Self Hypnosis: Beginner’s Guide

Selfhypnosis or autohypnosis is a form, process or result of hypnosis which is self-induced, and normally makes use of self-suggestion / autosuggestion. Selfhypnosis can make a person more yielding than normal.

Watch the following video to understand what is Hypnosis. Although the video is on hypnotherapy, it explains about hypnosis. When a hypnotherapist helps you to get into hypnosis and give you the necessary suggestion, it is called hypnotherapy. Whereas, when you do it by yourself, it is called self hypnosis. 

Video: What is Hypnotherapy & Its Use 

Meditation vs Self Hypnosis:

There is some confusion, even for people who both meditate and use self hypnosis, about whether there is any difference between the two disciplines. They both induce extremely beneficial, deeply relaxing and calming states of mind that can help you get through your day in a positive, calm and stress-free way. But, are they really just one and the same thing?

Meditation is just another means of entering hypnotic state. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we all experience on a daily basis. An appropriate definition of the hypnotic state is: “total concentration on a single train of thought.” We could say the exact same thing about meditation, could we not? So looking at them in their purest form, they are essentially two different belief systems wrapped around the same state of mind.

 Guided meditation is simply another name for self hypnosis

 Conscious and Unconscious mind:


There are four areas of the mind that must be affected before a person can enter a hyper-suggestible state:

THE CONSCIOUS MIND – Retains and remembers the events and feeling of approximately the past one and one half hours only.

CRITICAL AREA OF MIND – Part is conscious; part is unconscious. Contains memories of approximately the past twenty-four hours only. Any time a suggestion is given to a subject that is detrimental to his well-being or in total opposition to his way of thinking, he will critically reject it by abreacting.  

MODERN MEMORY AREA OF MIND – Part of the unconscious mind. Holds memory from conception to present in this life.  

PRIMITIVE AREA OF MIND – Part of the unconscious mind. Includes all the primitive memory that lies dormant, including genetic heritage and evolved learning and conditioning. Will react only when triggered, regressed, or threatened beyond the point of reason. Examples would be a fight or flight reaction or an impulse to kill. Suggestions affecting this area result in rapid reaction without reason.  

As a whole, we are 5% conscious of what is happening to and around us while the balance 95% remains unconscious. The conscious mind makes our decisions but it follows the dictates of the emotional unconscious mind. The conscious mind is the mind of choice; the unconscious is the mind of preference. We choose what we prefer.

In Self Hypnosis or meditation we want to achieve at least alpha state to change our preference (old habits). There are predominately 5 types of brain wave. Alpha wave is one of them.  

Types of Brain Wave: 
Gamma Waves:

These are involved in higher processing tasks as well as cognitive functioning. Gamma waves are important for learning, memory and information processing. It is thought that the 40 Hz gamma wave is important for the binding of our senses in regards to perception and are involved in learning new material. It has been found that individuals who are mentally challenged and have learning disabilities tend to have lower gamma activity than average.

  • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 100 Hz (Highest)
  • Too much: Anxiety, high arousal, stress
  • Too little: ADHD, depression, learning disabilities
  • Optimal: Binding senses, cognition, information processing, learning, perception, REM sleep
  • Increase gamma waves: Meditation
 Beta Waves:These are known as high frequency low amplitude brain waves that are commonly observed while we are awake. They are involved in conscious thought, logical thinking, and tend to have a stimulating affect. Having the right amount of beta waves allows us to focus and complete school or work-based tasks easily. Having too much beta may lead to us experiencing excessive stress and/or anxiety. The higher beta frequencies are associated with high levels of arousal. When you drink caffeine or have another stimulant, your beta activity will naturally increase. Think of these as being very fast brain waves that most people exhibit throughout the day in order to complete conscious tasks such as: critical thinking, writing, reading, and socialization.

  • Frequency range: 12 Hz to 40 Hz (High)
  • Too much: Adrenaline, anxiety, high arousal, inability to relax, stress
  • Too little: ADHD, daydreaming, depression, poor cognition
  • Optimal: Conscious focus, memory, problem solving
  • Increase beta waves: Coffee, energy drinks, various stimulants
 Alpha WavesThis frequency range bridges the gap between our conscious thinking and subconscious mind. In other words, alpha is the frequency range between beta and theta. It helps us calm down when necessary and promotes feelings of deep relaxation. If we become stressed, a phenomenon called “alpha blocking” may occur which involves excessive beta activity and very little alpha. Essentially the beta waves “block” out the production of alpha because we become too aroused.

  • Frequency range: 8 Hz to 12 Hz (Moderate)
  • Too much: Daydreaming, inability to focus, too relaxed
  • Too little: Anxiety, high stress, insomnia, OCD
  • Optimal: Relaxation
  • Increase alpha waves: Alcohol, marijuana, relaxants, some antidepressants
 Theta WavesThis particular frequency range is involved in daydreaming and sleep. Theta waves are connected to us experiencing and feeling deep and raw emotions. Too much theta activity may make people prone to bouts of depression and may make them “highly suggestible” based on the fact that they are in a deeply relaxed, semi-hypnotic state. Theta has its benefits of helping improve our intuition, creativity, and makes us feel more natural. It is also involved in restorative sleep. As long as theta isn’t produced in excess during our waking hours, it is a very helpful brain wave range.

