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The Language of Hypnosis

The use of hypnotic language in self-hypnosis

We all have our own personal collection of memories and experiences, and we speak to ourselves in a language that has unique meaning to us based on these experiences. Your unconscious mind will relate best to suggestions which reflect your own experience of the world. You will find most success with self-hypnosis if you use your own words and symbols in your suggestions.

Try to discover your own predominant mode of communication (that is, which of the senses you most relate to), and use words and phrases that are connected with that sense in your own hypnotic language. For example, primarily visual language; "I can see..", "picture this..", or primarily auditory language; "I hear that..", "it sounds like..", or primarily kinaesthetic "it feels like..", "hold on to that idea..". Research has shown that hypnotic suggestions are acted upon more effectively when they match the individual's own communication style.

Symbols are images that you use to represent something else, and can be used in your suggestions to represent your goals. For example clouds billowing in a blue sky can symbolise a relaxed state of mind, or leaves falling from the trees can represent the relinquishing of problems. These symbols will be most effective if they are taken from your own past experience as your unconscious will be more able to relate to them.

Take the time before a self-hypnosis session to plan your goals and think of some suitable images and symbols to support them. Take images from your own memories and be as creative and as imaginative as you can be in describing them.

Your suggestions should be specific and achievable. Vague descriptions or images are less likely to be acted upon. Finding different ways of expressing the same goal will increase your chances of success.

Make suggestions positive, rather than negative. Most people react unfavourably to negative 'do not' statements. We do not like to be told 'NO'. However, a positively worded suggestion with a positive benefit attached to it is more likely to be accepted. For example, "You will not eat chocolate anymore" is a negative command that might easily be rejected or ignored. A more effective and readily accepted suggestion might be; "As you choose more healthy and nutritious foods to eat, you may begin to feel lighter, healthier and more energetic".

Use emotive words in your script - positive emotions will reinforce your suggestions. For example, 'I feel deeply relaxed..', 'I breathe effortlessly..', 'I can experience a wonderful feeling of calmness..'

And finally, your script need not be half-hearted or flawed for realism - aim for an ideal, make it perfect.

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