For something that can be learnt so quickly, self-hypnosis has a huge number of benefits. Some of these come with self-hypnosis almost by default, while others require additional work to learn how to do them. These benefits range from easy things like reduced stress and better concentration through to pain management, better sleep, weight loss and more.
Self-hypnosis can be used to help with just about anything that a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner can help with. If you’ve ever seen a typical hypnotherapy website, you’ll know that this is a long list.
Take control of your mind with self-hypnosis
Regardless of whether we can’t stop thinking when we want to sleep at night, or we’re finding ourselves constantly distracted when we should be studying for an exam, most of us have had the experience of our thoughts going anywhere but where we’d like them to be.
This happens because when we don’t know what drives our thoughts, it can be difficult to control them.
Not only that, but a lot of our thoughts are driven by unconscious emotional processes rather than by logic. This can lead to all sorts of undesirable outcomes.
One of the skills you’ll gain when you learn self-hypnosis is the ability to take better control of your own thoughts.
Will you be able to control everything? Nope. That takes practice. And even when you get good, you still have to remember to do it.
Luckily a lot of that remembering can become automatic.
If you’d like to know more about how to take control of your mind, you might enjoy my article on How to Stop Thinking About Something That Bothers You.
Use self-hypnosis to become calmer
With everything the world throws at us these days, it’s become almost normal for people to be less than calm.
One of the huge benefits you get when you learn to hypnotize yourself and practice doing so regularly is that you will automatically become calmer.
This is because the states that we tend to go into when we use self-hypnosis are somewhat calmer, more balanced and more restful than our usual waking states.
There’s a cool feature that our brains have that make it easier for us to stay on track. Specifically, it’s easier for us to think of things that are like the thing we’re currently thinking about. As a result, when we actively do things that cause us to become more calm, it becomes easier for us to be calm at other times.
The end result: When we practice self-hypnosis, an automatic side-effect is that we become calmer overall.
Minimize stress with self-hypnosis
These days most of us constantly experience things that can lead to stress.
And the interesting thing about them is that a lot of that stress is a result of how we choose to respond to a given situation. We often can’t do anything about the things that are happening to us, but we can certainly change how we react.
One of the benefits of self-hypnosis is that it can be used to help us react with intention to the events of our day-to-day lives.
When we start to choose how we react, rather than simply allowing our reactions to be automatic, it becomes easier to be more relaxed.
In fact, one of the simplest hypnosis inductions works by progressively inducing relaxation in every major muscle group in your body.
Even without using a progressive relaxation induction, when we’re in a state of hypnosis, it’s usually easier to move into other associated states. And relaxation is just such a state.
A few months ago I had a minor operation. My doctor gave me some pain medication to take immediately before the follow-up visit, because apparently the stuff they do during the follow-up is too painful without it, and the pain killers take an hour or two to work.
Naturally I completely forgot to take the medication.
So there I am in the medical center and they’re poking around checking that things are healing properly. Suddenly I get this sharp twinge of pain.
I immediately dropped myself into hypnosis, and dissipated the pain. Within less than 3 seconds, that part of me was completely numb.
They continued to poke around checking things for another few minutes.
After the initial twinge, I was pain-free for the rest of the follow-up.
And that’s just a minor, short-term pain.
Hypnotic pain management is so effective that aside from the use of anesthetics during various medical procedures, I have not used any kind of pain medication for over a decade.
Any time I get a headache, I run a simple process that dissipates it in seconds.
Once you know how to hypnotize yourself, it’s relatively easy to learn how to use it to manage pain.
One of the most common reasons that people see a hypnotherapist is to get some help with losing weight.
There are various methods that can be used, ranging from simple suggestions through to the virtual gastric band.
The truth is that physically speaking, all that’s required to lose weight is the consumption of the right type and amount of food to maintain the weight and lifestyle we’d like to have.
Psychologically it’s a different story.
We build habits around eating to the extent that many of us do it automatically.
