Combating stress and anxiety with self-hypnosis

A closer look at the benefits of self-hypnosis for physical and mental health

Have you ever tried self-hypnosis? This self-induced, altered state of consciousness has many benefits for physical and mental health, such as emotional management, concentration, sleep quality, pain, and sporting performance, and can be particularly effective in dealing with stress and anxiety when practiced on a regular basis. Valérie Roblin, hydrotherapist and sophrologist at Novotel Thalassa Oléron Saint-Trojan , told us all about this discipline, which she recommends incorporating into your well-being routine.

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis: what’s the difference?

Hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness in which a person enters a phase of deep relaxation and focused attention. The person is then more receptive to the hypnotist’s suggestions and instructions.

Self-hypnosis, on the other hand, is a similar state of altered consciousness, achieved by the person themselves, without the aid of a hypnotist or third party. In self-hypnosis, the person uses self-induction techniques to attain a state of deep relaxation and focused attention, such as visualization, meditation, and the repetition of positive suggestions.

During self-hypnosis, you concentrate on suggestions or mental images that will help you to achieve deep relaxation while remaining aware of your surroundings. This state allows you to explore your subconscious and access thoughts, feelings, and memories that are normally beyond your conscious reach.

The aim is to create your own hypnotic state whenever you want, without outside help. Both methods have similar therapeutic applications.

Anxiety management and well-being: what are the benefits of self-hypnosis?

Self-hypnosis can have a beneficial effect on:

●   Reducing stress and anxiety by generating a state of deep relaxation.

●   Improving self-confidence and self-esteem by working on negative beliefs and self-limiting thoughts.

●   Chronic and acute pain management.

●   Improving concentration by working on managing distractions and disruptive thoughts.

●   Weight loss by reinforcing drivers and contributing to positive changes in eating habits.

●   Improving sleep by inducing a state of deep relaxation and helping to combat insomnia and night-time awakenings.

●   Reducing addictive behaviors (tobacco, alcohol, or drug use) by strengthening the motivation to quit while working on emotional triggers.

Self-hypnosis can also be used to prepare for an important event such as an exam, a speaking engagement, or sporting event, or simply to recuperate. The effects of self-hypnosis can, of course, vary from one person to another, depending on the goals pursued.

The benefits include reducing stress and improved emotional management. Self-hypnosis really helps to release emotions and any mental overload. It allows you to escape, to create a bubble around yourself, a safe place where you can go to recharge your batteries.

Does self-hypnosis really work on stress and anxiety?

Self-hypnosis can help combat stress and anxiety in several ways:

●   Reducing sympathetic nervous system activity: when we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated, causing an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. Self-hypnosis can help reduce sympathetic nervous system activity by inducing a state of deep relaxation.

●   Lowering cortisol levels: cortisol is a hormone produced in response to stress. High cortisol levels can ultimately lead to health problems such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

●   Improving mood: by creating a state of deep relaxation and focusing on positive thoughts.

●   Increasing resistance to stress: the body learns to deal with stressful situations more effectively.

By practicing self-hypnosis regularly, you can strengthen your ability to manage stress and maintain a state of relaxation and well-being through controlled breathing and the use of visualization techniques and positive affirmations.

How can you use self-hypnosis to free yourself from anxiety?

Here is a simple, ten-step self-hypnosis exercise to help you manage stress:

  1. 1. Find somewhere quiet and comfortable where you will not be disturbed.

  2. 2. Sit or lie down, then close your eyes. If necessary, take a blanket to cover yourself.

  3. 3. Relax by breathing deeply and slowly for a few minutes.

  4. 4. Visualize a quiet, peaceful place, like a beach or a park, and imagine yourself in that setting.

  5. 5. Take your time observing the colors of the landscape (the sky, the clouds, the flowers, the snow, etc.), then look at the shapes (the mountains, the waves coming and going on the sand, for example).

  6. 6. Feel the calm gradually settle into your body. When you start to feel relaxed, let it happen. Enjoy this moment of well-being.

  7. 7. Notice the pleasant sensations running through you, and pay attention to everything around you, including sounds, smells, colors, and shapes, as if you were really there.

  8. 8. Allow yourself to be transported to this place, and enjoy the present moment.

  9. 9. Remain in this state of deep well-being for between 10 and 20 minutes at most.

  10. 10. When you are ready, open your eyes, stretch and take a few deep breaths before standing up.

Practicing self-hypnosis regularly can help you reduce stress symptoms over the long term.

How often should you practice self-hypnosis to manage daily stresses?

How often you practice self-hypnosis can vary from person to person, depending on your goals. For some, daily practice is necessary, while for others, a weekly or monthly practice may be enough. Practice self-hypnosis at a time and place when you can relax and focus. It is important to find the best time for you.

To get the best results, we recommend devoting at least 20 minutes to each session.

If your schedule allows for it, the ideal way to practice is for around ten minutes per day. Self-hypnosis is an excellent wellness habit, helping you to take refuge in a safe space before a difficult situation or when you need to recharge your batteries quickly.

Regular practice naturally leads to faster, more targeted results. Not only does it help to manage stress and panic attacks, it also boosts self-confidence.

Once you have access to this source of creativity within you, your health and well-being will blossom from the inside out.

Is self-hypnosis recommended for everyone?

In theory, self-hypnosis can be practiced by most people, provided they have no serious mental or physical disorders that could be aggravated by self-hypnosis. If you are new to self-hypnosis, it is a good idea to start with guided sessions (using a mobile app, for example), or with the help of a mental health professional trained in hypnosis.

Try self-hypnosis on a wellness break

Many Thalasso and spa resorts offer introductory self-hypnosis sessions. Each session takes place in a peaceful room, with gentle lighting and relaxing music designed to inspire deep relaxation. Guided and lulled by the therapist’s voice, using breathing and visualization techniques, you will find that your body relaxes very quickly. You will feel an immediate and profound sense of well-being that will last for hours after.

The therapist will give you a few simple exercises to learn how to self-hypnotize. Further training is of course required to access this space of deep well-being on your own.