Staying calm during a hypnosis session can sometimes feel difficult, especially when you’re first starting off with hypnosis. This is totally normal, I remember similar feelings when I had my first hypnosis session. But with preparation and a few action steps, staying calm throughout can feel like a walk in the park.
How To Stay Calm During A Hypnosis Session: 7 Practical Tips
The best way to stay calm during a hypnosis session is to focus clearly on the therapist’s words. Your mind may wander and this is normal but by trusting what the therapist is saying and not overanalyzing instructions or suggestions given, you will be able to remain calm and slip into hypnosis easily. Preparation beforehand to eliminate distractions and set expectations will assist with this process.
An experienced hypnotherapist will tell you that proper preparation before your hypnosis session is key to remaining calm and relaxed. Doing so will result in a more enjoyable and successful hypnosis session.
All the tools that you will need to remain calm so you achieve a productive hypnosis session are within this guide.
1. Limit possible distractions
Think back to the time where you were in a rush to get to sleep because you had to get up early the next day. What would have impacted your ability to relax and drift off easily?
The problem with Distractions.
The problem with getting distracted or anticipating a distraction is that it either disrupts your rhythm or you keep focusing on the potential distraction.
These distractions restrict your ability to go deeper into hypnosis and can impact the effectiveness of it. Therefore, you need to make sure that you block any potential distractions that may come your way.
This could be as simple as turning off your phone so you don’t feel a vibration from a text. You could make sure that the important phone call you had scheduled was not instantly after your session. You can even clarify with the therapist whether there is any likelihood of distractions during the session.
2. Tame the mind
If you’ve had a bad day or things are happening in your personal life, it is natural for your brain to be in overdrive.
If this happens and you are constantly worrying about a stressful moment in your day, it is more difficult to remain calm during the hypnosis session and therefore be less likely to absorb the positive suggestions. This means that the session loses its effectiveness.
Shake it off, here’s how
We’ve all had these moments, where it feels impossible to shake bad feelings. However, if we can reframe our focus for a short period, we can begin to feel better.
For example, if you feel your brain churning over negative thoughts before your session, focus on things that you are grateful for in life. Or focus on what is going well for you, or focus on the abundance that you have in your life.
If you focus on this for only a couple of minutes, you will be able to feel better about your day, feel calmer and in a more relaxed head-space for your session.
If you find yourself losing focus during the hypnosis session, it is worth remembering the power of the breath. You can use breathing to help you remain calm in two ways:
Using techniques found in meditation, focusing on your breath can allow you to channel your thoughts and refocus your mind away from negative thoughts.
Your mind will wander, which is normal, but when you catch yourself getting distracted, gently acknowledge the thought and refocus your mind on your breathing again. Focusing on your breath will help you control unsettling thoughts.
Breathing exercises are great for relaxation.
During your hypnosis session, your therapist will take you through some breathing exercises to help induce you into a hypnotic state. This will make you feel calm naturally.
However, if you find yourself getting agitated, try breathing in through your nose for four seconds, and then breathing out for six and repeat five times. Having a longer out-breath than in-breath is a technique that you can use to get you into a more relaxed state by turning down your sympathetic nervous system.
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4. Focus on what it is that you want to achieve
You are likely using hypnotherapy for a reason.
You want to use its ability to communicate with the subconscious brain and help alleviate pain, change beliefs or perceptions about yourself or even quit a bad habit.
Whatever the reason for your attending the hypnosis session, that is your motivation, use it to your advantage.
Why? Because by focusing on the positive outcome that you want to achieve, you will remind yourself of the importance of making the change. Your why.
Therefore, if you start feeling uncomfortable during your hypnosis session, focus on what it is you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. Or focus on what the end goal will look like when you solve your problem.
You can repeat positive affirmations to yourself during the process. For example, ‘I will do X’, ‘I will achieve my goals’, or ‘This is making me stronger’.
If you do this whilst focusing on your goal you will be able to reframe any stress in your situation and put yourself into a positive mind-frame.
5. Visualise your safe place
Visualisation is incredibly powerful. It allows us to focus on what we want and then attract it into our lives. It also can reframe our emotions and change how we feel or perceive something instantly.
