Using Self-hypnosis for Stress Management - Autosuggestion

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By Tess Thompson

There are numerous causes associated with physical stress. However, the one main cause of mental stress is directly associated with our feelings. Our feelings, in turn, are dependent upon the attitude that we have towards life and our subjective viewpoints formed by various experiences. There is no doubt about the fact that negative feelings promote mental stress, whereas positive feelings lead to calmness.

One of the best ways to handle stress is to ensure that you never get stressed in the first place. Avoiding stress completely may not be possible, but we can always try and change the attitude that we have towards events and learn to be positive about most situations that we may find ourselves in. Self-hypnosis is one very effective method of attaining a positive frame of mind.

Hypnosis has a dubious reputation and there are many myths that surround it. Suffice it to say that you cannot be hypnotized by a professional unless you are willing to submit yourself and allow yourself to be hypnotized. Self-hypnosis, on the other hand, is entirely different from what is commonly known as hypnosis. It is hypnosis induced by yourself and may be better understood by the term ‘self suggestion’ or ‘auto-suggestion’.

Just like meditation, self-hypnosis is also fraught with uncertainty and criticisms. However, it is an equally effective tool for managing stress. The relaxation that results from self-hypnosis can be intense and the affirmations (autosuggestions) that one creates can help in building self confidence to a large extent.

To practice self-hypnosis or autosuggestion, you will need to develop a list of affirmations for yourself. Affirmations are the positive and rational statements that we use as self suggestions for coping with stress. These affirmations should be chosen carefully so that they are relevant to your specific situation. For example, if you are agitated about your weight and are concerned about obesity, affirmations like ‘I am on my path of reducing weight’ can help to a large extent. Make sure that you have a series of such statements ready before you start to practice self-hypnosis.

This is how you may try to use self-hypnosis for managing daily stress.

  • Make sure that you have your list of affirmations with you. Once you are in a relaxed state, thinking of the affirmations may bring you back to your normal agitated state, so prepare a list of affirmations before you sit down for a session.
  • Find a comfortable and quiet place and relax your body. Let go of your body and try and loosen up the tense muscles.
  • Try to imagine waves of relaxation, in sync with your breathing, moving through your body.
  • Concentrate, with eyes closed, on each part of the body. Start with your toes and gradually move up – feet, calves, thighs, hips, abdomen, hands, forearms, upper arms, upper abdomen, chest, shoulders, neck and face. Make sure that you concentrate on each part of the body and do not leave out any.
  • Once your body is relaxed, it is time to use autosuggestions for further relaxation. Say to yourself ‘I am feeling relaxed’ or ‘my arms are heavy, I am tired and sleepy’.

Self-hypnosis is another way to relieve stress through relaxation. Although affirmations are highly recommended, relaxation by itself is a natural stress relief technique. Affirmations are nothing but statements based on rational thinking asserting the existence or the truth of something. These can go along way in bringing the truth that you want to remind yourself in the forefront.


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