You can download the PDF file Trevor Bedford Self-Hypnosis Guide Trevor Bedford Self-Hypnosis Guide


Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis to help a person make changes to improve their life. You want to make change. The therapist can help you understand what changes you can and want to make. You may not always be able to change circumstances, in that instance the therapist guides you on how you can change your perception.

Using hypnosis is the magic part of helping you imagine, visualise and achieve that change.

It is important that you take responsibility for the change. Hypnosis is not a hypnotist doing something to a person, rather you visualising and imaging what you can and will do to make the change.

Teaching yourself self-hypnosis helps you establish that responsibility. This is very powerful when tackling change. Rather than give you fish to eat, I believe in providing you with a fishing rod and helping you learn how to catch your own.

Hypnosis differs from Mindfulness and Meditation, which are similar in many ways and also include deep relaxation. The main difference is the use of imagination and focus during hypnosis which is extremely powerful in helping you achieve your aims.

Self-Hypnosis Skills Training


Start with short sessions often, ideally ten minutes, twice a day, for fourteen days. This should be the minimum training period you aim to achieve. You don’t need hours. Ten minutes can be extremely powerful. As your confidence grows, you may find you increase the amount of time and frequency of sessions. There is no right or wrong prescription, do what you are comfortable with doing.

Anxiety is one of the main obstacles to learning self-hypnosis. People worry about whether they will “get it right” and this leads to performance anxiety, which makes them tense and distracts their mind, thereby interfering with their learning and performance.

Take your time; don’t rush things. Be patient. Make repeated attempts. Approach the whole subject as an opportunity for gradual “trial and error” learning. Realise that you are not learning a completely new skill. You already know how to use your imagination, everyone does, you do it every day. You’re learning a new way of using your existing psychological skills and abilities.

Think positively. Hypnotism was originally defined in terms of focused attention upon “expectant ideas.” That means part of the technique is to cultivate a sense of self-confidence about what you are doing. Have faith in yourself, believe that you can do it.

Set realistic expectations. Research suggests that people who have dramatic and unrealistic expectation about self-hypnosis tend to make less progress than those who are able to observe others using the same techniques and listening to them describe how it felt.

High levels of motivation, positive attitudes, absence of misconceptions, and realistic expectations, tend to increase people’s ability to learn self-hypnosis.

What can Self-Hypnosis be used for?

Hypnosis is mainly used by hypnotherapists for achieving the client’s personal improvement.

Self-hypnosis can be used in the same way, with the added benefit that here you are taking responsibility for the hypnosis, the belief and the outcome.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved exam techniques, being more relaxed and focused with improved clarity and powers of memory recall
  • Improved sports performance, higher powers of concentration and focus
  • Changing patterns of behaviour – alcohol, smoking, eating, gambling by imagining what you do want.
  • Changing anxiety into excitement and anticipation to do the things you want to do
  • Lifting your mood so those melancholy periods becomes shorter and less intense and the happy moments become real and longer lasting
  • Increasing motivation to do the things you want to do and have to do so you change your perspective and start to enjoy so much more in your life
  • Improving sleep patterns and quality of sleep to wake each day feeling more refreshed.
  • Disassociating from pain by reducing or controlling it in ways that help you cope better
  • Reducing stress-related illnesses such as ME, migraines, IBS
  • Changing your perspective in life to overcome any anger management issues or lack of tolerance.


The Overall Process in Outline


Plan what you are trying to achieve. This can be a very specific objective – to drive into Exeter feeling relaxed and calm, looking forward to spending quality time with friends. It could be a very general objective – to wake feeling good, confident and calm.

You can write down exactly what you want to achieve, record it or just think about it.

Once you know what you want this session to focus on make sure you are in a safe place and have the intention to go into hypnosis.


Many people like to start by breathing 7/11. Breath in counting to 7, imagining cool, relaxing air filling your lungs with oxygen and energy, breath out counting to 11, imagining breathing out all the worries, troubles, pains and fears. Expelling all the carbon dioxide and poisons, emptying your lungs. Repeat three or four times so you can start the hypnosis in a calm and relaxed state of mind.

Use the induction protocol you find most beneficial. If you use eye fixation for instance, then once your eyes close, just relax and enjoy the peace for a while before allowing yourself to go deeper.

