Hypnosis has always been cloaked in mystery and danger. His practice is often associated with involuntary mind control and “temporary amnesia”, with the hypnotized “victim” not having a say in what he or she will be made to do and not remembering anything about what has occurred either. Let me assure you, this is nothing more but a product of a movie writer's fertile imagination.

Hypnosis can be done by almost anyone, whether he or she is a professionally trained hypnotist or not. You can even do it to yourself. All you need is a good foundation on the theory and practice of self-hypnosis and you will be on your way to hypnotizing yourself to achieve your life-long goals and objectives for self-improvement. The key is having an open mind that is willing to be re-trained through hypnosis.

Of course the first few attempts at self-hypnosis might seem to be an exercise in futility but do not despair, everyone had their share of failure before locking onto the technique that worked best for them.

My advice for beginners would be to choose a time and place where everything and everyone is quiet. As you get better with practice, you can hypnotize yourself at any time and in any place. For now, pick a spot where you can be alone to relax and focus on your breathing.

Sit comfortably, but not too comfortable as to fall sleep, and establish a position that you can stay on for at least 30 minutes without cramping or having restricted blood circulation. Start to breathe calmly and slowly. Focus on inhaling and exhaling until it is all you are thinking about. This will help you center your thoughts on what you are doing and not on the things that pop up in your mind because of what you are hearing or what you suddenly remembered you should be doing.

You can also have some background music, or perhaps an “induction” tape that will guide you through the steps of getting into hypnosis. You can either make your own induction tape or purchase one from a professional hypnotherapist.

When you have mastered how to be in the hypnotic state (believe me keeping your mind from wandering and thinking about all sorts of things is a lot harder than you think) you can already start to “suggest” to your subconscious mind. These suggestions are called prescriptions, or scripts, which tell your subconscious mind exactly what you want it to think for it to cause you to achieve your goals.

At the end of your hypnotic session, you will wake yourself up. You can do this by telling yourself to wake up or having your tape include the instruction to wake up.

As I've said, practice is important to develop the ability to hypnotize yourself. Continue to practice daily, at the same time each day if you could, but keep your daily sessions from being longer than 30 minutes otherwise you might be getting better at falling asleep early instead of getting better at self hypnosis.

With practice, your sessions can eventually become shorter yet more effective.