Once you are in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus inwards. Pay attention to your muscles. Become aware of where your arms are in relation to your body, where your legs are, how your feet feel, how your back is supported. Then, consciously relax your body. You can mentally tour round your body sensing areas of tension or you can deliberately relax each part. One simple way is to start with one foot. Gently tense the whole foot and then relax it. Then the ankle. Gently tense the ankle and then relax it. Continue up the leg, tensing and relaxing each part one after the other. Then tense and relax all the parts of the other leg. Then use the same technique on your body, chest, arms, neck, face and head. Then mentally tour round your body and check that every part is relaxed, particularly your shoulders, mouth and jaw. If not, tense and relax the part again. After doing this routine a few times you will find that you can drop into a totally relaxed state almost instantaneously.
Now pay attention to your breathing. Take a deep breath, hold it... and let it go. As you let it go, allow your body to relax even more than it is right now. Take another breath, hold it.... and let it go. This time as you breathe out, let your body relax even more. Do this a third time, telling yourself that you can become ten times more relaxed still.
You will begin to feel some changes inside yourself immediately, this is your body reacting to the release of tension in muscle groups you were not even aware of, particularly the shoulders.
Next, focus on your normal breathing. Become aware of how you breath in and breath out. Just enjoy the quiet rhythm of gentle breathing, becoming aware of how you can feel the air travelling deep inside, become curious as to how deeply you can feel the air going down. As you do so, on every out breath, think to yourself the command "Deeper relaxed...." and give yourself permission to let go, to really relax, to sink gently into whatever is holding you up. Many people need no more than this to find themselves drifting away.....and before they realize it.... they are deep in a lovely velvety welcoming trance.
It is possible to relax the body and not relax the mind. If you find that you become aware of yourself snoring (yes, it does happen!) or you find you are having difficulty swallowing, it means that you have relaxed your muscles only. In the state of trance you remain in control of your muscles. If that happens just tell your throat muscles to reshape themselves so that you are breathing comfortably again, and carry on.
With your body relaxed and breathing gently you may find that stray ideas and thoughts begin drifting idly through your mind. This means you are entering a state of light trance.
When you first enter a light trance you will likely find specific thoughts, experiences or memories coming to mind. You can focus on these and explore them, but usually these are current concerns: 'what am I going to eat for lunch?', 'Did I close the garage door?' and so on. Focusing on these will not lead to a deeper trance. You need to get past them... Just acknowledge the thought... tell yourself that you will deal with it later... watch it drifting away... or you can just stack them up somewhere... or you can suggest it is getting more and more transparent until it vanishes... or you can imagine it drifting off and getting smaller and smaller until you don't have to pay attention any more. Several of these thoughts may come appear one after the other, but if you dismiss them you will eventually come to a state of 'empty mind'. You are effectively looking at the inside you your own eyelids. With no other distractions your mind is now free to open up to its inner experience. Most people report that they begin to get tiny memory flashes, half glimpses of images, brief fractions of sound or feelings.
What is happening is that because your eyes are closed, and there is nothing much to hear, the nerves in your visual and hearing systems have nothing to do, and begin firing randomly. This is quite natural. Your subconscious then tries to match these random inputs to its store of memories and the tiny inputs trigger tiny responses. It is very common to see a kaleidoscope of rapidly changing images: parts of faces, fragments of shapes, or to have vague half formed memories transform into something else and then fade away. If you just allow the process to happen and make no attempt to influence the process then one of these random memory retrievals will touch on something important to your subconscious.... and without any effort on your part.... your mind will drift away....you will have a pleasant trance experience .... while your subconscious works through whatever it is.
You can just let your thoughts go where they will or you can choose the type of experience you want to have. One simple method is to imagine drifting out of your body, gently detaching and looking down at yourself from the ceiling, observe yourself breathing gently and then allow your mind to drift a little higher, outside the room, then far above the rooftops and on out into the space between the planets.
Or you can imagine your mind opening like a flower .... first one petal.... and then another .... until your mind is totally open to a universe of possibilities.
Or put yourself in some favourite place, a walk by a river maybe, or snuggling with someone, or whatever seems peaceful to you. And as you explore that place in your mind, really open yourself to all the sensations: see the sunlight vivid and bright....hear the birds singing.... feel the breeze in your hair ..... smell the scents on the wind....And just trust your subconscious to take you to a place that's right for you. You will find that mostly you will go to a different place each time and you never know what lovely gift your mind will have in store for you.
This process gives a very pleasant dreamy experience, and many people prefer to go no further than because they find it is all they need to achieve spiritual awareness and personal enlightenment.