Re-enforce you are safe and in control

  • I am in a deep Hypnotic trance and I am in full control
  • I will respond only to my intended suggestions.
  • I am fully protected from any random thoughts, images and sounds becoming hypnotic suggestion.

To go deeper into hypnosis, allow yourself to imagine whatever you find relaxing.

These can include:

  • Counting down from 10 to 1, imagining going deeper with every step down
  • Seeing yourself becoming more relaxed by imaging each part of your body, the muscles, tendons and ligaments all relaxing one by one
  • Enjoy a scenario that is right for you, a walk through a forest, sailing on a lake, flying into space.

Deliver your “script”

Read, play back a recording or remember a title to deliver your planned objectives for the session. Use the voice inside your head to deliver the message in a way that is meaningful to you. Use passion and purpose.

If you are motivating, then use passion. If you are focusing on sleep then use a quiet and relaxing voice.

Really imagine everything you are suggesting, be appropriately enthusiastic and assure yourself of it. Be convincing.

Enjoy the re-orientation

You don’t need an elaborate routine to emerge from meditation. You might find it takes a few moments to get your bearings, if you’ve been extremely deeply relaxed, of course. You can just open your eyes when you feel ready and perhaps stretch, rub your eyes, or take a few deep breaths. Alternatively, you can count yourself out of self-hypnosis by counting from one to five (or ten) while you imagine becoming more active and alert.


Script writing suggestions

This is where you decide on what you want to achieve from the session. In hypnotherapy a therapist guides and teaches a client to set specific, realistic and achievable goals. On your own this is the same and can become even more powerful as you practise and learn. Your aim can be to be more focused in a specific situation, or general as in wanting to be more confident or happy.


  • Write down what it is that you want, not what you don’t want.
  • What is the outcome you most desire?
  • How would you like to feel?
  • How would you like to be?
  • What will the benefits be?
  • Deal, if possible, with the cause and effect.

Write it down and read it through several times or record it and play it back several times.

  • Check that once you have written/recorded the suggestion you put on your editing hat. Have any words entered without your intention? Are you happy with the finished result?
  • Remember that during this early period as a self-hypnotist, one suggestion per session can be more successful than giving many.
  • Generally, the best sessions are simple so be specific, concise and precise.
  • Make sure that you want it to work and expect it to work.
  • The more you want it to work, the more effective your suggestion will be. If in doubt, write down the pros and cons. Do you really want what you have asked for?
  • Think it through and do not proceed if there is any doubt about your suggestion. When in doubt, think about your suggestion. Do what you can to remove the ambiguity and only then proceed.
  • Ask for what you want, not what you do not want, stating your goals in the positive.
  • Use emotive language to illustrate your passion and desire. Use great, fantastic, better and better.
  • Say exactly what you mean and mean what you say by use of clear language, free from ambiguity.
  • Set a time when this change is going to start happening, use analogy on how it is going to keep getting better every hour, day, week and month.
  • In sessions with specific achievable goals it may be appropriate to suggest a time to finish.
  • Label your suggestions to make it easier to alter, boost or remove them.

Use the right Words

Powerful words to use

What words make you feel good? Which words give you good feelings? Make a list of the words that appeal to you. You can use a thesaurus to help. Ask yourself; How would I like to feel?

Remember; suggestions work best when you have intense emotion combined with relaxation.

Good words to use in your suggestions:

Healthy      Peace        Balance     Harmony    Relaxed     Joyful

Good         Happy       Powerful    Confident   Calm         Unison

Assured     Vibrant      Loving       Beautiful    Better        Progress

Words to avoid

  • Words that elicit bad feelings.
  • Words that are ambiguous
  • Words that are limiting, restrictive or disempower you.
  • Words that you are uncomfortable with.

When you have prepared your script, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there another phrase or word that is better?
  • Is there a word or phrase I find more pleasing?
  • Is there a way in which you can put your energy and power into this suggestion in a better way?

Words that can elicit bad feelings

Try            Careful              Don’t         Temper      Want

No            Won’t                Lose          Should       Will

Can’t         Jealousy             Sad           Shouldn’t    Must

Make         Mustn’t              Difficult      Ought to    But

Words that are ambiguous

Maybe       Desire        Whole        Normal      Perhaps     Positive

Words that are a put down

Untidy               Ugly          Dirty          Stupid        Lazy

Hopeless            Disliked      Unkempt    Smelly       Idiot

Embarrass          Fat            Loser         Ridiculous

Suggestions for pain control

Suggestions for the removal of pain and discomfort should be used as Hypnotic Tablets, that are effective for 1-2 hours. This is especially important when you cannot identify the cause of pain. It ensures that you do not ignore the body’s alarm system.

