I often ask my HypnoBirthing students this question in their first class:
"Have you ever been hypnotized?"
As they picture swinging watches, people on a stage clucking like chickens, or a formal sit-down session with a hypnotist/hypnotherapist, most often the answer is "NO!"
My typical response is: "Oh, really?... Have you ever gone to bed and experienced that gentle, lulling feeling as you fall asleep?"... or... "Have you ever woken up in the morning and found yourself in that in-between state of coming-to, but not quite being fully awake?" [Heads nod all across the classroom]. "Well, then, you have indeed been hypnotized!" [Light bulbs come on!].
It is comforting for most people to know that hypnosis is a natural state that we all experience at least 2x each day - When falling asleep, and when waking. When going through each of those processes, we go down through, or up through, several states of consciousness - Beta (waking), Apha and Theta (states of hypnosis/trance), and Delta (sleep). Once we know this, we can discover just how easy it is for us to slip, almost unnoticed, in and out of hypnosis!
It is important to remember this: All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. This means that no one can make you do anything - No one can make you go into hypnosis. You have to be open to the experience. Someone skilled in hypnosis (such as a Certified Hypnotist or Hypnotherapist), can help guide you in and out of that state.
Hypnosis allows us to naturally access our subconscious mind, which is where our beliefs, values, intuition, long-term memories, and imagination live. These things are not accessible in the same way while we are in our conscious mind. When we access our subconscious mind, and put suggestions there that match our goals or values, we can make significant change in our day-to-day lives! Find out more about hypnosis HERE.
Has anyone ever told you to "just take a deep breath?"... Or have you given the same advice to someone else? It's actually great advice! You are, or they were, essentially telling you to "relax" and go into a calm state, which is very similar to self-hypnosis.
Try the following exercise to bring yourself into this lovely, relaxing state:
1) Take a deep belly breath
2) Pause and hold your breath for a count of 2
3) Exhale and count out loud, or in your own mind - FIVE.... four..... three..... two..... one.... RELAX.
4) Repeat this 5 times in a row, 5 times per day
5) Enjoy the feeling of calm, quiet self-hypnosis!
Don't worry - You won't (and can't) get stuck in hypnosis. As soon as you are needed, or whenever your mind is ready, you will return to a state of full awareness and alertness. Enjoy!
Erin Stertz-Follett, Owner