Anyone can learn the simple technique of self-hypnosis to bring about positive change in their lives. It is often used to relieve someone of harmful habits like oveating or smoking. Self-hypnosis can also be used to alter a person's personality traits that they may find undesirable like procrastination or shyness. It is a valuable tool that anyone can learn to use.

In actuality the mind has two parts; the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. On a daily basis, behaviors like your habits, likes, dislikes, and attitudes will tend to remain constant. This is because these things have largely been “programmed” through several different kinds of life events. Things like other people's influence, decisions we have made, and in the case of skills we have developed, repetition, have made us to be the people we are today. Most of the time, we like the way we are. However, when we feel that change is necessary, our old habits and behaviors can remain stubbornly in place since our conscious decision to change. This is because it is our subconscious mind that controls these things and in a struggle for dominance, the subconscious always wins over the conscious. However, self-hypnosis facilitates access to the subconscious mind in order to reprogram it.

When learning self-hypnosis, most people will first learn to simply allow themselves to relax with their eyes closed and perform a countdown on the exhale from 10 to 1. This will usually result in a light hypnotic state which can be further enhanced by visualizing being in a peaceful place such as a beach, a garden, a forest, and so on. By using visualization we can affect the physiological, mental and emotional states just as effectively as if we were really there. This is because the mind can not tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined.

Self-hypnosis is a learned skill that can be improved over time. Often, those who practice self-hypnosis find that they can become relieved enough to get into a trance, but then they are stumped for what to do next. When undergoing hypnosis by a professional, you have someone there to guide you through the therapy. That does not exist in self-hypnosis. In reality, the next step after putting yourself into a trance is self-therapy. It is very important to have your goal in mind. Before you start your self-hypnosis session you must have a clear picture of what you want and how you are going to achieve it, and write a script. During the session when you are in a hypnotic state, you should repeat your script over and over again in your mind.

Most people do not realize that they access the hypnotic state multiple times a day. This could be while they are reading a good book, watching a movie or television show, playing a musical instrument; or even being occupied with work will tend to result in you being able to narrow the focus of your attention and mental absorption. The goal with self-hypnosis is to give yourself access to that part of your brain in order to control your own behaviors and make the changes in yourself to move away from old habits.