When you are recovering from surgery or injury, ensure that you maintain awareness.

Your suggestion should finish at the same time as the healing process completes.

Become aware of changes and remember your achievements using hypnosis. Success breeds success. Continue to protect yourself from random thought, sound and image having hypnotic influence.


Self-Hypnosis Techniques

The purpose of this routine is to learn how to induce progressively deeper levels of relaxation through self-hypnosis.

This can be performed reclining in a chair or lying down on a bed. There is some reason to believe that you will relax more deeply and possibly experience more imagery if lying down.

Lying down in bed, with the lights off, may encourage you to simply fall asleep. Of course, that may be your goal, if you happen to suffer from insomnia, but otherwise it may present a minor obstacle if you fall asleep before completing the whole routine.

Some of the benefits of reclining may be due to the fact that the head is supported, allowing the neck muscles to relax more fully, which they cannot easily do while you are sitting upright.

I ask my clients to place their feet flat on the floor, hands on their thighs, without touching. This starts the mind pattern matching in the early days so your mind knows you are going into a hypnotic session.

Music as a Background

Music can be a very powerful aid to your hypnosis, do remember these two important rules when using music:

  • Only use an instrumental piece – sung or spoken words may have hypnotic influence.
  • Do not use an instrumental piece that has memorable words. Words you have selected are intended to remind you of memories or visions you do want, song words may have a detrimental effect as you have not specifically selected them.

Eye-Fixation Exercise

Eye-fixation is the original hypnotic induction technique developed by James Braid. It is not essential to hypnosis. However, it seems to work very well for most people, and there is probably more scientific research on its use than on any other hypnotic technique.

Basic Instructions

Nowadays, people practice eye-fixation by looking up at their forehead, if they find that comfortable, or picking a spot on the ceiling to look at. The aim of elevating the gaze is simply to make the eyes feel tired more quickly. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Don’t tilt your head back, though. That’s a common mistake, and defeats the purpose of elevating your gaze. Your eyes are meant to be turning slightly upwards to produce strain on the muscles.

There are really two main reasons for the fixed gaze technique:

  • It induces a feeling of sleepiness, by closing the eyes slowly.
  • It creates a sense of intense concentration, through staring.

After developing the technique, Braid found that most people’s eyes would close within 20-30 seconds, if they follow the instructions properly. The main factors are:

  • You must use your imagination to make your eyes feel like closing.
  • You must keep your gaze absolutely fixed in a position which makes the eyes feel tired, without deviating from it.

Use your imagination to make your eyes feel like closing. It doesn’t matter exactly how you do this. You might use memories, mental images, imagined sensations, or verbal autosuggestion. These are typical cognitive strategies which people use,

  • Simply remember what it feels like when your eyes are very tired and you can’t keep them open, and relive that feeling as much as possible.
  • Imagine that you’ve been staring for hours and your eyes are incredibly tired and want to close.
  • Imagine that your eyelids are somehow growing bigger and heavier, and want to close down.
  • Imagine that there are little weights, pulling your eyelids down.
  • Imagine your eyelids have a stickiness on them making it more and more difficult to open them each time you blink.
  • Imagine that a bright light is shining in your eyes, or a wind is blowing in them, making them want to close (by triggering the blink reflex).
  • Tell yourself, in your mind, “My eyes are growing heavy, sleepy, and tired… They’re closing, closing, closing…” Repeat these or any other words you find useful, but do so in the right manner.
  • Look forward to them just closing and staying closed and relaxed.

When using verbal suggestions you should use a tone of voice, in your imagination, which evokes the feelings you want. If you want to relax, use a soothing voice, if you want to feel energised, use a motivating voice. Say it like you mean it, and have confidence and expectation in everything you do.

Don’t try to fight your imagination; just let your eyelids close themselves. People often have become a little tense while doing this, so it helps to pause when your eyelids have closed and to focus on relaxing the muscles around your eyes, then your face, then your whole body.

To begin with, simply repeat this exercise as many times as possible, at least four or five times in one session. Try to really get the knack of making your eyelids feel like they want to close by using your imagination, and then using your body posture and imagination to relax as deeply as possible each time. Practice this for at least seven days.

