With the current online clinic for January 2014 being about weight issues, today I thought I’d share one of the psychological processes I have continued to do using self-hypnosis to help make the changes. It combines some classic therapeutic ideas with a couple of my other favourite processes from related fields. Though it contains a number of core principles within the mental imagery, this process has no evidence base outside of my own subjective experience and my limited experience of using it with clients.
With my own penchant for sci-fi, this process is made easier and more attractive a session for me. If you are unfamiliar with themes and images that occur in sci-fi films and TV shows, then you’ll need to imagine holographic images and control panels which if you have no previous reference of, you can simply invent and create in your own imagination. The rest is self-explanatory, I recommend you read it all through a couple of times prior to actually doing the session.
Here we are going to use self-hypnosis, go into space and make some changes while there. The drifting into space is part of inherently altering perspective, which is important when attempting to change or update your internal perspective of your own body.
Simply follow these 7 Steps for Outer Space Body Reshaping:
Step One: Get yourself into a comfortable position and one whereby you are going to be undisturbed for the duration of this exercise. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor and your hands are not touching each other.
Then in that position, induce hypnosis.
There are hundreds of ways of doing this, however the eye-fixation induction is great one to start with. The basic premise is to attempt to produce a great deal of strain on the eye muscles by having to look upwards with the eyes and without moving the head.
I suggest that you attempt to look up at your own forehead, or that you pick a spot on the wall or ceiling to focus on. The spot needs to be high enough to be a slight strain to stare upwards at.
The reason that the gaze is pointed upwards in this way is of course to advance and enhance the tiredness felt in and around the eyes in a speedy timescale. You do not tilt the head backwards at all, otherwise you assist the eyes and just end up staring upwards with a bent neck. You position your head, hold it still, then raise the eyes upwards until it becomes a slight strain to hold the gaze there.
With the eyes fixed in this way, creating some minor strain, you induce a slight sensation of being sleepy. Importantly though, this process gets you to concentrate in an intense fashion. Aim to close your eyes after around 30 seconds or so of fixing your gaze.
Once your gaze is fixed on the elevated point, you need to employ your imagination to make your eyes feel like closing. This is incredibly important. You must help the process along with your thoughts – imagine that your eyelids are getting heavier, tell yourself that they want to close and that it will be so nice and comfortable when they do so. Convince yourself of them getting heavier.
All the time that you are communicating with yourself in your mind in this way, ensure that you keep your gaze fixed in that same position without waivering or moving or allowing your eyes to relax by compensating in some other way. Keep your head and eye position in the way that ensures the eyes become tired.
Then, once they are ready to close, you let them close and that is the initiation of your hypnosis. Like opening a door to your mind using focus and absorption.
You’ve seen what happens when someone is fighting falling asleep. Like when I am sat in front of the fire with the TV on after my dinner in the evenings. I get that sensation in my eyelids where they start to close and I keep snapping them open to regain my focus. Adopt that same behaviour and posture; let your eyes close slowly like someone drifting to sleep.
Then proceed to let your entire body relax deeper by imagining the relaxation you now have in your closed eyelids spreading through your entire body. Spend a few moments doing this and telling yourself you are relaxing more and going deeper into hypnosis.
Use a gentle, relaxing tone when you communicate with yourself, encourage yourself by telling yourself how well you are doing this. Too much effort or anxiety will impair the process. Be gently assured with yourself. Then move on to step two.
Step Two: Develop a heightened awareness of yourself. Become aware of your body, the sensations within it, your breathing, and just observe yourself in this moment. Don’t try to change anything, just watch and observe yourself in this moment. Become so aware of yourself that you can imagine what you look like in that seated position that you are in.
Then imagine that you are watching yourself as you relax in that position. When you are aware of watching yourself as you relax in that position, as if you are seeing yourself from the outside, then move on to the next step.
Step Three: Now as you look at yourself start to float upwards and away from your body, leaving it there in the chair.
Leave the building your body is in and as you float up, imagine going deeper inside your own mind and all the time going higher. Start to notice the surrounding area, notice the life going on and the movements of traffic.
