Right Now, Hypnotize Yourself: Ten Easy Steps

Right Now, Hypnotize Yourself!

I’d like to demonstrate an extremely interesting technique for self-hypnosis. It is referred to as the Betty Erickson technique because she invented it for self-hypnosis. Milton Erickson, Betty’s husband, is someone I have referred to several times in my work as a renowned hypnotherapist and psychiatrist, and someone whose work constantly hypnotizes me. This method of self-hypnosis is entirely credited to her.
Self-hypnosis Betty Erickson Method:

This self-hypnosis technique is predicated on the following premises and ideologies. While there are numerous counter-examples to these concepts, they will aid in comprehending and utilizing this method of self-hypnosis.

Our thoughts take the form of images, sounds, and feelings.

When we think in terms of images, we are referring to both the external objects we observe and the internal images we create. This includes recalled images (“How does your bedroom look?”), constructed images (“How would it look if it were redecorated?”), and the actual, physical objects we see around us.

When we think in terms of sounds, we are referring to the external sounds we hear and the internal sounds we create. This includes remembered words or sounds (“Consider your favorite pop song”), imagined words or sounds (“Consider that song being sung by someone else”), as well as internal dialogue and all of the real, actual, live sounds around us.

Thirdly, there are the emotions. These can be real or imagined physical sensations. Can you picture yourself at the beach, paddling in the cool sea?

The majority of us employ one of these modes of thought more frequently than the others, though we all employ all three. As this is frequently the case, an individual who “thinks” in images would not be the best candidate for self-hypnosis simply by visualizing.

Stereotypical images of hypnotists holding watches or other fixation devices for clients to stare at are a result of widespread misconceptions about hypnosis. I, for one, have long since abandoned my velveteen smoking jacket and chained watch in favor of more modern hypnotic induction techniques! Hypnosis is typically an inwardly focused experience in which we withdraw our attention from the external environment and direct it inward. This self-hypnosis technique amplifies that effect.

Self-hypnosis Technique:

Step 1: Settle into a comfortable position and allow yourself to become relaxed and centered. Assume a position that you will be able to maintain for the duration of the hypnosis session. It can be done while sitting or lying down, but sitting is recommended to avoid falling asleep. Become centered by simply looking ahead and breathing slowly and easily. Allow yourself to unwind.

Step 2: Determine the duration of your stay in this state and make a statement to yourself, such as “I am going to hypnotize myself for 20 minutes…” (or as long as you like) You will be amazed at how well your “internal clock” can keep track of time for you.

Step 3: What do you hope to gain from this? Make a statement to yourself about why you wish to self-hypnotize. Allowing your unconscious mind to work on an issue rather than providing suggestions throughout (another technique) means that our purpose statement should reflect that fact. This is how I recommend you phrase it: “I’m going to hypnotize myself in order to allow my subconscious mind to make the necessary adjustments to assist me in .”

Fill in the blank with your desired outcome, such as “increased confidence in social situations.” The actual words are insignificant in comparison to the fact that your statement acknowledges that you are delegating this task to your unconscious mind.

Step 4: Observe three things in front of you, one at a time. Proceed slowly, pausing for a brief moment between each. It is preferable if they are small items, such as a small patch of wall, a doorknob, or the corner of a picture frame. Certain individuals enjoy naming objects as they observe them – “I see the hinge on the door frame.”

Step 5: Now shift your attention to your auditory channel and take note of three things you hear one by one. (You’ll notice that this enables you to incorporate ambient sounds rather than being distracted by them.)

Step 6: Next, pay attention to your feelings and three sensations that you are currently experiencing. Proceed cautiously from one to the next. It’s beneficial to use sensations that are normally unnoticed, such as the weight of your glasses, the feel of your wrist watch, the texture of your shirt against your body, and so on.

Step 7: Repeat the procedure with two visuals, two auditories, and finally two kinaesthetics. Then, in the same manner, add one of each (slowly).

You have now completed the “external” phase of the self-hypnosis process. Now we’ll begin the “internal” section.
Step 8: At this point, close your eyes. Now, visualize something. Avoid putting too much effort into this; this is supposed to be fun, remember? You can create an image or simply accept what is presented. It could be a single point of light, a beautiful beach, or even your car or an apple. I will not scare you with random thoughts that cross my mind. If something occurs to you, act on it immediately. If nothing comes to mind, feel free to conjure something up.

Step 9: Take a moment to pause and allow a sound to enter your awareness, or create one and name it. Although this is technically the internal part, it is acceptable to use it if you hear a sound outside or in the room with you. Bear in mind that the goal is to incorporate your experiences rather than to be distracted by them. Typically, in the absence of environmental sounds, I imagine myself hearing a gospel choir singing whooping hallelujahs; don’t ask me why; it just happens in my mind.

Step 10: Recognize and name an emotion. Internally, this is preferable – use your imagination. (I feel the sun’s warmth on my face) However, as with the auditory sense, if you have a physical sensation that draws your attention, use it.

Rep with two images, then two sounds, and finally two feelings. Rep the cycle with three new images, three new sounds, and three new feelings.

Then, when your allotted time has passed, open your eyes – it is not uncommon to feel a little “spaced out” or to wander off somewhat. At first, some individuals believe they have dozed off. However, you will generally find yourself returning automatically at the end of the time period you specified before choosing to hypnotize yourself. Believe that you were not sleeping and that your unconscious mind was responding to your commands.

Many people do not complete the process. That is perfectly acceptable. If you are unable to complete the process within the allotted time, simply continue with four images, sounds, and feelings, then five, and so on. It’s a simple way to familiarize yourself with self-hypnosis.