Initial Relaxation

When your eyelids close, take a moment to relax. Become aware of the sounds around you, safe and secure. Relax your eyes completely, relax all the muscles around your eyes. Then relax your facial muscles completely for a few moments. Finally, for a few more moments, focus upon the idea of relaxing your whole body as deeply as possible.

Fractional Relaxation

Now you’re going to relax different parts of your body in turn. You can do this any way you like. To begin with, it might be easier to skip this section completely or to keep it very simple. With practice, you’ll be able to divide your body into smaller sections (called “fractionation”), to spend more time relaxing each section, or to repeat this whole part of the routine several times.

To begin with it is a good idea to focus on making both your arms relax as deeply as possible, then your legs, then focus on doing the same throughout your whole body. Use whatever words or images help you to deepen the relaxation. Many people begin by saying “My arms are limp and relaxed.” You might imagine, as you do so, that you can see the muscles relaxing, or picture the tension like a coloured mist evaporating from the body.

With practice, you can extend the process. Relax the right arm, left arm, both arms together, relax the right leg, left leg, both legs together, relax the neck and shoulders, relax the facial muscles, relax the breathing, relax the whole body together, etc.

Observe any physical indications of trance. One of the first signs you may observe is a tingling, or “pins and needles”, in your hands, arms, or feet. This is probably due to the changes in circulation which occur during deep relaxation. More blood flows to the extremities of the body and the surface of the skin.

You may also notice your breathing becoming shallower and more regular. The breathing cycle will tend to develop more of a steady rhythm. As your heart rate slows down, usually after ten minutes or more of practice, your body will consume less oxygen and your breathing will adapt. Your breath will probably become more shallow and diaphragmatic. In other words, you will breathe more from your belly and less from your chest. At the same time, however, you will probably find your breathing becoming more and more gentle as you inhale less air than before. After a while, you may notice that the number of breaths per minute (respiratory rate) reduces slightly.

It is also common to experience slight trembling or twitching in the muscles, usually in the hands, sometimes the legs or facial muscles. This typically happens during moderately deep levels of relaxation and is completely harmless, though it can sometimes take people by surprise. It’s called a “hypnotic jerk.”

Research has shown that novices practising most meditation or relaxation techniques for around twenty minutes usually reduce their heart rate by only around 3-4 beats per minute. That’s enough to be of therapeutic value, but not as much as people tend to assume is possible.

The heart rate increases much more easily than it decreases, relative to its normal resting level.

Allow yourself to go Deeper

Now simply count down in your imagination, from ten (or five) down to zero. Imagine that with each number you count, that the whole of your body and mind are relaxing much more deeply. Focus on the idea of relaxing very deeply indeed by the time you reach zero. Repeat his part of the process if you want to do it again.

Focus all your attention upon a single idea or train of thought. In this case, of course, that will be the idea of being very deeply sleepy or relaxed. Breathe normally, but imagine your breathing slowly becoming more relaxed. (When you relax, your breathing typically becomes shallower, as the volume of oxygen consumed will decrease.)

Each time you exhale, say the word “sleep”, or any similar word of your choosing. With practice, you may also find it helps to focus all of your attention on a single part of your body, e.g., the tip of your nose, centre of your forehead, or the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe.

Repeat this for as long as possible, but ideally for at least ten minutes. Keep your mind focused on the idea of total relaxation, keep imagining what it would feel like to relax deeper and deeper. Think positively; keep telling yourself it’s easy, as long as you expect to be able to relax deeply. If your mind wanders, which is completely normal, just bring it patiently back to your meditation and continue where you left off.

Hints & Tips

Don’t tilt your head back. That defeats the purpose of looking upwards, which is meant to elevate the gaze and strain the eyes slightly.

Don’t strain your eyes too much. It shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. Just enough to make them feel like they want to close after a short while.

The Effort Error (Law of Reversed Effort). Don’t try too hard, or try to force yourself to relax. At a physical level, too much effort tends to increase tension, and prevents relaxation. This is a very common source of error. At a psychological level, effort implies possible failure, and tends to increase intrusive thoughts. Relax, feel confident, and imagine that what you’re doing is very easy.

Sometimes when people relax extremely deeply they feel as if they have stopped breathing. Don’t worry; your breathing has just become very shallow because your heart has slowed down.

