Self-hypnosis helps mitigate limiting thoughts that cause anxiety. All hypnosis is really self-hypnosis.
Most self-hypnosis is comprised of positive affirmations used in a way that focuses the conscious mind on a positive thought or outcome, for example, “Every day, I am productive at work.” This form of self-hypnosis is autosuggestion. Practice this for minutes every day with your eyes closed and envision what it would be like for you to be productive. Define it to your specifications.
When the conscious mind focuses on a positive outcome, our biology responds with calming and feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, and endorphins, which helps us feel calmer and more grounded.
The more of these neurotransmitters we produce, the less likely we will feel anxious. When we relax, we experience more of these neurotransmitters, so a form of self-hypnosis could be going to the spa or getting a massage.
Self-hypnosis can also occur unintentionally such as when you are watching a movie you enjoy, driving a vehicle, gardening, engaged in a sport, playing with your kids or listening to your cat purr. These activities may cause you to lose track of time, which is in effect self-hypnosis. It may feel like you are “in the zone.”
Listening to activities in church or a place of religious or spiritual devotion can also bring about a deep focus that allows your conscious mind to become more susceptible to positive suggestion. This is a form of self-hypnosis.
Mindfulness is a form of self-hypnosis. It’s simply means being aware of what you are thinking and how you feel. It means being an impartial observer of yourself, which creates emotional distance from whatever you might be focusing on. Practice noticing and observing each day without judgment or the need to fix or correct. This brings you more into alignment with the flow of events and reduces resistance, which also helps to reduce anxiety.
Meditation is another form of self-hypnosis. Most people find that meditation practice takes a while to get the hang of it, but increasingly, schools are using meditation for kids instead of plain old quiet time. Meditation is a learned practice which can bring about calm.
Just about anything can be considered to be self hypnosis, especially if our intention is centered on feeling better. I’ve given a host of examples and each category or type of self hypnosis will work well for some, but not for others. Find what works for you and stick with it!