You can slip into self hypnosis and simply allow the process to take you where it will, or you can actively direct your unconscious mind to work on some specific aspect of your life. There are two transformation techniques especially suited to self hypnosis: affirmations and visualisation.
Being in a trance is the perfect place to use affirmations. An affirmation is a phrase, a set of words that you repeat to yourself until it is fixed permanently into your unconscious mind. Repeated often enough, the affirmation will become a belief, a part of your core personality. Affirmations are designed to counter some negative aspect of yourself, usually a negative belief or negative behaviour. Suppose you hate meeting people at parties and always get flustered and embarrassed. This would probably be because you hold a belief somewhere that you are not good enough, that people will be judging you. Stated as a belief, this would be something like "I am not good enough and everyone will know that when they meet me". An affirmation turns that round into "I do many things outstandingly well, so I greet people warmly and confidently". Say it often enough and it will become true. After all, that was how the negative belief was installed originally, by people giving you negative messages over and over as you grew up. All negative behaviour is based on a negative belief, and can be said as a negative statement, which can be turned into a positive affirmation. Make your affirmations short, personal and positive. Focus on the behaviour you want, not on what you don't want. As you go into self hypnosis you will be able to rehearse your affirmation and direct your unconscious mind to dwell on it, to examine it, to link it to other ideas for as long as you are in trance and gradually it will replace the negative belief, and your behaviour will become more positive.
Visualisation is the most powerful of the in-trance techniques. Decide what you want and then visualise yourself going into that situation and then guide your behaviour until you achieve that result. Your mind cannot tell the difference between something vividly imagined and something that you really experienced. So if you imagine yourself overcoming a problem then your mind will create the resources you need. The visualisation process is rather like being in a dream but being able to guide the dream in the direction you want it to go. Suppose you want to overcome an embarrassing shyness at parties. You would get into trance and in the first stages of trance imagine a party situation coming up. See yourself going to the party, mentally inspect your clothing and appearance. As you confirm each thing is exactly right, give yourself a shot of confidence, and build up to feeling great. If something is not right, then since this is your dream, you have endless power to make it right. If you want a Rolex watch, then you can give yourself the biggest, flashiest, most expensive Rolex ever made. It's your dream after all, and you can do anything you could do in a sleeping dream. You can leap tall buildings or change shape or do anything you choose. So then see yourself going through the next stage, arriving at the party, greeting the host, seeing admiration in their eyes, hearing them saying great things about you, really happy you have come. Then go through the process of meeting a new person, a person you find really intimidating. Imagine yourself saying just the right thing, see their reaction, move through the crowd like a politician, greeting and being welcomed. If anything doesn't go exactly right, then go back and do it again until it is right. Take yourself through the whole situation from arriving to leaving, and see yourself doing everything right. This will boost your confidence and build up a set of 'memories' for yourself so that the next time you do go to a party these 'memories' will be recalled and you actually will get the confidence you imagined you had. You can do the same with public speaking or asking for a date, or confronting your boss - the general process will work with any situation.
The easiest way of coming out of self hypnosis is to simply set a time before you go into trance. When you settle down to start the process, tell yourself that you will come out of trance in say 20 minutes, or at 8:15 or whatever time you want. Your unconscious mind will keep track of the time and bring you out exactly on time. If you have no particular need to limit your trance session, then you can allow the nature of your mental activity to determine how long you stay in trance. (No one has ever got stuck in trance. It just isn't possible. Even if a person tried to stay in trance, at some point they would have to fall into natural sleep, and when they woke up they would be out of trance). If you are using a visualisation then the time to come out of trance is when you have completed all things you want to do. If you are using affirmations, it usually happens that your affirmation leads to mentally acting out a scenario where you experience what the affirmation is intended to do, and the scenario will end naturally at some point. If you choose to allow your mind to open to whatever comes, then you will become aware of your body again just before the scheduled time. Whichever method you use, at some point you will become aware that you are in trance, which is the trigger for coming out of it.
As you come out of trance you will become aware of your body and experience a profound feeling of relaxation. There is nothing to stop you just getting up at that point, but you might find you feel very slack and unfocussed for several hours depending on what depth of trance you went to. It is usually better to create a little routine for yourself.
As you come back towards full consciousness say to yourself something like...."I am going to count up to five.... at five I will be fully alert, confident, feeling great, just like I have had hours of refreshing sleep.... One... becoming aware of how good I feel..... Two.... getting ready to awake fully..... Three..... muscles waking, arms and legs stirring.... Four....eyes fluttering, getting ready for a big stretch.... feeling wonderful in every way.... Five....eyes open, feeling great... ready for the rest of the day...."