Physiological relaxation includes lowering of the heart rate and blood pressure. These things don’t necessarily happen at the same time. Physiological signs of relaxation tend to occur after an initial delay, sometimes up to fifteen or twenty minutes after relaxing the muscles and the mind. Someone can look and feel very deeply relaxed but have a heart rate slightly higher than normal.

On the other hand, people sometimes underestimate how much their body has relaxed.

Some people can relax their mind while continuing to tense their muscles, e.g., frowning or hunching their shoulders.

Likewise, someone can relax their body completely but still have thoughts racing through their mind. After a while, especially when relaxation is quite deep, it will tend to spread to other areas and functions. You can help yourself by focusing on relaxing your muscles or your thoughts, depending on whether you are more physically tense or mentally tense.

The routine above begins with an emphasis upon physical relaxation, but then uses focused attention on a single idea to help slow down the thoughts and relax the mind.

Deliver the “script”

Three Self-hypnosis script absorbing methods

Reading your own script

  • Have the intention and be in a safe place.
  • Read the suggestion aloud before starting the relaxation, and with enthusiasm.
  • Use which ever technique you find works to start your session.
  • Count out aloud from 1-10, entering hypnosis only after 6.
  • Take control.
  • Say “The suggestion called <name>, which I read out immediately prior to entering this hypnotic session, has now been entered into my mind and from this moment forward has full hypnotic authority.”
  • Thank yourself.
  • Next time deeper, next better.

Remember that you can increase the effectiveness of your programme, by asking your subconscious to give it more power and make it more effective.

Open eyes

  • Enter hypnosis using your preferred method.
  • Have your suggestion written nearby.
  • Say “When I open my eyes, I remain in deep hypnosis and read my suggestion. This suggestion has full hypnotic authority. After reading my suggestion, I return to deeper hypnosis.”
  • Read your suggestion.

Important: When using this method, make sure that there are no other words in your field of vision (including peripheral).

Recording your suggestion

  • Leave your first 60 seconds on the audio blank.
  • Record your suggestion.
  • Remember to use second person i.e. Joe, you are in deep hypnosis and not I am in deep hypnosis.
  • Use music if you wish.
  • Do not record the initial relaxation.
  • When you are ready, run the tape from the beginning and enter hypnosis in the usual way, by having the intention, being in a safe place and counting from 1-10. Entering hypnosis only after 6.
  • On entering hypnosis, give control and full hypnotic authority to your voice on the tape.
  • Lie back and enjoy the ride!


Tell yourself that in a moment you are going to count from 1 to 5 and as you do, you will start to re-orientate at a pace that is nice and gradual and when you get to 5 you will open your eyes and relax for a moment before getting up.

Tell or suggest to yourself how you want to feel as you are counting. Confident, relaxed, revitalised, refreshed, happy. It does not matter as long as it is positive.

Count yourself up from one to five, imagining how you feel as you move towards five.

On five, open your eyes and enjoy the peace for a few minutes before getting up.

Look forward to noticing the changes and improvements over the coming hours, days and weeks.


Alternative methods of inducing self-hypnosis 

Heavy Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction Method:

 Step One: Just get yourself comfortable and be in a place where you will be undisturbed for the duration of this session, ideally sat up in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your arms uncrossed, not touching each other and ready to begin.

Adjust yourself so that your head is nicely balanced and comfortable upon your shoulders and your body is in a comfortable posture.

I prefer to be attentive rather than slouched and relaxed as this posture can encourage people to wander off, lack focus and even fall asleep, which is not all that useful – unless you want and need more sleep.

Throughout this hypnosis induction process, you may notice certain changes happening immediately whereas others might take a few moments, trust that you are doing this in the way that is right for you, you are unique and respond in your own unique way.

Then take a nice deep breath and as you exhale, allow your eyes to comfortably close and begin.

Tip: While there’s no need to sit perfectly still throughout the induction process, however the less you move, the less likely you are to be distracted and therefore the deeper the experience is likely to be. Experiment with it as much as you find it comfortable to do so and maybe even consider incorporating it into your sessions.

Step Two: With the crown of your head pointing to the ceiling and your shoulders relaxed ad your eyes still closed, take your right hand and arm and hold it straight out in front of you, palm facing down. Simply hold your right arm and hand straight out in front of you, palm facing down and with it there in that position, be aware of the feelings that you are having in your right arm and hand right now at this time while it is being held aloft and in front of you like that.

