Can a Person Really Perform Self Hypnosis?

By: dbergen
Being Under Self Hypnosis

Being under self hypnosis may happen more than most people think, by definition, hypnosis is a state at which the conscious mind is extremely relaxed, and allows the subconscious mind to be prevalent. By this definition we are self hypnotized several times a week if not daily; dreaming, reading, watching movies, and watching television can all place a persons mind in a hypnotic state.

These activities can all be considered self hypnosis because we put our selves into these situations with the intent of escaping reality or forgetting about normal troubles for a time. Most people don't realize that when they are so absorbed in what they are watching or reading that they are hypnotized. Focusing on a book or television program so intently that the story seems real while being watched is self hypnosis; because the conscious mind is focusing so intently on the program, the subconscious is able to almost trick the mind into believing the story is real.

Essentially self hypnosis is a person focusing all their attention on something so intently that other exterior influences are not as predominant or distracting as they might normally be. This is an example of self hypnosis, the viewer was so intent on the film, it allowed the subconscious mind to internalize the fantasy it was viewing to make the scenario seem real.

When watching a horror film many people identify with the characters being chased by whatever 'evil' force that is pursuing them, to an extent that when the characters are startled or feel anxiety the person watching the film will also experience these feelings, as such they may jump or start in their places.

Meditation

Meditation is an intentional state of self hypnosis; people who can meditate put all thoughts out of the mind in order to allow their subconscious mind to act more or less on its own. Often to achieve this, the person meditating will focus on an object or a mental image and use mental imagery to eliminate the thoughts of the conscious mind.

A person may wish to relax from a stressful day at work but is unable to 'wind down' from the day; they decide to turn off all exterior stimuli: television, telephones, sometimes even lights. They will then sit or lie in a comfortable position and try to focus their mind on a relaxing image such as a quiet spot an a beach, and when thoughts of the material world enter the mind, because of the self hypnotic state, the thoughts can be turned into images and dismissed as part of the illusion and nothing more.
Self Hypnosis in High Stress Situations

Many people meditate in high stress situation, or sometimes use what is called mental imagery; both of these terms are essentially self hypnosis. Women often use self hypnosis, or mental imagery to help alleviate the pain of labor and child birth; this principle is applied to drug free pain relief methods such as Lamaze and Bradley birthing methods.

In Lamaze the person will use rhythmic breathing to induce a daydream like state, to escape the pain of labor, and keep focused on maintaining strength and stamina for the work ahead in delivery. The Bradley birthing method utilizes slow breathing and mental imagery to achieve the same pain dulling effect and mental clarity.

For some people self hypnosis in the form of meditation even has a spiritual connection. The mind is a mysterious thing that scientists do not completely understand, as is hypnosis in general, but people all over the world are thought to benefit from the relaxing effects of this mind trick. Self hypnosis under any other name, is still relaxing the mind to a point in which it is highly focused and susceptible to suggestion.
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