Assignment #22: Stress Management

In search of some new and interesting methods to manage stress I came across a solution to stress which I found very unique and would like to try myself. This new method is called self-hypnosis. This method first caught my interest I believe because in high-school my mom encouraged me to go to weekly yoga classes. Although I originally signed up for the classes as a source of exercise and strength building, after attended the first few classes I really was able to recognize the calming element of yoga. At the end of each yoga session we would have ten minutes of hypnosis and deep relaxation. This was the part of the class I most looked forward too because it was ten minutes of not worrying about holding a pose or thinking about whatever else was going on in my life. Anyway, self-hypnosis intrigued me because from first hand experience, I know that regular hypnosis can be a very relaxing experience.

Although I have experience with regular hypnosis, this also made me more skeptical of a technique called “self-hypnosis,” for from all my past experiences with hypnosis I thought it only had the effect it did because it was led by an experienced professional. So the idea of being able to hypnotize myself was something new to me.

The first article I read on self-hypnosis separates hypnosis from meditation by stating that, “Unlike meditation, we often use affirmations as part of self-hypnosis to manage stress and build self-confidence.” This difference made the idea of self-hypnosis appeal even more to me personally. For self-hypnosis can kill two birds with one stone for it can be used to cope with stress as well as build self-confidence, two qualities I could definitely benefit from. Some of the benefits of self-hypnosis mentioned in the article were things such as the matter of convince. With self-hypnosis it can be preformed anywhere, by anyone, and as a result can be used on a daily basis.  The article also provides step by step instructions on how to begin. One of the methods I see to be the most important is the method mentioned as way of relaxing your body, “A good way of doing this is to close your eyes and imagine waves of relaxation running down your body from your scalp downwards, washing out stress. Let the waves run in time with your breathing, first washing down over your head, then your neck, then your torso, then arms, and finally your legs. Feel the muscles in your body relaxing as the waves of relaxation wash over them.”

After reading the first article, self-hypnosis sounded like a pretty simple and effect way of managing stress. However, being the skeptic that I am I wanted to research self-hypnosis more and see if there are any downsides to this technique. One of the cons I found is that self-hypnosis may not always be successful. One of the most important factors of self-hypnosis that makes it successful is being in the right mind set going into it. In order for self-hypnosis to work you have to begin ready to fully commit and believing that afterwards you will feel more relaxed. I also found many videos online of guided hypnosis for those who want to try self-hypnosis but don’t know where to begin.

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