BioProgramming – Self Programming – Self Hypnosis

Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

Perhaps the most blatant example of brain programming is that of Hypnosis. So blatant that they built a stage show out of it. In a stage show the hypnotist will pick out only the most suggestible of subjects, he’ll use some degree of showmanship and possibly even illusionist’s techniques. However, just about everyone is suggestible sometimes, can be hypnotised to some degree. Since you’ve been following along with our guided meditations you’ve been actively trying to practice growing more suggestible at will. By now you should understand how that feels.

Being hypnotised by a stage magician, a therapist, a 19th century spiritualist or other con-artist, deliberately lowering your defences and thus allowing another person more direct access to your suggestible mind, is one thing. However if you’re to learn how better to program your own mind, you’ll want to do this without a helpful showman, guide, shaman or huckster. Thus, perhaps the most useful self-programming tool is self hypnosis or auto-suggestion

Induction

You’re sure to already know the basic protocol of hypnosis: A hypnotist talks you down into a trance. You do as he instructs, imaging yourself floating, counting down from a hundred, sinking deeper etc. Once you’re as suggestible as you can be he gives you some instruction such as “you will dance like a chicken when you hear this bell.” From then on when the bell rings you’ll automatically do the chicken dance.

On stage, you may question whether doing the chicken dance at that point would be more or less embarrassing than not doing it, and what alternative behaviour you’d employ should you realise you’re not hypnotised and wish to refuse. In other words how much the peer pressure alone is influencing your dance.

Nevertheless, ignoring questions of how hypnosis works and whether or not it can really do things like make you dance like a chicken, (which we have already discussed) you understand the method, the protocol.

What, then, would be the method to be used if you decided to try and hypnotise yourself? Clearly asking yourself to fall asleep would be pretty pointless if it works, and unhelpful if it didn’t. So what do you do in order to hypnotise yourself?

The key is to realize that the words which the hypnotist is using are not the thing which increases your suggestibility. If you ignore his words and read a newspaper instead, it will do nothing. If you listen intently to the hypnotist’s words while thinking about the last episode of your favourite TV show, it will do nothing. If you listen to those words without doing as he says, actually counting down from 100 in your head, actually imagining yourself growing more deeply towards a trance, it will do nothing.

The key to getting into a brain-state which increases suggestibility is to think yourself more suggestible. The hypnotist just instructs you, as you do it, on how to do that. What kinds of images your should push through your mind, what kinds of feelings.

You’ve already listened to more than a dozen of our guided meditations by now, and will have noted that each one starts with similar instruction: clear your mind, think about nothing, create a blank state of mind, slow your thoughts, concentrate on your breathing, etc. etc.

The protocol for self hypnosis is exactly that which you expect it to be:

  1. Find a quiet place, free of distractions and noise, somewhere that you can sit or lie down and be fully rested.
  2. Calm yourself down, let any tension in your muscles slacken off, let your breathing grow slow and deep.
  3. Drift into the suggestible state, you should be quite practised at this by now and have little trouble, certainly you understand the kinds of things you need to let your mind do in order to reach that state.
  4. Give yourself some suggestions, either think the words clearly, or say them aloud, or have some simple imagery or recreations ready to play over and over again through your mind. We’ll come to how to build those suggestions shortly.
  5. Finish, use a set ritual (even if it’s just opening your eyes and blinking), to mark the end of the session. To allow yourself a few seconds to run back up to full alertness, full engagement in the moment.

This, is essentially the technique of self hypnosis. You think yourself into a suggestible state, make some suggestions, then finish

What makes a good suggestion?

So much for the method, but what of the practice? What exactly should you try to visualise, or recall, or say to yourself in order to make the changes you strive to produce in your own mind?

See the word “Self” in the phrase “Self Hypnosis”? If we tell you what to put into your suggestions then it’s hardly self is it? You need to identify your own needs, aspirations, goals, and build suggestions which will help you to program your mind accordingly. If The Transcendence Institute did if for you then, well, the fourteenth one would sound exactly like this week’s new guided meditation on self programming does.

However, we can offer some advice on how to phrase your self hypnosis sessions.

  • Visualise! Especially for primarily visual thinkers, but really for everyone, remember that words aren’t always enough. You need to use imagery and imagination as vividly as possible. Imagine things brightly, loudly, in full colour with everything turned up to eleven.
  • Use the present tense. The present tense is more emotionally evocative than the future or past tenses. “Imagine that you are X” is more immediate than “Imagine that you were X” or “Imagine you will be X”.
  • Keep it simple. You’re after obvious and easily understood stories, anything complicated ends up buried in conditionals, it sinks less easily into the subconscious brain
  • Make suggestions implicit, rather than explicit. Imply the truth of your goal in your statements rather than directly stating it. This can help pass a suggestion through your credibility filters, which tend to concentrate on explicit rather than implicit statements. For example, say “See your increased confidence helping you to behave confidently,” rather than “Your confidence is increasing.”
  • Be positive, not negative. Encourage good things rather than trying to eliminate bad habits. Thinking of a thing may often make you focus on it, making you more likely to think about or do that thing in future. Ideally you’re ignoring your mistakes and bad habits, not trying to bring them to mind yet again.

The trouble with self hypnosis like this is often that (especially once you’re in that relaxed and suggestible almost unthinking state) it can be hard to pay attention, to keep focused on the suggestions you’re trying to give yourself. It’s easy for your mind to wonder off-topic, to stray from it’s task. Often rote-learning is suggested as a system to overcome this, and certainly that is useful, but having to devote part of your attention to saying on topic and focused reduces your concentration on the goal. The topic. The suggestion. The Transcendence Institute is more than happy to just use technology to help!

Recording Your Own Guided Meditations

There is no need to learn by rote, or to devote part of your attention to remembering what you’re trying to do, if you simply record a guided meditation of your own. All you need is a Dictaphone, a computer, even an old fashioned tape recorder. You can write your own script, speak it into a microphone, then play it back as you imagine along with your own words.

If you make your own meditations, your own self hypnosis scripts, why not share them? Indeed, it was this realisation which did much to bring the Transcendence Institute into existence in the first place. Here are our self-hypnosis guided-meditation suggestions. We want to transcend.

You’ll notice that each meditation introduced also has a link to the backing music without the words. We encourage you to use that backing music, plan a ten minute long self-determined set of suggestions, and record it over the backing music.

This Month’s Meditation

This month’s meditation serves as a perfect example of how to build a self hypnosis script. This month we have a script designed to increase your ability to program yourself.

It contains suggestions which will encourage you to use associative techniques more often, to remember or project yourself doing so. It will help you practice that by associating that memory with a pleasant experience.

You’ll focus on that pleasant experience, reminding yourself that pleasant experiences happen often, that you are happy. You’ll associate that experience with focusing your mind on positive things rather than worrying uselessly, or being pointlessly self-critical

You will also be encouraged to associate that pleasant experience with paying attention to your verbal tics and stock phrases, so you can help to eliminate any unhelpful ones. Thus, you’ll notice those tics more often.

The Transcendence Institute encourages you to use this example to build your own guided meditations, to learn to hypnotise yourself, to program your own mind. We encourage you to share these mediations with others. This is why we have a Creative Commons licence on all our work. This gives you the right to copy, modify and alter the Transcendence Institute meditations at will, so long as you attribute and give that same right to others. Allow them to share and modify your derivative work.

Guided Meditation File 14 – BioProgramming – Self Programming
Backing Music “Cloud Nine” By Krayne
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