Meditation can be used as a tool to program your brain--ie, hypnotize yourself.  It's useful for relieving stress, relaxing the body, and inducing sleepiness if you suffer from intermittent insomnia.  My conjecture is that meditation would be an excellent way to hypnotize oneself to stop smoking or cease any other unpleasant habits, although I don't know for sure.  It'd make an interesting research topic, for any of you .


How To Hypnotize Yourself: A Beginner's Guide

A good friend of mine explained how they meditate themselves into a hypnotic state, and it worked for me as well, so I shall pass it on to you.  

First, turn off all other distractions--the TV, the computer, the music, etc.  Arrange your body so that it is symmetric on the right and left--I've tried to do this in the lotus position and it doesn't work for me.  Close your eyes.

Now to the important bit.  The key is monotonous, non-automatic counting.  My friend counts in Hungarian, whereas I count by multiples of three or five.  The number system doesn't matter--what matters is that the number doesn't immediately flow into your conscious thoughts in the same way that your brain can immediately fire off numbers up to about fifty or so (your mileage may vary).  It should take an EFFORT to think of the next number in the series--it shouldn't come naturally to you.

You should probably expect to count about fifty off in the series.  You'll know you're doing it correctly when you feel "distant" from your body--you should be able to move your body if you exert a force, but it'll feel like it takes more effort than it usually would.  That means you're now in a trance.  You can stop counting now.  Don't move!  It can only distract you.

Now you are ready to give yourself instructions.  It's wise to know what it is you want to do beforehand.  Phrase your meta-program in very simple terms: "I feel tired," or "I am calm," or "Cigs taste bad".  Repeat it a few dozen times.  Time seems to pass a little differently when you're in a trance.

Okay, now you're done hypnotizing yourself.  I usually do the standard "ten-count-and-you're-awake" method common to most carny hypnosis shows--count to ten, feeling more and more control over your body until you feel just as you did before, except more relaxed.


Is it a form of psychosomatic reaction?  Probably.  It works though, especially if you don't worry too much about WHY it works.  If you aren't comfortable with part of these directions, if they don't sound right, change them.  Not everyone's brain works exactly the same way.  Make the appropriate changes, and stick with them as if they were gospelRepetition is key here--things will get easier and easier each time you hypnotize yourself.

As with any form of hypnosis--you can only do it if you truly want to.

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