Hypnotherapy is one of the most effective ways to help people to deal with stress, to relax more and become calmer. Indeed, this therapy has helped many people deal with and move on from extremely stressful situations in their lives. Many hypnotherapists will advise on techniques you can use yourself once the therapy is completed, in order to continue to reduce your stress levels, remain calm and maintain a healthy mind and body.
There are a number of simple techniques you can use to help yourself, here are some tried and tested ones you could easily introduce into your daily life:
Be aware of your breathing: Focus for a minute on how you breathe. Are you a shallow chest breather? Or are you taking short, rapid breaths? Breathing in such a way works against feeling calm and can often become a habit.
Get into the habit of breathing a little more deeply and evenly. As a reminder to do this, put small coloured stickers on things you see every day, such as your bathroom mirror, your phone, purse or wallet, etc. Each time you see one of the stickers it is your reminder to note how you are breathing and to regulate it until it becomes natural for you to breathe in the more even way. Once this even breathing becomes a habit, you can get rid of the stickers.
Calming exercise: Take some time each day to give yourself some ‘me time’ and do the following exercise which is aimed at calming and relaxing you.
1. Sit or lie down somewhere where you won’t be disturbed for 10 or 15 minutes. Don’t rush through the exercise. Taking some time will help with its effectiveness.
2. Close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths then think of the word ‘calm’ on every out-breath.
3. If calm had a colour, choose which colour it would be for you and visualise this.
4. Similarly, if calm had a shape, visualise what shape it would be for you.
5. Now, imagine those coloured, calming shapes gently drifting before you and around you as you relax. Alternatively, you might just imagine the calming colour as a soothing light gently drifting around you whilst you relax. Continue for as long as you wish if you have the time.
After a week or so of regularly using these techniques you should be feeling calmer and more able to relax. These exercises can also be used to help you to relax and drift off to sleep when you go to bed.