A powerful way you can use the benefits of visualisation to help you remain calm during your hypnosis session is to focus on your safe place.
You can use your imagination and your mind’s eye to picture somewhere you feel safe.
It could be somewhere made-up like in a downstairs cellar, on top of a mountain or on a beach – whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy.
Visualise yourself in this space for a couple of seconds, ensuring that you tell yourself that you are going to this place because it makes you feel safe, and that nothing bad or wrong can happen to you here.
Extra tip: To make the visualisation even more powerful, it is best to focus on all the different aspects of your senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell.
For example, can you feel the hot sun on your face? Can you hear the crashing of the waves? Can you taste the coolness of the ice-cream? Can you feel the warmth in your stomach?
The more you focus on the quality of each sense, the deeper you will go into feeling the relaxing emotions of this safe space.
6. Limit expectation
I’m sure you have an expectation of how you feel you should act or what you feel the hypnosis session will contain, whether it is your first or fifth time.
The problem with expectations is that they make you compare experiences.
For example, if your first hypnosis session went well, you may have high expectations that the second session will deliver the same results.
On the contrary, if it is your first session you may use memories of film and TV or from speaking to people to create your expectation of what it is going to be like.
The problem with this is that you begin to overanalyze things in your mind which distracts you from getting into a deeper trance-like state.
Understand what to expect from your hypnosis session by speaking with your therapist. This will allow you to highlight questions or concerns you may have and allow you to understand the process. In addition, avoid becoming obsessive over what is ‘right or wrong’, just relax and follow the therapist’s suggestions.
7. Trust the process
Your mind-set before the hypnosis session is critical. I will explain this in a little more detail shortly.
Having doubts and being uncertain are going to have an impact on your mind’s ability to stay calm during the process. If you don’t feel comfortable or trust the therapist, it’s almost impossible for you to become hypnotised.
Therefore it is key that you must trust the process.
Trust that this process can help you, trust that the hypnotherapist knows what they are doing and trust that it will get easier and more familiar the more you get used to the feeling.
You need to be aware of the fact that you are in a safe space and with a professional who has your best interests at heart. They are not there to turn you against your values and morals or get you to walk around to do what they so wish (like you may see in the movies).
By having this trust, you will have opened yourself up for an opportunity to feel at ease and relaxed about the process.
What do I need to do to make sure I’m fully prepared for the hypnosis session?
The more prepared you are for your hypnosis session and the more positive outlook you have on it, the more impactful it is going to be on your life. By reducing concerns and setting up the expectation of what the experience is going to be like, you are more likely to go into it with a relaxed and positive mindset.
As I mentioned, it is key to make sure that you trust your hypnotherapist. Therefore there are a few questions that you need to tick off before you can put your mind at ease.
Know the therapist
Let’s start with the obvious. The first thing you will want to know is whether they are a trained therapist. You may want to delve even further here by asking them about their previous experience. For example, where and what they studied, what their previous experience looks like and how long they have been in the practice.
After this, you can even ask them a few more exciting questions, such as what positive changes they have seen in people.
It might be best to get the answer to these questions cleared up before you take up your first session.
Learn about hypnosis
Do you know what hypnotherapy is and do you know what it feels like?
If you have never been hypnotised before it is unlikely that you know the answer to these questions.
You must know this as it will help set your expectations, as if you’ve only learned about hypnosis through films, your opinion and expectation may be a little skewed from reality.
For reference, hypnosis is an altered state of consciousness.
Don’t worry too much though, the therapist will talk you through the process before they begin. It is just important for them that you are reassured and that any misconceptions are dealt with to allow you to be in a relaxed frame of mind. This is also a good time to air any other questions you may have about the process.
Being mentally prepared and in the right mindset is critical to the success of hypnosis. If you become fixated that hypnosis will not work for you and you become hypercritical of the process, you will not reach a new level of consciousness for the process to work properly.
Hypnotherapy works. And it has worked for centuries.
It has helped people stop smoking. It has helped people control physical pain. It has helped people who suffer symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress, lose weight become happy, the list goes on.
Heck, it’s helped me get over my life-long phobia of blue whales (literally!).
