When I was a hypnotherapist I often used to ask my clients how they relaxed. Very often they would say “I can’t relax” – which could have something to do with why they ended up with problems that they had to seek help for.
I loved it when they said that, because I knew they were almost always in for a treat as they discovered simple ways that they could relax, much more quickly and much more deeply than they expected.
This is one of the simplest self-hypnosis methods that I used to show them, and probably one of the simplest and easiest anywhere. I also teach it near the start of my ‘Self-Hypnosis Made Easy’ one-day course (email me if you would like me to run another one, in Manchester or elsewhere). I thought I would share it with you in case it’s useful.
There are at least three ways you can use this. If you need to relax more and recharge your batteries – and especially if you spend a lot of time supporting other people (most leaders, managers and professionals are notoriously bad at taking time just for themselves to renew their energies), use this script to help yourself get better at relaxing.
You can learn it by heart and run yourself through it, or (easier) get a friend to read it to you, delivering each phrase as you breathe out (it’s more relaxing that way), or (easier still) record yourself reading it on your computer or iPhone so you can play it back to yourself whenever you need to relax.
If you are a coach or therapist, you can use this to help your clients relax, and teach it to them as a relaxation method. If you are a hypnotherapist, you can use it as a lead-in to pretty much any of your favourite deepeners, scripts, or Ericksonian extemporisations.
If you are a trainer of NLP, or anything else where relaxation is a useful aid to learning, you can use this as a lead-in to guided visualisations or just as a light relaxation method (e.g. for reviewing material at the end of the training day). If your audience might be uncomfortable with the idea of hypnosis, just describe it as an easy relaxation method – which it is.
Here’s the script:
Now just begin to relax, and sit comfortably and symmetrically in your chair so you can hold yourself upright with a mimimum of muscular effort… and close your eyes… and be aware of your breathing… and you don’t have to change your breathing in any way at all… although your breathing may change… all by itself… maybe gradually breathing slower… and deeper… all by itself… or maybe taking a deep breath and letting it out… all by itself… and all your conscious mind has to do… is be aware of your breathing as it flows in… and out… and any time you may feel your attention wandering, just bring it back to focus on your breathing… and because you’re now more relaxed… you may notice certain pleasant sensations… and notice things that you normally overlook… like the way the cool air flows over your upper lip as you breathe in… and it will feel warmer as you breathe out… and I wonder if your attention can follow each in-breath… a little bit deeper down each time… a little bit deeper down… until pretty soon… your attention can follow each breath… all the way… deep down… inside…
(pause for as long as you like – then return:)
And it’s almost time to begin to come back now… and just before you do… remember that next time you choose to relax in this way… you can relax more quickly… more easily… more deeply… each time you choose to relax in this way… so now… bringing everything that you’ve liked about this back with you… just begin to come back to full waking consciousness… as your energy levels rise… you feel more alert… starting to move and stretch a little… and open your eyes, feeling refreshed, alert and fully awake, as if you’ve just had a deep, refreshing sleep. And welcome back!
Do let me know how you get on with this script – leave a comment below!