  • Frequency range: 4 Hz to 8 Hz (Slow)
  • Too much: ADHD, depression, hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattentiveness
  • Too little: Anxiety, poor emotional awareness, stress
  • Optimal: Creativity, emotional connection, intuition, relaxation
  • Increase theta waves: Depressants
 Delta WavesThese are the slowest recorded brain waves in human beings. They are found most often in infants as well as young children. As we age, we tend to produce less delta even during deep sleep. They are associated with the deepest levels of relaxation and restorative, healing sleep. They have also been found to be involved in unconscious bodily functions such as regulating heart beat and digestion. Adequate production of delta waves helps us feel completely rejuvenated after we wake up from a good night’s sleep. If there is abnormal delta activity, an individual may experience learning disabilities or have difficulties maintaining conscious awareness (such as in cases of brain injuries).

  • Frequency range: 0 Hz to 4 Hz (Slowest)
  • Too much: Brain injuries, learning problems, inability to think, severe ADHD
  • Too little: Inability to rejuvenate body, inability to revitalize the brain, poor sleep
  • Optimal: Immune system, natural healing, restorative / deep sleep
  • Increase delta waves: Depressants, sleep

Relaxation (induction)Technique: Deep Breathing

In addition to peripheral vision, the most commonly used method in inducing relaxation is deep breathing. Some Yoga Practitioners also practice deep breathing but in Mind-Trance the deep breathing is practiced by using the abdomen to breathe (put one hand on the abdomen) and the breathing should be deep & long as well as slow & rhythmic.

To ensure that breathing is rhythmic, just do the followings:-

  1. While inhaling through the nose count 1, 2,3 then,
  2. Hold your breath and count 1, 2,3;
  3. Exhaling through the mouth and count 1, 23456 and at the same time suggest to yourself “Relax” 

Repeat the above cycle for a minimum 3 times.

Do note that the exhaling count is always double the inhaling count in order to ensure that the exhaling breath can be drawn from the abdomen.

 Deepening Technique:

Once you have completed the initial routine of relaxing the different parts of the body, it is now time to take your trance state into a deeper level.

Deepening Technique begins by reciting the followings:-

Back counting from 10 to 1, when reach the number 1, increase the relaxation by 10 times, whole body feeling very relaxes, 10 times more relax then before…

Back counting from 10 to 1, body starts to sink down; sink down deeper, body feels so heavy, all the way sinking down…

When I inhale, I feel so relax…

When I exhale, I feel so heavy…”

Relax then take another deep breath and follows by:-

“10 …deeper and deeper…

9 ….more and more relax….

8 … going down deeper….

7, 6, and 5 ….heavier and heavier….

4 ….so much relax so much deeper…

3, 2 … almost there now

1 … ten times deeper, ten times more relaxes than before….”

At this stage, you install your positive affirmation / autosuggestion. Say it 7 to 10 times.


It is now time to awaken your-self from the Mind – Trance. You can do this by making the following suggestions:

“In a short while, counting from 1 to 10, I will open up my eyes and be awakening from this state;

All the tiredness and heaviness will leave my body;

I will feel very relax, alert and refresh;

This same feeling will follow me and remain in me for the rest of the day;

The next time I practice Mind-Trance, I will go into this state very easily and quickly.

I will go into the relax state easily and effortlessly.

However now, when I start to count from 1 to 10, I will be awake, feeling refresh and peaceful.”

Take a deep breath and conclude with the following:-

“… 1, one tenth awakens…

… 2… slowly awaken…

… 3, 4, more and more awaken…

… 5, all bodily sensations coming back now… consciously stretch or move my body ….

… 6, feeling refresh…

… 7, 8… deep breathing…

… 9 move my fingers and my toes…

… 10, open up both eyes, come back to now and are completely awakened.”

That’s It. This is How Self Hypnosis is done

Guideline for Autosuggestion: 
Words affect our outcome – so be sensitive on the words you used! An autosuggestion must have the following 6 criteria: 

1.Positive: Must not contain any negative word. Can not use “NO/NOT” this type of word. Example: Don’t say “I don’t want to be unhappy”, instead say “I am happy” or “I want to be happy”

2.Simplicity: Use simple words easy to understand

3.Believable: Must be realistic

4.Measurable: Must have some parameters that can be measured to asses the progress. 

5.Present Tense: Use present tense always. 

6.Rewards: Must have some form of reward as everyone likes appreciation.

Example of a good autosuggestion for weight loss:  “I wake up 5 am in the morning and do 20 min exercise and I feel great about it”
“Feel great about it” is the reward. 
One of the most popular Autosuggestion is “Everyday in every way, I am getting better and better”


Courtesy: My Mentor, Dr Teoh Hooi-Meng PhD 

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