Hypnosis is the power of suggestion. It’s our ability to change our mental state through the use of language, symbolism, and imagination.
In this article, I share a hypnosis exercise that I created a few years ago to help me release stress, anxiety, and pain. It’s simple and easy to follow, but it can be very effective.
This is also a perfect exercise for beginners who may have never tried hypnosis or visualization before.
Start by reading the instructions below, then once you understand all the steps try practicing it on your own. Please remember to have fun with it and don’t take it too seriously.
If you are too critical of yourself during hypnosis, it’s going to weaken the effects. A big part of it is letting your imagination go – think of it as “playing pretend” inside your head.
The Black Cloud of Stress
Here are step-by-step instructions for a hypnosis exercise that I call “the black cloud of stress:”
- Find a safe and relaxing place where you won’t be distracted.
- Get in a comfortable posture (you can either sit down or lay down).
- Take one deep breath and close your eyes.
- Begin by just focusing your awareness on your breathing.
- Don’t try to change your breathing. Just observe it as is.
- Inhale. Exhale.
- Begin to imagine all the stress, anxiety, and pain in your body as “black smoke.”
- Take time to visualize the “black smoke” inside your body, moving around.
- Feel the stress, anxiety, and tension all in your bones, muscles, joints, and the rest of your body.
- Make note of specific areas where you feel the most stressed.
- Now imagine with every exhale you are releasing this “black smoke” out from your body.
- Continue to breath as you visualize the “black smoke” slowly draining from you, and forming into a “black cloud” above you.
- This “black cloud” symbolizes all of the stress, anxiety, worry, and pain you’ve accumulated over the past few days, weeks, and even months.
- Keep breathing. Give yourself time to fully drain your body.
- Watch the “black cloud of stress” get bigger and bigger above you.
- Once your body is fully drained, watch the “black cloud” above you as it begins to drift away.
- Give yourself a minute as you watch the “black cloud” continue to drift until it disappears in a blue sky.
- Now imagine yourself on breathing in a cool, “blue energy” that fills your body with every inhale.
- This “blue energy” symbolizes relaxation, comfort, and security.
- Take time to visualize the “blue energy” slowly filling your body, making you feel more and more relaxed.
- Once your body is filled, give yourself a minute to bask in the relaxation.
- Take 5 deep breaths, then open your eyes.
- You’re done!
This hypnosis exercise should only take between 15-20 minutes total. Try to be patient with yourself – give yourself time to really imagine what’s happening and experience it. And most importantly, have some fun with it.
If you want, you can customize this hypnosis exercise to better fit you. For example, maybe you find “green” to be more relaxing than “blue.” Feel free to experiment with little changes to see what works best.
Doing this hypnosis exercise should also give you some experience with how hypnosis works, and how useful your imagination can be in changing your mental state.
Maybe this will also give you some ideas on how you can create a hypnosis exercise of your own.
Discover more tools to daily growth in the digital guide The Science of Self Improvement