Imagine that there is a bucket resting on your hand, and every relaxed breath you breathe from here onwards and for the duration of this induction process, fills the bucket with more water, making it feel as if it is getting heavier and heavier.

Get really mindful of the sensation that exists within the arm, become aware of as much as you possibly can about the arm.  Scan along it and within it with your mind.

Start to notice what you notice. Is there tension anywhere? Are any (even tiny and subtle) movements occurring? What else are you noticing? Tell yourself and feedback to yourself what you notice as you hold your arm out. Become as aware of the entire arm as possible in these moments.

Imagine the bucket continuing to fill with water with each breath you breathe, getting heavier and heavier and harder to keep in that position and move on to the next step.

Step Three: Now continue to pay attention to that arm because this is the stage all the fun and hypnosis is going to start happening.

Imagine it (your arm) is beginning to feel heavier and heavier, imagine it is getting heavier and let it feel heavier and heavier. This is made easier by the fact it is being held and gravity is naturally pulling on it, but start to let it take over a little bit by advancing that sensation of heaviness using your imagination.

Imagine your arm is growing heavier and heavier and, as you do, notice how just thinking about it creates a tendency for your arm to grow even more so. Affirm this by repeating the words “heavier and heavier” to yourself as your arm continues to grow heavier and heavier and, as it does, imagine it to slowly, but surely, move downward all that weight.

As it feels as if it is getting heavier and heavier, also imagine the arm starts to very slowly, but surely move downwards.

Tell yourself what that feels like, tell yourself using your internal dialogue in your own head, feeding back as you did earlier. State to yourself that your arm is moving downwards.

The heaviness in your arm grows with your continued imagination of such and as it grows and feels heavier, so you want to also become more relaxed, more comfortable and at ease. So imagine that each movement of your arm going downwards starts to make every other muscle in your body more relaxed and comfortable.

Continue paying attention to your arm all the time as it feels as if it is getting heavier, you imagine it getting heavier, as it moves downwards, so you relax and now start to tell yourself you are going deeper into hypnosis.

Tell yourself this with volition, do not allow other thoughts in to distract, repeat that sentiment, relax with the sentiment (too much effort or stress can impede the progress you make) and repeatedly tell yourself you go into hypnosis as you focus on the arm moving downwards and the body relaxing everywhere else.

You might notice your breathing changing as you relax more, if so, enjoy that and tell yourself that it is happening.

You are creating a chain of progressive things occurring here:

Imagine your arm is moving lower and feeling heavier in order to show you how deeply hypnotised you are becoming and how much more relaxed you are right now…

Just as you think your hand is going to reach the chair or your lap or anything else, move on to the next step.

Step Four: When your hand reaches your lap, it rests, it relaxes and flops into a comfortable position where the relaxation continues to spread through your body. Imagine the newly experienced relaxation in the resting arm spreading to everywhere else. Maybe even let out an audible ‘sigh’ as the arm reaches the lap or chair and then enjoy the relaxation developing from it.

Use words like “relaxing” and “comforting” to describe your ongoing experience and enjoy the arm no longer being heavy, just relaxed and feeling so good. Continue to affirm that you are drifting deeper into hypnosis, and you can commence with the latter stages of the self-hypnosis session.

Step Five: Use any deepening process you wish to use should you require it before moving on to the next step.

Step Six: Do the content of your session, following instructions taught to you, or following a protocol, or simply giving yourself suggestions or affirmations.

Step Seven: Exit hypnosis.

Floating Arm Self-Hypnosis Induction: 

Step One: Be in a place where you are going to be undisturbed.

Be sat in a comfortable, upright position, ideally with your feet flat on the floor and your arms uncrossed. Be in a receptive posture, and not slouched, your posture will help you to engage with the process and be attentive to it.

Have your hands resting in your lap, upon your legs with the palms facing upwards. Once you have got yourself into this physical position, then you keep your eyes open and proceed to step two.

Step Two: Keep your head in the same, still position while you look at your hands. Focus all your attention, all your awareness and gaze attentively at the palms of your hands resting in your lap, whilst keeping your head completely still, just moving your eyes to look at them.

As you look at them, start to be mindful of your hands. That is, notice any sensations within them, which there are likely to be more of when you really focus and heighten your awareness.

