Self-Hypnosis Here's a self-hypnosis technique adapted from a Betty Erickson technique.

Betty Erickson is the wife of the late Dr. Milton H. Erickson. I've found it very useful and easy to do. This self hypnosis technique is unique in the it offers a pre-hypnotic suggestion. In other words, you tell yourself what you want to accomplish before you go into the self-induced trance. The External/Internal Self Hypnosis Technique (Betty Erickson's) Get Comfortable - Look forward, breathe slowly and easily, relax. State Your Goal - Tell yourself your purpose in going into self hypnosis. "I am going into a trance for the purpose of _____________ . (Filling in the blank with what you want to achieve.) During this self-hypnosis session my unconscious mind will make the adjustments so that _____________ (Filling in the blank with what you want to achieve) occurs naturally and easily. How To Feel Afterward - Tell yourself how you want to feel when you complete the process and how long you wish to be in a trance, "In twenty minutes, I'm going to feel __________". The Induction - Notice three things (one at a time) that you see. Go slowly, look at each one for a moment. Now pay attention to your auditory channel and notice, one by one, three things that you hear. Next, become aware of your feelings - notice three sensations. Go slowly from one to the next. You can use sensations that normally are outside of your awareness, such as the temperature of your ankle, the feeling of the bottom of your feet, the weight of some piece of clothing, etc. Continue the process using two things you see, then two sounds and then two feelings. Now one visual, one auditory and one kinesthetic. Close your eyes. Picture something. You can make an image up or just let one happen. Pause and "imagine" a sound. Next, imagine a feeling. Repeat the process with two images, then two sounds, then two feelings. Repeat using three images, sounds and feelings. If you don't get all the way through, relax. In fact, it's a sign that you've gone deep enough if you lose track of where you are in the process. Just let your mind wander where it will and trust that your unconscious is carrying out the suggestions you gave it. Allow yourself to come out of trance whenever it feels appropriate. You'll often find that you come out very near the time you suggested. Self Hypnosis and Focusing on your Goal This month we're going to talk about self-hypnosis for relieving anxiety and attaining peak performance. One of the most effective ways to show people the benefits of hypnosis is to use hypnosis for our own benefit. To that end I'll relate an incident where I used self-hypnosis to help me overcome nervousness before a big moment in my life. Recently (I write this in December of 2002) I was asked to appear on a national television show (with over 2 million viewers). As I was sitting in my dressing room waiting to go on I started to get nervous. I began to think about all the people watching and about what could go wrong. My breathing sped up and I started to sweat as my inner dialog descended into a swirling cacophony of "what ifs?" I knew I had to do something to change my state of mind. I had been asked to appear as an expert on phobias. How would it appear if a phobia expert was nervous? One of the most common mistakes people make is to focus on what might go wrong. While there are times when it's good to consider possible roadblocks and dangers; when you're about to do something it's best to focus on what you want to happen. Do this little experiment to find out how important it is...

1. Stand about 1 foot from a bare wall, facing away from it. 2. Put your feet together and tilt your head back until you are looking straight up at the ceiling. 3. Close you eyes and begin concentrating on the thought of falling over backward. Make images in your mind's eye of falling backward and silently repeat "I'm falling backward" over and over. If you can concentrate on this idea strongly enough, you'll find yourself beginning to fall backward! You see, the mind begins to carry out the things you imagine. So what happens if you concentrate on all the things that could start to go wrong? I think you get the point. I wanted to focus my mind on what I wanted to happen - not what might go wrong. I wanted to use hypnosis to make that focus and concentration even more powerful. And since I only had a few minutes I knew it had to be quick! I began to think about what mental and emotional states would help me be my best in this situation. The phrase "wonderfully calm, wonderfully confident, wonderfully effective" sprang to mind. Spontaneously, I decided to use one of my favorite inductions (the Dave Elman induction) to induce trance. I'd never used it as a self-hypnosis induction before but what the heck! In case you're not familiar with this induction, it has five basic components. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Eye Closure Body Relaxation Fractionation Arm-Drop Deepening Suggested Amnesia