To get the real, lasting benefits of hypnotherapy you must go into the session open-minded and curious about what it is and how it can help you. You need to make the decision that you are going to allow the therapist to work on you.
Before you walk through the door of the therapy room, you must be comfortable with the following:
- You need to WANT to be hypnotised.
- You need to NOT be overly skeptical and doubtful.
- You need to AVOID being frightened of the thought of being hypnotised.
- You need to ACCEPT the processes involves and not over-analyse
If your mind has a positive response to the above points, then you are more likely to have an enjoyable experience and leave the room feeling inspired.
Believe hypnotherapy can help you
Beliefs are a critical component of self-improvement. They play an integral part in how we live our lives.
Limiting beliefs about one’s ability can be detrimental to growth and mental health.
Positive beliefs about your ability can allow you to power through other people’s doubts and criticism and come out a success.
This has a lot to do with the law of attraction: what you focus on, you attract and become.
This will work in regards to how you approach the hypnosis session.
If you don’t believe it will help you, your mind will focus on that fact and the consequence of it is your mind will pick up on things that contradict the process and you will also get distracted easier.
On the other hand, if you believe that hypnotherapy can help you, your mind will become a lot more open to suggestions and you will be able to focus more easily on allowing it to work for you.
Just as it is important that you prepare yourself mentally before the hypnosis session so you can iron out any distractions or pessimism about the process, it is also important that you prepare yourself physically too.
This means sorting potential problems that may pop into your head naturally mid-session.
If you were trying to relax for the evening on the sofa, you wouldn’t choose to wear tight jeans or large boots, would you? And if you did, you would probably keep thinking about how uncomfortable they were.
For you to limit distractions and be calm during the session, it helps to be comfortable. This involves sorting out the following:
- Wear comfortable clothes: or the contrary, avoid uncomfortable clothes.
- Take shoes off: and bring a pair of comfy socks
- Avoid being overly hungry or thirsty: the therapist will be able to provide water, but not a pizza. Eat at least 2 hours before to let your food settle or to avoid hunger pains.
- Be flushed: make sure you utilise the toilet facilities before-hand. You don’t want to keep thinking about your next toilet break throughout…
- Avoid over-tiredness: falling asleep on the chair because you have only had three hours sleep is probably not the greatest preparation.
- Avoid stimulants/alcohol: ideally, avoid drinking four cups of coffee or having a large glass of wine before-hand. Your mind should be completely focused.
- Don’t rush: don’t schedule a session at a time that will risk you being late to work or a meeting. The thought and stress of getting the session being over quickly will hinder how relaxed you are.
Whilst you are sat on the therapy bed, feel free to ask the therapist if they can cover you with a light blanket and adjust the lighting to create a dim and relaxing environment too.
Did any of the relaxation techniques discussed above resonate most with you? Or are there any other questions you are unsure of and need answers?
Please get in touch as it will allow us to continue to help more people like you!
Can hypnosis help with anxiety?
Did you know we repeat almost the same thought-processes every day? This is why anxiety can feel difficult to get through. However, unlike traditional ways of treating anxiety, which are quick-fixes that mask these thought processes, hypnotherapy rewires these thoughts by getting to the heart of where they stem from – the subconscious. By using hypnotherapy to communicate with your subconscious, you are able to make lasting changes to your thought-process. And this works to help get rid of addictions, phobias and habitual negative thoughts.
How many hypnosis sessions will I need?
The average is around 2-3 sessions for a change of one habit. However, the amount of hypnosis sessions you will need to attract real, lasting change into your life depends on what it is you want to change. For example, stopping smoking can be as quick as one session dependant on the type of smoker you are. Alternatively, hypnosis for weight loss could take a little longer due to changing lifestyle choices that have been habitual for decades.
CEO & Founder | Clinical Hypnotherapist | Weight Loss Specialist
Leading the charge is Jodi Clarke, the CEO and Founder of Awaecnan who is also a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist specialising in weight loss. Having studied at The Academy of Hypnotic Science, an Australian government accredited Clinical Hypnotherapy training academy, Jodi’s hypnotherapy skills are both effective and award-winning as she supports clients to achieve positive changes in their everyday lives.