How To: Self-Hypnotize

By Contributing Writer

by: Sophia Coleman, Contributing Writer

Most people have heard of hypnosis through Hollywood theatrics, but true hypnotism involves an altered, heightened state of mind, resulting in a powerful technique for effecting change.

As spring semester concludes, students will be looking for a way to focus and remain calm throughout summer. Rather than suffer through a late-night study session or guzzle energy drinks minutes before class, students can use self-hypnosis as an effective way to relax. Rebecca Lauer, a hypnotherapist at Hypnosis Chicago, 233 E. Erie St., conducts sessions for clients on issues ranging from stress to drug abuse.

“Hypnosis is a technique that gives you more control over your mind, allowing you to more quickly manifest your goals,” Lauer said.

People go through light states of hypnosis throughout the day, such as daydreaming, according to Lauer.

She defines self-hypnosis as “asking the conscious mind to step aside, so we can speak to the subconscious.” This can be achieved by following five simple steps.

1. Choose your goal

“Whether you want to alleviate test-anxiety, weight loss or quit smoking, you must focus on one thing because hypnosis works best when you keep it simple,” she said.

Lauer recommends thinking about something to accomplish. Pick out one goal and think about it from all aspects. Determine if it is for personal gain or someone else’s. Make sure it’s realistic and healthy.

2. Privacy is key

Find a place to be alone for 10 to 15 minutes. The eyes must be closed. Relax and imagine a space to feel safe and free. The best time to do this may be when waking up or before bed

“You might imagine a beach where you would see the colors of the sand and water, hear the waves crashing on the shore and  feel the heat of the sun upon your face,” Lauer said.

Experience the scene you imagined until a feeling of relaxation or numbness occurs, then move onto the next step.

3. Give affirmation

“Use success in one area and transfer it to another,” Lauer said. “You might say to yourself, ‘I aced that test’ or ‘I now weigh 121 pounds,’ Whatever your goal is. You use simple positive reinforcement to encourage your mind to accept these goals.”

According to Lauer, don’t say things like, “I no longer smoke” because the subconscious mind doesn’t understand “no.”

“See yourself wearing those skinny jeans, exercising, passing the test, landing a great new job or giving a great presentation,” Lauer said.

4. Forget about it

After coming out of a trance, don’t expect immediate change.

“Don’t look for results because it’s like watching the pot boil,” Lauer said. “It takes time for the subconscious mind to grasp a concept you are implementing.”

5. Be consistent and persistent

Even if the results don’t come right away, keep at it.

“With some people, the mind needs to hear it over and over again before it starts to believe it.” Lauer said. According to her, the suggestions

created through hypnotherapy on a daily basis should be reinforced for a month until the new behavior has solidified and seems natural and normal.