A lot of us don’t exercise enough, and find that even when we do, it’s easy to stop doing it.
When we notice that we’re overweight, we can decide to go on a diet to lose that weight. This is often doomed to fail.
The key to losing weight and keeping it off lies in changing our lifestyle to match what it will be when we’re at our perfect weight.
When we go on a diet, we can tend to view it as a short term thing that we do to lose weight. In reality, if we want to lose weight and keep it off, what’s required is changing our lifestyle to match that desired weight.
Self-hypnosis can be used to change habits, suppress hunger, and increase and maintain motivation.
Once we understand what has to happen physically in order to lose weight and keep it off, that’s really all that’s needed to achieve it.
Remove fears and phobias
Beyond running our bodies for us, all our brains can really do is associate stuff with other stuff.
If bad things happen, we tend to experience a strong emotional spike. This leads to those memories being much more strongly encoded. And it’s not just the bad thing that’s more strongly encoded. Everything that happened around it becomes attached to it in some way.
Someone is surprised by a dog suddenly barking at them, and their brain automatically encodes that immediate fear response. The surprise intensifies the experience, so it is encoded much more strongly in their memory.
Each time they experience a dog in the future, that pattern fires up and they become more fearful.
It’s a feedback system.
And because of how the system works, we can build phobias and fears around just about anything.
Even things that aren’t even remotely dangerous.
Not only that, but often we can build phobias and fears when we’re children which persist when we become adults.
If at some point in our past we had a strong negative emotional response to something, our brains will try to protect us from that in the future by building a fear around it.
These days most of us live relatively safe lives.
There really aren’t that many things that are immediate threats to our existence.
Which means that most of the fears and phobias we have aren’t really necessary or useful.
Here’s where it gets really fun.
For the most part, these fears and phobias are nothing more than strongly encoded memories and associated automatic response patterns.
It’s possible to use self-hypnosis to go inside our minds and attach those memories to another response.
When we do this, what tends to happen is that the fear or phobia goes away.
While fears and phobias tend to be in the now, anxiety is all about what we think will happen in the future.
The underlying association processes are more-or-less the same as with fears and phobias, which means that since we can use self-hypnosis with fears and phobias, we can also use it to help us overcome anxiety.
The key to making it work is approaching anxiety from a sufficiently dissociated place that we can safely modify it.
Addictions have a psychological component in addition to the physical and chemical components.
For some addictions, such as social media addiction, the entire thing is psychological.
Self-hypnosis can be used to help to overcome the psychological components. With the appropriate techniques, it can also help with coping with any withdrawal symptoms.
There’s a caveat though: If there is any kind of underlying medical or chemical component, always seek medical advice first.
Once a doctor has said it’s okay, self-hypnosis may be used to deconstruct the habits associated with the addiction and replace them with something more useful, while simultaneously changing the perception of any withdrawal symptoms.
Self-hypnosis can help with concentration
Hypnosis is largely driven by where we place our attention.
So when we are hypnotized, we practice placing our attention on different things. If we hypnotize ourselves, this effect can be even more profound.
As with all other things, when you practice something correctly, you tend to get good at it.
The end result of this is that the more you are hypnotized, the more easily you can focus your attention exactly where you’d like it to be.
In order to motivate ourselves to do something, we need to know what we’re doing, and we need to know why it’s important to us.
You might have seen this referred to as goal setting.
Setting the goal is just one part of it though. We also need to have a reason to do it.
When you have an understanding of your own motivational drivers, it’s possible to use self-hypnosis to attach those drivers to the goals that you’d like to achieve.
As an example, if you know that curiosity is important to you, you can frame the steps that are necessary to achieve your goal in terms of discovering new things. On the other hand, if family is important to you, you can frame the end result of the goal in terms of benefit for your family.
Either way, it’s generally much easier to motivate ourselves to do things if we can attach those things to something that’s important to us.