Here's a free word-for-word example of a Dave Elman style induction. For a full explanation get my How to Hypnotize video. Even before I started the induction my state began to improve (I had already begun focusing on what I wanted.) Since I've done the Elman induction a number of times and am quite familiar with the steps I went through it very quickly. I then started repeating my "mantra" over and over to myself. I also began to visualize what I looked like when I was calm, confident and effective. At first I "saw myself" being calm, confident and effective. It was as if I was watching myself from a distance. I noticed how I looked, felt and sounded when in those modes. I noticed my posture and breathing when calm, confident and effective. Then I mentally "stepped in" to that image and took on the posture, breathing and internal sensations. Then I imagined myself going through the show feeling those positive sensations. The nervousness I had felt transformed to excitement. I was ready to go! Within a couple of minutes I was sitting down in front of the cameras ready to roll. It's a good thing I had decided to prepare myself because I was thrown several curve balls during the show. The most daunting task was them giving me 10 minutes to work with a woman who had a phobia of snakes so severe that she couldn't even watch TV for fear that she would see a snake by accident. She couldn't eat pasta because it was shaped like a snake! As we headed backstage to do the work my mind was focused on the task at hand. I knew that more than 2 million people were waiting to see what I could do. I knew that 10 minutes wasn't enough (even the NLP fast phobia cure takes about 15 minutes.) The American Psychiatric Association says you can expect "noticeable improvement in 10 to 20 weeks and a tremendous improvement within one year" in the treatment of phobias. I had 10 minutes. But inside I was saying "wonderfully calm, wonderfully confident, wonderfully effective" and focusing on the task at hand. Each time I ran in to a potential problem my voice came back to me; "wonderfully calm, wonderfully confident, wonderfully effective." Guess what? In 10 minutes I was able to get her to a point where she could stand 3 or 4 feet from a snake with no problem whatsoever. Phobia gone!

So, enough about me. How do you use this information to work for you? Here's the step-by-step... 1. Pick a situation in which you'd like to respond more positively. 2. Decide how you would like to act/feel. Pick an emotional/mental state that would help you achieve your goal. 3. Induce hypnosis. 4. Watch yourself acting and feeling the emotional/mental state you picked (in any situation - it doesn't have to be related). Notice how you breathe, move, talk, self-talk etc. 5. Step in to those images and feel the positive states. 6. Mentally take those positive states, the breathing, the posture, self-talk etc, in to the situation you want to improve. There you have it. You can use this technique to help you improve almost anything; from sports performance to anxiety issues. If you're a hypnotherapist you can use it with your clients, or better yet, teach your clients self-hypnosis and they can do it themselves. The Dave Elman Induction (Modified) Inductions Main | The Modified Dave Elman Induction | Progressive Relaxation Induction This induction is made much easier by a quality pre-induction talk. In order for most people to allow themselves to become hypnotized you must dispel the myths and misconceptions about hypnosis. In order for them to believe they were hypnotized they need to know what the experience of hypnosis might be like for them. That's what a good pre-talk will do for you. If you'd like to learn the secrets of inducing trance powerful, quickly and effectively get our How To Hypnotize video or the Learn Hypnosis @ Home eBook. Here's the modified Dave Elman induction... Eye Closure Take a deep breath. As you let it out, close your eyes and relax. Now, relax your eyes and the muscles around your eyes, fully and completely. Relax them so completely, that as long as you maintain that relaxation, your eyes will just remain closed. When you've got them relaxed to that point give them a good try and satisfy yourself that they remain closed. (Pause) Good. Now stop trying and relax them again. Body Relaxation Take that same quality of relaxation, and allow it to spread from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes in a warm wave of relaxation. (Pause) Good. Fractionation In a moment, I'm going to ask you to open your eyes and close them again. When you close them, just go 10 times deeper into relaxation. Open your eyes, now close them. (Pause) Go 10 times deeper. (Pause) In a moment, I'm going to ask you to open your eyes and close them again. This time, just double your relaxation. Open your eyes, now close them. Double that relaxation. (Pause) Good. In a moment I'm going to ask you to open your eyes and close them again. This time, just go much deeper. Open your eyes, now close them. Much deeper. All the way down. Good. (Pause)

