Hypnotic Relaxation Techniques: Breathing Consciously
This is a relaxation technique that is often used to accomplish two things during a hypnosis or self-hypnosis session.
First, this technique is used to help a subject relax more deeply since breathing deeply triggers the relaxation response which is the antidote to nervousness, stress, or the fight or flight response. Breathing deeply during a hypnosis session helps guide the mind into an alpha state which is known as the hypnosis state. In the alpha state, a subject is more open to suggestion. To accomplish this, a hypnotist will often ask the subject to begin to consciously follow their breath. They are asked to follow their inhalation as the air they take in passes through their nasal passage and down into their lungs and then back out upon exhalation. Another technique is to ask a subject to count their breaths. Usually the suggestion is to count the number of seconds as they breathe in and then to count the number of seconds as they exhale. Counting your breaths can be mentally taxing after a few minutes and can really help to relax a busy mind.
Breathing consciously by counting one's breaths or following the flow of one's breath also accomplishes a very important aspect of a successful hypnosis or self-hypnosis session--it helps the mind to become highly focused on the task at hand. Once the mind has focused on a task, it becomes much easier to then focus on the suggestions for change and improvement that are given during the session.
The simple technique of breathing consciously can also be used to help calm a person down during stressful situations.
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