If you’d like to know how to discover your own motivational drivers so that you can start to use them to motivate yourself to achieve your goals, you might enjoy my article 16 Ways to Get Motivated, in which I cover the 16 motivational drivers discovered by Steven Reiss.
Control how much time you perceive
Did you know that the amount of time we perceive is only slightly related to the amount of clock time that actually passes?
Of course you did! It’s why fun things can seem to be over in the blink of an eye, while things we’d rather not be doing can seem to take forever.
Our brains have evolved to give us the best possible chance of surviving, and this is reflected in the amount of time we perceive.
When we’re carrying out a task that we’re good at which is challenging enough to keep us engaged, we move into a flow state. This makes it easier for us to keep ourselves on track and finish the task.
Similarly, if a task is too easy, we perceive lots of time, which leads to boredom. In the absence of external constraints (such as an impending exam), boredom is a survival characteristic since we don’t tend to keep on doing such things.
It turns out that once we know how that works, it’s possible to perceive lots of time while doing the things we enjoy.
There are a few other things that our brains do around our perception of time, and all of them come down to making it easier for us to keep on doing things that increase our chances of survival.
If we’re not in control of our perception of time, we can end up with odd things happening, such as every year seeming shorter than the previous ones as we grow older.
Luckily, once we understand what causes our brains to perceive time in different ways, it’s easy to intentionally modify how much time we perceive.
So if you’d like to explore what is possibly the easiest way to extend your perceived lifetime, you might enjoy my article on How to Distort Time With Time Distortion Hypnosis.
I use the information in that article to make each year seem longer than all the previous ones.
Have you ever had a dream so real that it felt like real life? You know the kind, where you have the full sensory experience and can see, hear and feel things exactly like you do when you’re awake.
Those dreams are driven by our minds, and when we get good at self-hypnosis, it’s possible to create entire hypnotic realities on demand that seem just as real as real life.
Then we can use these hypnotic realities to do just about anything we might choose.
Couple your hypnotic realities with hypnotic time distortion, and it becomes possible to spend very large amounts of time doing just about anything you might choose, all in the blink of an eye!
Imagine taking the vacation of your dreams every night, and still having time to fit in everything else that you do in your everyday life.
If you’d like to know more about how to construct hypnotic realities, I cover a simple process that anyone can use in my book The Self-Hypnosis Formula.
Use self-hypnosis for better sleep
One of the biggest issues facing a lot of people these days is insomnia caused by being unable to stop thinking about the things going on in our lives.
Insomnia has massive flow-on effects into the rest of our lives, since when we’re tired we generally can’t do anything as well as when we’re rested.
Even our ability to sleep well may be impacted by being over-tired.
We can use self-hypnosis to stop those thoughts in their tracks, and then send ourselves to sleep.
If you’d like to know more about how to do that, you might enjoy my article on How to Fall Asleep Even If You Can’t Stop Thinking.
When we look at things the way most people do, the way to become confident at something is to do that thing and be successful at it.
That success then leads to us becoming confident in our abilities.
I’m sure you can see the problem with this.
How on Earth do you do something when you’re not confident?
It turns out that we can use self-hypnosis to help ourselves to look, feel and become more confident before we ever try doing the thing.
If that sounds like something you might like to know about, you might enjoy my article on How to Exude Confidence.
Become more creative
Creativity happens when we mix different things together in new and novel ways.
It is a learnable skill, and an important component of it is forgetting how things were before for long enough that we can discover a new way for things to be.
When you combine creativity with self-hypnosis, it’s possible to massively increase your creativity with relatively little effort.
So if you’d like the exact steps to follow to almost effortlessly become more creative, you might enjoy my article How to Explode Your Creativity.
Become smarter and more empathic
Most people think that intelligence is a fixed quantity. Either you’re smart, or you’re not.
The same is true with things like empathy.
In reality, both are learnable skills.
By the time we can talk, some of us have already started to build a solid grounding in one or both of these kinds of intelligence by simply observing those around us and copying them.