Arm Drop Deepening In a moment, I'm going to pick up your left arm by the wrist. If you've followed instructions so far, and I think you've done very well, your arm will be loose and limp like a wet dish rag. Don't help me, let me do all the work. I'm going to lift your arm up just a few inches and then drop it, when I do, just allow it to make a nice satisfying plop, and go much deeper (do arm drop). Much deeper. In fact, each time I pick up your own arm and allow it to plop down, go much deeper into relaxation (repeat arm drop a few times). Suggested Amnesia Good. Now we've got a good workable level of physical relaxation, let's add mental relaxation to it. In a moment, I'm going to ask you to begin saying the alphabet backwards out loud. Allow each letter you say to help your mind to grow more relaxed, calm and serene. You'll find, that within just a few letters, your mind can grow so relaxed, that the rest of the letters just fade away, grow dim and distant, become quiet and disappear altogether. When that happens, notice how good it feels. You'll say the alphabet backwards in this matter. Z... Y...(say slowly, in time with each of their exhales), allowing each letter to relax your mind so that it grows relaxed and serene like the surface of a still lake. Within just a few letters, the rest of them will just disappear. Begin saying the alphabet backwards now. "Z" Good. "Y" Relaxing more and more. "X" Now just allow them to disappear completely. Are they all gone? Good End of induction Deepen and give suggestions When you're ready to emerge them just say "I'm going to count to five, when I reach five or before, your eyes will open and you'll feel relaxed and refreshed." Count up to five slowly with your voice getting a little less soothing and a little more "awake" with each number. When you reach four, if their eyes aren't open say "On the next number your eyes will open and you'll feel relaxed and refreshed. Five, eyes open, feeling relaxed and refreshed." The Progressive Relaxation Induction Inductions Main | The Modified Dave Elman Induction | Progressive Relaxation Induction The progressive relaxation technique is still the hallmark of thousands of hypnotherapists all over the world. Though very slow and often ineffective, it allows those who have not been been trained in faster and more effective inductions to achieve some success with a portion of the people who come to them. It's one of the simplest ways to hypnotize someone and very easy to learn. This induction is made much easier by a quality pre-induction talk. In order for most people to allow themselves to become hypnotized you must dispel the myths and misconceptions about hypnosis. In order

for them to believe they were hypnotized they need to know what the experience of hypnosis might be like for them. That's what a good pre-talk will do for you. If you'd like to learn the secrets of inducing trance powerful, quickly and effectively get our How To Hypnotize video or the Learn Hypnosis @ Home eBook. Here's how to do a progressive relaxation induction. 1. Have the person you're working with sit or lie down in a comfortable position. 2. Talk slowly in a soothing voice (it doesn't have to be monotone). 3. Say "Take a deep breath and as you let it out, close your eyes and begin to feel yourself relaxing." (If their eyes are already closed, leave the eye closing out) 4. Have your subject put their awareness on different parts of their body and relax them. You can use language such as "Now become aware of your arms... now relax your arms... let them grow more and more comfortable... let the muscles become loose and limp and even more relaxed." Repeat this type of instruction for all areas of the body. 5. Sprinkle your language with plenty of positive reinforcements such as - "That's right, good, you're doing just fine." 6. Repeat if necessary: Depending on the person, you may have to repeat the whole procedure a few times. For most people 25 or 30 minutes is enough. 7. When you're ready to emerge them just say "I'm going to count to five, when I reach five or before, your eyes will open and you'll feel relaxed and refreshed." Count up to five slowly with your voice getting a little less soothing and a little more awake with each number. When you reach four, if their eyes aren't open say "On the next number your eyes will open and you'll feel relaxed and refreshed. Five, eyes open, feeling relaxed and refreshed." Believe it or not, it can be this simple!

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