Then start to notice more of the landscape as you travel higher. Start to see the larger land mass and even the coastline as you travel higher, you see less detail of the streets and more of the general surrounding area.
As you float higher, move through the clouds and beyond the atmosphere and take all the time necessary to float up and into space until the entire planet Earth is there is front of you that you can look at in all its beauty and magnificence.
Notice the colours of the planets, the clouds around it and see it from here in space. Spend all the time necessary to do this step in a thorough and enjoyable way, making sure that you notice the different perspectives as you move further away from that point where your body remains. As you float imagine you are getting lighter and lighter.
When you have done this, move on to step four.
Step Four: From this place in space, totally removed from the planet Earth, viewing the earth and all the life that exists within it from this place in outer space, start to imagine you are sharing and benefiting from the wisdom of the universe. That you are gaining insight, wisdom and perspective from being here in space for a while.
You can then start to think about things you wish to achieve; the size, shape and weight you wish to be.
Here in space, start to imagine that moving towards you is an object and as it draws closer, it looks like a high-tech satellite with a screen of some kind with a range of lights, indicators and switches on it and around it. It is a thin unit with a large screen.
As you look at that screen, a light beams from the top of the unit and scans your body. The light gathers up precise and exact details of your current physiological make-up. Once it has moved through and scanned you in full, move on to the next step.
Step Five: Having scanned every facet of your being, the unit begins to compute and make some noises and then an image of your body flashes up on the screen. It is a holographic image with a grid overlaid on it.
The words, “touch screen to edit blueprint” are flashed upon the screen.
As you reach out and move nearer to the screen, you can move your fingers over and around the holographic image to alter and reshape it. You start to edit, reshape and develop this holographic image. You remove any unwanted excesses, add contours to exactly how you’d like your body to be.
Take all the time necessary to develop and create the ideal, realistic body shape that you wish to achieve. Imagine that as you make changes, your mind is becoming more aware of this becoming a realistic way of you perceiving yourself and you find yourself believing that this is more and more achievable.
As you do that, you notice that the screen is computing and developing a programme of some kind, it is building a code that represents the kind of attitude, level of activity, appetite and thought processes that accompany this body. It has all the ingredients required for this kind of body to be realised.
Once you have created the body and reshaped it exactly how you wish it to be and the computerised screen has finished creating the code, then move on to the next step.
Step Six: As you step back and look at what you have created, the words “step inside” flash up onto the screen.
So you float forward and step inside the screen and step inside the holographic image. You see through those eyes, hear through those ears, feel with this heart. You step into the shoes and become that image of yourself that you created earlier. As you do so, you feel for a brief moment a flash of light and sensation running through you as the code is inputted into your brain, and the blueprint of how this body is gets inserted into your mind. As you look around you and move in this body, you notice the screen and computerised satellite unit has disappeared and all that is left is you wearing and being inside of your new body. You move in it and feel how it feels. You notice your thoughts, attitude and approach is that of the owner of this body. Get used to it and enjoy it for a while here in space.
Equipped with that insight and perspective, you now start to return to your place on the planet in front of you. Take all the time necessary to move all the way back down, through the atmosphere and towards that place where you began. Do it thoroughly and at a pace you are comfortable with. As you float back down, you bring with you all the learnings and lessons, the new approach, the new attitude and your mind brings with it the new blueprint of how you choose for your body to be.
Believe in it. Believe in your ability to achieve this. Learn how it fells to have this body. When you arrive back in the chair where you began, move on to the next step.
Step Seven: Once you return to your body, start to feel your own sensations and wiggle your finger and toes, get a sense of where you are, take a couple of deeper, energising breaths and open your eyes to bring the session to an end.
Have a good think about what insights and wisdom you brought back with you and choose to take some action in relation to that. Start to think of yourself as being very close to achieving that desired outcome for your body and start to allow that image to inspire and drive your behaviours from here onwards. Believe that is who you are choosing to be and start to behave, think and feel like that is who you are.
Adam Eason, author of “The Science of Self-Hypnosis: The Evidence-Based Way to Hypnotise Yourself.”