Other than a tiny portion of the population with specific kinds of brain damage, everyone can learn to become smarter and more empathic.
When we study things that involve solving problems, and repeatedly solve different types of problems, we become smarter.
When we practice doing things that lead to creativity, we become more creative.
And when we put ourselves inside other people’s heads to figure out what they might be feeling, we become more empathic.
Self-hypnosis can be used to facilitate each of these.
For example, we can spin up a time-distorted hypnotic reality, and run different problem scenarios inside our heads in record time.
Or we can step into that world as the person whose perspective we’d like to take on. When we take on someone else’s perspective enough, we become more empathic. We can also begin to take on their skills by allowing our unconscious mind to cause us to do and think what they would have done and thought.
Self-hypnosis and meditation are very similar to one another.
We use both to strengthen the links inside our minds, which enables us to think more clearly, be more creative, and generally become better at all the things I’ve mentioned in this article.
In practical terms, it’s easiest to think of self-hypnosis as being the gateway to meditation.
But there’s really no need to distinguish between them at all. Every means of meditating that I’ve come across is a self-hypnosis induction. And once you’re in hypnosis, you can choose to do anything you wish, including meditating.
Since I spend a lot of time pondering the workings of the universe, to me self-hypnosis and meditation are essentially the same thing. The only thing that’s really different is the intent.
Regardless of whether you view them as being the same or different, the fact is that both result in changes to the brain that help to increase focus. And when we’re focused, it’s easier to do just about everything.
Every single one of us dreams just about every night. It’s required for our brains to function correctly.
For most of us, those dreams are experienced as something we have no control over.
As it turns out, it’s possible to learn to take control of your dreams and shape them in any way you might choose.
Once you can do this, your dreams become an extension of your waking life. Except that you’re in a universe over which you have total control.
Lucid dreams can be used to do anything that can be done with self-hypnosis.
All that’s needed to have lucid dreams is a way to wake up inside them, and a way to remember them afterwards. Each of these is easy to learn to do.
Once you have those two skills, self-hypnosis can be used to step directly from being awake to being inside a lucid dream on demand.
If you’d like to know more about how to have lucid dreams and take back some of those hours lost to sleep every night, you might enjoy reading my article How to Have Lucid Dreams next.
Become a better hypnotist
When we’re hypnotizing others, one of the most important things to do is go into hypnosis ourselves first.
This gives our hypnosis subjects something to copy, which can massively increase our results.
With highly responsive subjects, it’s even possible to hypnotize them by doing nothing more than hypnotizing yourself.
You go into hypnosis, and they follow right along.
After all, what could be more compelling than seeing someone else going into the place they want to go?
Beyond that, you can spin up time-distorted hypnotic realities, and then test different hypnosis processes inside your own mind before using them on a subject.
And since the process is driven by the unconscious mind, outcomes inside these hypnotic realities tend to be a reasonably accurate representation of what will happen when we do them on a real, live subject.
The possibilities are endless.
Or at least, if there is an end, I can’t see it yet!
How to hypnotize yourself
That was a lot of stuff.
But it gets better!
In this article we’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with self-hypnosis. At the start, I mentioned that self-hypnosis can be used to do pretty much anything you might see a hypnotherapist or NLP practitioner about.
Before we can do that, we need to know how to hypnotize ourselves.
And naturally, I’ve written an article on that too!
The truth is there are countless ways that you can hypnotize yourself.
And you only need one to get started.
If you’d like to get started with self-hypnosis, you might enjoy reading my article on how to do it next. Inside it, I give a simple process you can follow to induce self-hypnosis, and then I show you how to set things up so that you can get back into self-hypnosis almost instantly any time you might choose.
How instantly you ask?
I use a method essentially the same as the one given in that article to induce self-hypnosis in less than a second. It’s literally a switch inside my mind.
So if you’d like to know how to create your own self-hypnosis switch, go and check out How to Hypnotize Yourself Instantly right now!