Tips for getting the most from your hypnosis CD or Mp3 download
Listen when your mind is fresh, alert and awake
Contrary to popular belief, hypnosis is usually most effective when you are not tired or drowsy. Some people do feel sleepy during trance, but the mind should still remain clear and receptive. Remember that when used for entertainment, hypnotised people on stage can cavort around excitedly with their eyes open and yet be very much hypnotised, so let go of the idea that trance is always associated with drowsiness or sleep. Hypnotic sleep is quite different to normal sleep because you do not lose consciousness or awareness.
Sit in an upright position
For most people (but not everyone) an upright position is better than lying down - this applies to any kind of self hypnosis, including listening to recordings. The main reason is to avoid the risk of falling asleep, because without the presence of a therapist to watch over things, there is little to prevent you from drifting into real sleep as soon as the mind and body start to relax very deeply. This is much less likely to happen if you are upright, relaxed and clear minded.
For some people it is quite a novel experience to discover just how deeply relaxed the mind can become whilst retaining consciousness - without actually going to sleep. This is by far the best way to approach listening to your recording. You may have experienced this deep mental relaxation if you have been hypnotised before, or perhaps during meditation, yoga or massage. If you have, you will already know what an incredibly blissful and pleasurable feeling it can be. If you choose to lie down during self hypnosis you may simply fall asleep and miss out altogether on this incredible altered state.
This is not a hard and fast rule, for those who are experienced in listening to hypnosis audio may find that they relax more easily and deeply if they lie down because they manage very well to stay awake and alert, so you may just have to experiment to see if this applies to you.
You may have often heard hypnotists on TV or YouTube using the command "sleep!" but they are referring to hypnotic sleep - which is much more like a daydream than normal sleep. Hypnotic sleep occurs when the critical mind relaxes and the automatic, unconscious mind is able to tune in, absorb and carry out instructions.
Some people believe that the brain can continue to take on board information during actual sleep - often referred to as subliminal learning - but nearly all scientific research in this area shows that subliminal learning ability is absent in most people. Put bluntly, it means that if you fall asleep during hypnosis, nothing is likely to go in.
Of course, if you are listening to hypnosis to overcome insomnia you could deliberately opt to listen lying down as you will probably be delighted if you end up falling asleep and even use the recording as a method of falling asleep.
Choose somewhere where you feel safe, warm and relaxed
Your own room is a good bet, but traveling in the train to work will do if you feel relaxed and comfortable because outside noise should not bother you if listening on headphones and is usually incorporated into the hypnosis. Make sure you never listen when driving, cycling or doing anything that requires your concentration. Some people wish to listen when walking or jogging, but if you try this, please bear in mind that you will always be asked to close your eyes at the beginning of the recording, and although this is not strictly necessary for everyone, your eyes may start closing automatically at some point, especially if you have listened to the same track before. Unless you are jogging somewhere without roads to cross or obstacles in your way, it is best not to take risks and choose somewhere where you will be safe and be able to close your eyes.
Younger people, especially children, do not necessarily need to close their eyes to get the benefit of hypnosis, or to use their imaginations to the full extent, but for vast majority of people it is advisable. Once you are used to your recording you may wish to sometimes look at computer generated visualisations as an alternative to eye closure. In this case I recommend using some of the hypnotic visualisations that can be downloaded for use with Winamp. iTunes and Windows Media Play also provide suitable visualisations.
It is always a good idea to switch off all phones or put them on silent beforehand. If you are disturbed during hypnosis you will normally find you are able to wake up easily, though it may feel as if you are being roused from a deep sleep. You should then be able to continue listening from where you broke off and will go quickly back into hypnosis, if not, resume from the beginning.
At the end of the session you will hear my voice wakening you and returning you to your everyday normal waking state, after which you should be able to get on with things as normal. In fact you will very likely feel refreshed, energised and revitalised.
Don't worry about how well you imagine or visualise things
Do not worry about how well, if at all, you can imagine things that are described to you, particularly with regard to visualising. Approach it the way you would when, say, hearing a story read out to you from a book or from the radio. All that matters is that you listen and let yourself imagine things (or not imagine things as the case may be) in your natural own way. If you see things in your imagination fine, if you don't see things accurately, or at all, that's fine too. You can relax, knowing there is nothing special required from you whatsoever, any more than there would be if you were listening to a story.
You may have previously been told, or have assumed, that you need to be a good visualiser to go properly into hypnosis. Let go of this preconception, it just reflects a complete misunderstanding about the nature of hypnosis. Deep trance is more about being good at focusing, paying attention and just going with the flow.
This is why it is so important to get hold of a quality CD or download that you will enjoy hearing a number of times. The higher the quality the voice, the delivery, the style, the music the more often you will play it, so don't cheapskate!
Obviously you should continue to listening until you experience the resolution or change you are looking for - every day if you wish. My own recordings have been deliberately created with repeated listenings in mind. For example, both "Relax, De-stress and Unwind" and "Slim Now and Stay Slim" were specifically designed so that they could be enjoyed on a regular basis. Each listening should take you more easily and deeper into hypnosis and also take you on a journey through your imagination that you will enjoy and appreciate, as if you were experiencing a brief holiday or break. The aim is that you awaken feeling revitalised and calm, just as you would when returning from a holiday in real life.
The content of some hypnosis recordings sound more like a drab, regimental lectures than mainstream hypnotherapy. They are quite unlike the usual style adopted by most, properly trained hypnotherapists and remind me of the kind of boring voices that sent me to sleep at school and college! These products pander to the false public impression that hypnosis should consists of a list of repetitive commands spoken in a mysterious, monotone voice! If you've tried one of these kinds of recordings out you will already know that it is hard enough to listen through to them once, let alone want to repeat the experience!
Ever bought an unknown movie or CD from the cheap bin only to regret it later? The chances are you'd probably play it once through once but then you'd throw it away! Similarly, when buying a hypnosis mp3 or CD, it is usually best to avoid the cheaper stuff and check out the sound of the voice and the background music or sound effects before you make any purchase, because you will likely be needing to listen to it over and over. I cannot stress this enough!
When overcoming a phobia or addiction it may well only be necessary to listen to a hypnosis CD once, but repetition is more often than not crucial - say for something like increasing confidence. If you are looking to boost your confidence, my own CD, "More Confidence Now" will provide you with what I hope you will find to be a very listenable product that you will find pleasant enough to play on a regular basis. It's important you keep playing it because each time you do, you should notice a gradual increase in confidence and self assurance.