Step 3) Go somewhere pleasant in your imagination. Your imagination is powerful! So use it to your advantage. Imagine going to some place you find pleasant, peaceful or comfortable.
This place doesn’t have to be a real place. It can be a complete figment of your imagintation. Just go to some place that helps you to mentally unwind and relax.
As you engage in this place, imagine the colors and sights to get even brighter. Imagine the sounds getting louder. Doing this will increase these pleasant feelings.
Step 4) Fire up all of your sense’s. Is this a pleasant memory from your childhood? Imagine you can smell, hear and feel what was happening at the time.
Your imagination takes you to a pleasant beach? Imagine you can feel the sand between your toes. Feel the ocean breeze on your skin. And feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.
Next imagine seeing what you would see at the beach. Perhaps you can see the waves gently washing up towards the shore. Maybe seeing a palm tree blowing in the breeze.
Step 4) Use a hypnotic suggestion. A hypnotic suggestion, sometimes known as an affirmation, is powerful.
It’s a way to dictate to your subconscious how you want to be.
“I’m a calm person that handles situations with ease”
“I’m a calm and confident person.”
“I feel safe and calm in situations that used to bother me.”
You might want to think of some hypnotic suggestions to use before hand. Most important – phrase the suggestion in the positive. Focus on what you want vs what you don’t want.
Ex – “I feel safe and calm” vs “I don’t want to be nervous”
Self hypnosis technique # 2 – Leaves On A Stream
The next self hypnosis technique works like gangbusters! It’s a mindfulness exercise from ACT (Acceptance And Committment Therapy). ACT gives us a mindfulness exercise known as cognitive defusion.
Cognitive defusion is a fancy way of saying we’re unhooking ourselves from negative thoughts and emotions. Its the ability to see a thought for what it is. A thought and nothing more.
A lot of anxiety comes from buying into our thoughts. Use this technique every day to help unhook from anxious thoughts.
Step 1) Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes, and imagine you’re sitting next to a gentle flowing stream. On this stream, imagine you can see leaves floating along the surface. Observe these leaves floating by for a few moments.
Step 2) Place any thought that enters your mind onto a leaf floating by. Just observe this leaf floating away with this thought on it.
Do this with every thought that enters your mind. It doesn’t matter if it’s a positive, painful or neutral thought.
Step 3) If your thoughts stop? Continue to watch the leafs floating down the river. Sooner or later your thoughts might start up again. If thoughts pop back into your mind, simply place them on a leaf floating by.
Step 4) Allow this stream to do what it does. Don’t try to speed it up or rush any leafs along. You’re not trying to get rid of any thoughts. You’re just allowing them to come and go.
Step 5) If you get any negative thoughts like “this sucks,”, “I’m doing something wrong,” or “I’m bored”? Just place these thoughts on leaves floating by.
Step 6) If you find a leaf getting stuck, don’t do anything with it. Allow this leaf to hang around until it’s ready to float down the river.
Step 7) If a painful emotion comes up, simply acknowledge it. You can say to yourself “I notice I’m having having a feeling of sadness”. Or whatever the feeling is. Next imagine placing this thought & feeling on a leaf floating by.
Step 8) If you get distracted by any thoughts, realize this is normal. Just bring yourself back to the exercise and watch the leaves float by.
After you’ve done this exercise for a few minutes allow the river / stream to slowly vanish. Then open your eyes back up.
Leaves on a stream is hands down one of my favorite self hypnosis for anxiety techniques. This technique, with daily practice, can help you to wrangle in those anxious and racing thoughts.
Seriously, I’d recommend starting off with the leaves on a stream self hypnosis exercise.
And last but not least…
Self hypnosis technique # 3 – The Betty Erickson method
Betty Erickson was married to the legendary hypnotherapist Milton Erickson.
Step 1) State how long you’d like to do self-hypnosis for. And what you’d like to accomplish with it.
Ex – “I’m doing self hypnosis for 20 minutes to become even more of a calm and confident person.”
Step 2) Mentally tell yourself 3 things you can see with your eyes. Do this nice and slowly.
Ex “I can see my wallet on my desk…I can see my chest moving up and down...I can see the light on my ceiling.”
Step 3) Now tell yourself 3 things you can hear. Once again, do this slowly.
Ex “I can hear the wind outside my window…I can hear kids playing off in the distance…I can hear the sound of me breathing in and out.”
Step 4) Finally, tell yourself 3 things you can feel. And again, take your time. No need to rush.
Ex “I can feel my feet touching the ground…I can feel the chair below me…I can feel my shirt touching my skin.”
Step 5) Next tell yourself two things you can see. Then two things you can hear. Then two things you can feel. Finally tell yourself 1 thing you can see, one thing you can hear, and one thing you can feel.
Step 6) You’ve got two options here. You can either repeat hypnotic suggestions to achieve your goal. Or you can just trust your subconscious knows how to make these necessary changes.
A quick recap – tell yourself:
- 3 things you can see, then 3 things you can hear, and then 3 things you can feel.
- 2 things you can see, then 2 things you can hear, and then 2 things you can feel.
- 1 thing you can see, then 1 thing you can hear, and 1 thing you can feel.
- Close your eyes
- Tell yourself 3 things you can see in your minds eye. Then 3 things you can hear. And then 3 things you can feel
- Then 2 things you can see in your minds eye. Then 2 things you can hear. And then 2 things you can feel.
- Finally 1 thing you can see in your minds eye. 1 thing you can hear. And 1 thing you can feel.
- Repeat hypnotic suggestions to achieve your goal or allow your subconscious to do the work on it’s own.