Self hypnosis is another great tool for lucid dreaming.
Like meditation, it draws on the same relaxation response that helps calm your body, reduce stress hormones, and focus your mind on affirmative thoughts. You can use it to program your dreams and increase your self-awareness, teaching your subconscious to recognize when you are dreaming (and thereby trigger lucidity).
Hypnotizing yourself is different from meditation because it uses auto suggestion to plant certain thoughts and affirmations. So if you want to use self hypnosis for lucid dreaming, plant suggestions like: "I can remember my dreams" and "I can recognize when I'm dreaming" and "All my dreams are vivid".
For a full length hypnosis recording, check out my lucid dreaming hypnosis sessions in The Lucid Dreaming Fast Track. They use guided visualizations and auto suggestions to help incubate lucid dreams every time you listen.
Hypnosis is the act of sending your brain into a trance, similar to sleep. It makes you more suggestible than normal. It is not unnatural, evil, or mind control!
Hypnosis gets a lot of dubious press - most people are familiar with stage hypnotists, who often make fun of people in a trance state. They convince their victims to perform embarrassing tricks such as flapping around like a chicken or humping a chair.
In the real world, hypnosis has much more productive uses in therapy and personal development. It gives you the ability to talk to your inner self and program your subconscious mind. So let's dispel a few myths about hypnosis:
In self hypnosis, you become closer to your inner voice and more suggestible. You'll enter a deep, relaxing trance, causing the release of endorphins (the natural happy chemicals). You can then plant any number of powerful auto suggestions to improve your life - in this case, to encourage lucid dreaming.
While there are a lot of details to learn about hypnosis that will make your session much more effective, here is a quick run-down of the essentials.
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie. Don't cross your arms or legs - have an open posture that is easy to stay in for the next 20 minutes.
Allow your eyes to close naturally. Take three deep, slow breaths - releasing any tension and anxiety as you do. Observe the thoughts that enter your mind and gently release them without any interaction. Let yourself float.
Focus on releasing physical tension throughout your body. Starting from your toes, visualize each muscle relaxing and melting into the furniture. It brings a pleasant, warm feeling of relaxation. Systematically release each muscle group, heightening the sense of relaxation every time. Spend extra time on your shoulders and upper back, which tend to hold a lot of tension. Visualizing soothing water or a golden glow may help to free up the muscles.
Visualize yourself at the top of a staircase. This represents your consciousness. As you descend each stair one at a time, drift deeper and deeper into your soothing, relaxing trance state. Count the steps if you like, starting from 10. Try rolling your eyes gently back into your head and keep your body still.
Once you reach the bottom of the staircase, you are ready to begin your auto suggestion script. Softly repeat one or more of the following phrases in your mind (choose whichever feels right for you):
Of course, you can introduce any type of auto suggestion. Just remember to make every phrase positive and in the present tense:
Repeat your chosen affirmation as many times as you want. Revel in the feeling of deep relaxation. Visualize yourself achieving your goal.
When you're ready, prepare to wake up from your trance. Tell yourself you will count to 10, and with each step you will slowly return to full awareness. Then count upwards as you climb the steps in your mind.
Take a deep breath when you reach the top, then open your eyes. Sit for a moment if you like - and remember to stand up slowly.
Self hypnosis is a deeply relaxing state. Everyone should try it.
I used self hypnosis in my early days of lucid dreaming and became very familiar with the hypnotist's voice on the tape. Even in the first few seconds of hearing his voice, my mind was triggered with a rush of thoughts and feelings about having more vivid dreams and becoming lucid. It became self-perpetuating.
I think it's good to fall into a self hypnosis routine - perhaps by listening every night just before sleep or when you wake up in the morning. Your mind will quickly relate the feelings induced with relaxation and lucid dreaming. In NLP this is called anchoring and it's a good way of quickly inducing a feeling or state of mind. There is no better time to do this than when you are in bed ready to dream.
Get started in the next few minutes with my deeply relaxing Lucid Dreaming Hypnosis MP3s.