This post shows you how to make your own self-hypnosis audio that you can later listen to to help improve motivation, habit change, and other aspects of self improvement.
- Some kind of microphone, MP3 recorder, or way of recording your voice.
- Basic audio editing software (Audacity is a popular free one. There are probably some options that come with your computer too – I used Garageband.)
- If you already have some talent with music feel free to incorporate that.
What is hypnosis?
Think of hypnosis as nothing more than suggestion. Whether you are talking to a friend, listening to something on the radio, watching a movie, or just thinking a thought – you are being suggested some sort of idea.
Bad hypnosis is when the suggestion doesn’t hook. It goes in one ear and out the other and we remain unaffected. Maybe we were just too bored or apathetic to really pay attention to what was being suggested or our critical mind found the suggestion to be bogus.
Good hypnosis is when a suggestion captivates you and creates a change. It is like being moved by a really compelling movie. Anything that peaks your interest and makes you tune in more intently can be considered a form of good hypnosis, like a compelling speech or even watching the World Series. It concentrates your attention and keeps your mind engaged.
How do affirmations relate to hypnosis?
A popular form of hypnosis within the personal development niche is affirmations. When the technique was first introduced as a tool for psychotherapy by Emile Coue in the late 19th century, when it was first called autosuggestion.
If you don’t yet know what an affirmation is it is basically this: you create suggestions for yourself towards certain changes in feelings, thoughts, or behaviors. For example:
- I will be more friendly to people I don’t know.
- I will try not to overreact when I get angry.
- I will spend more time at the gym.
- I will pay better attention to my eating habits.
These are all affirmations but you can structure them in all kinds of different ways. Different language patterns may be more or less effective depending on the suggestion and the person being suggested to. Since you are writing your own suggestions, you should experiment and find what ways work best for you.
Writing your own script
What types of suggestions do you think will work best on you? This part takes a bit of experimentation and practice. You won’t necessarily nail it your first shot.
Some people are more suggestible when they are being directly commanded to do something: “Be a better listener! Study more! Watch less TV!”
Other people are more suggestible when they are given options to compare, “Imagine what your grades would be like if you didn’t study more? Now, imagine what your grades would be like if you did study more?” This is called an indirect suggestion – because there is an implicit message that your grades would most likely be better if you studied more.
For your first script, I recommend trying out both direct and indirect suggestions. Don’t be afraid to also incorporate things to visualize by starting sentences with,
- “Picture this….”
- “Visualize that…”
- “Imagine if…”
- “See what happens when….”
The more vivid you make your suggestions, the more captivating and effective they will be. People who have a naturally tendency towards good story telling or a strong imagination will have a distinct advantages over those who don’t – but it is a skill that we can all develop with practice.
Try to make your first script a good 2-3 pages, double spaced, 12 sized font. This should make your hypnosis track about 5-7 minutes if you pace your delivery appropriately. You can structure the script in different ways or you can make it more stream-of-conscious – it really depends on the message you want to get across. Some scripts are designed to drive home a single point or lesson, while others are designed to simply develop a general good sense of well-being and motivation.
The voice and delivery
Voice and delivery can be important in how suggestible your message is but again it depends on the type of suggestion and also the person being suggested to. Your tone matters. For example you wouldn’t want to screech out “Relax!!!” when you want someone to be in a relaxed state. Similarly you don’t want to have a boring and apathetic voice when you say, “Be sexy and fun around others!”
Experiment, experiment, experiment! Sometimes listening to a slow and drone-y voice can heighten your trance, while other times it can put you to sleep. You don’t want to fall asleep. You want to be engaged. Hypnosis is most effective when it is an adventure. Add different colors and dynamics to your voice to amplify the importance of the message and keep your attention fixated.
When you read the script (or even if you are doing an impromptu script) you want to role play the experience as you speak it. You want to be there as you tell the story. The more engaged you are when you deliver, the more engaged you will be when you listen back. It is just a basic rule of all good communication.
How to butter up your final product
Once you are done recording the main script, there are certain things you can do to make the listen even more attractive and enjoyable.
You could add music that compliments the message. Good music for hypnosis should fit well in the background and not take away from the language of the track. It should be designed to create a certain mood or feeling. Sometimes a sense of inspiration or awe can make the strongest impression.
You can create another overlaying script. Often practiced in the form of “dual induction hypnosis,” it is when two hypnotists are giving suggestions at the same time. With the wonders of modern technology, you can create a dual induction all by yourself. With some basic audio editing you can even pan one voice to the left and the other voice to the right. So you will have a different exchange of suggestions going into each ear. This can be used as a way to create stimulus overload, often resulting in confusion, which is a very great way to amplify trance states.
Add effects to the voices. A little bit of echo and reverb never hurt anyone. Sure, it may make your voice sound like some robot from a cheesy 80s scifi movie, but it can make your voice easier to listen to and be fixated on. For “edginess” you can add some distortion or flanger. Most basic audio-editing softwares (including Audacity which I recommended above) have some pre-packaged effects that you should be able to use.
Do panning and volume changes throughout the track. This may be something that only experienced audiophiles can do, but by having your voice shifting between speakers and changing volumes is one really fantastic way to keep your track engaging.
You can download my first attempt here (approx: 10:20, 14mb) . My original intention was to do a dual induction: with self-improvement suggestions on one side and world-improvement suggestions on the other side.
I didn’t write a script for this one, just recorded each track individually, stream-of-consciousness. Each recording was 10 minutes and then I just overlapped them and added some reverb, echo, and distortion (only because I felt my voice sounded too dry and weak without the effects).
After the scripts were recorded I created a simple synthesizer sample using Reason (it is a program for electronic music makers). I basically improvised an organ/space-y synth sound to go with the suggestions.
Things I learned to help improve future recordings:
- I need to make my voice more animated.
- The music is a bit cheesy and simple, but it does have an interesting drone/trance-inducing effect.
- Because I didn’t write a script, the message of the audio is a bit scattered and incoherent. Creating this kind of confusion isn’t necessarily bad for creating a hypnotic effect, but writing a script with something more coherent and structured is usually better.
- There will always be room for improvement whether it be writing better scripts, stronger vocal delivery, or even becoming a more intent listener to the final product.
Things I learned from the creative process in general:
- Making your own self-hypnosis tracks can be really fun.
- The act of putting together the project in-itself is a great exercise in personal development.
- It is a great way to express yourself.
Listen to it
Once you finish your creation you will probably be eager to listen (and re-listen) to it. I recommend doing this whenever you have time set aside to let go of your earthly obligations; it could be early in the morning before you get to work or late at night before bed.
Try listening to it every other day for a week and then continue with it on a weekly basis. Consider it your daily mantra or prayer, a healthy reminder of the things that matter to you in life and the things you want to improve.
Don’t be afraid to also listen to it with a critical eye. Jot down some ways you can improve your next recording. Pay extra attention to which suggestions “clicked” with you and which ones just passed by. Work on developing better language, better delivery, and more colorful and dynamic tracks. Follow these principles and you will be the king of your world in no time. I mean it.
Discover more tools to daily growth in the digital guide The Science of Self Improvement