Notice the temperature of them, are they hot or cold or somewhere in between? Are they perfectly still or is there the tiniest fraction of movement within them? Notice the details of the lines in the hands.

When you have really engaged with your hands, move on to the next step.

Step Three: As you continue to look at your hands, work out which of them feels the heaviest. Even if it is just a tiny bit more than the other, which one feels more settled in its position.

When you have worked that out, turn your attention to the one that feels the lightest. Stare at a fixed point on that palm, the palm of the hand that feels lighter than the other.

Enjoy the fact that it feels lighter than the other for a couple of moments.

Now start to imagine it is feeling lighter with each breath that you breathe. Almost as if each inhalation is making the hand and arm feel as if it is getting lighter and lighter. You have to really engage your imagination and believe that this is absolutely the case.

Use your internal dialogue and cognitions to dominate your thoughts while you imagine this and say to yourself with real purpose and volition “my hand is feeling as if it is lighter and lighter” and keep repeating it as you imagine your hand moving up off your lap.

Keep repeating the phrase with real meaning, keep engaging the imagination and as soon as you get a tiny movement of any kind upwards with the hand, then move on to the next step.

Step Four: Now engage your imagination further by imagining that in the palm of this lighter, slowly moving hand is an incredibly powerful magnet. A really incredibly powerful magnet. Imagine a second magnet is on one of your cheekbones and that it is attracting the palm of your hand closer and closer.

Watch as the magnet pulls the hand toward your face. Stare at the palm of the hand, imagine it is moving more purposefully towards your face as the magnet pulls the hand to your cheekbone.

Some people like to imagine that they can see some sort of magnetic force that is present and is drawing the hand closer to the face. You can do this if you want to.

Now start to engage your internal dialogue, again suggest to yourself using an affirmation; “the magnetic force is pulling my hand to my face” and repeat it with meaning, say it to yourself like you really believe in it 100%. Over and over in your mind as you imagine that magnet and the magnetic force pulling the hand to your face in easy movements at a pace that is right to you.

This is key: Now make an important distinction, think carefully as the hand moves towards the face; work out if the hand is being pulled more strongly by the magnet in the palm or the magnet on your cheekbone. Make sure you can tell where the magnetic force is stronger. When you know that, move on to the next step.

Step Five: Continue to engage really purposefully with all the above steps and watch the hand move closer to the cheekbone, and as you watch it arrive beneath your eyeline, let your eyes continue to look downwards and then just close as any part of your hand gently touches your face.

As your eyes close, take a deep breath and imagine the magnetic force is cut. Imagine that as your eyes closed, the magnets were switched off in some way.

With them switched off, notice how your hand and arm feel heavier and heavier and you tell yourself that the arm feels heavier and heavier and imagine it floating slowly back to its original position on your lap. Imagine it drifting back down and as you imagine that, let it relax, feel heavier and tell yourself “as my arm drops, so I go deeper and deeper into hypnosis” and keep repeating the words “deeper and deeper” as the arms floats all the way back down to the lap.

Let each exhalation increase the heavy sensation as the arm drifts to your leg where it began this exercise.

Once it reaches the lap, as it touches, exhale deeply and let the relaxation in that arm spread throughout the body and then move on to the next step.

Step Six: Having engaged in the induction and deepening process, you are now ready to engage in any change work or deliver suggestions for advancing your well-being in some way, or follow a technique or process with a goal of some kind in mind. (The likes of which have dominated this blog for the past year)

Once you have done that, simply thank your mind and proceed to the final step of exiting hypnosis

Step Seven: Exit Hypnosis.

Final Point

Try all 3 methods of entering suggestions and see which works best for you.

As you practise hypnosis and become better at it, you will find you can go into a trance in many different situations. Some people like to use it when running a marathon to help them overcome tiredness and break through barriers. I find it useful when undergoing medical procedures or at the dentist to reduce anxiety and control pain. So you do not have to limit the use to having eyes closed with no distractions, but rather help you overcome distractions when active.

Enjoy your time in self-hypnosis, sell your suggestions and thank yourself after each session.

Acknowledgement: My thanks to Adam Eason for allowing me to use his work. This is shared with the permission of Adam Eason, author of the Science of Self-hypnosis,

Download A Guide to Self-Hypnosis – Trevor Bedford’s Self-Hypnosis Guide