In his book, Master the Power of Self-Hypnosis, C. Roy Hunter, M.S. offers various methods of self-hypnosis to relax ourselves to the point of shifting our attention into the “alpha” state, a presence that is experienced somewhere between the completely awake state and the sleep state. The author explains that when we are in this alpha state, our unconscious mind is more open to be reprogrammed to override negative beliefs and habits into positive ones. There are two main ways that our unconscious minds can be transformed both positively and negatively; through our emotions and visualization.

It is during times when our emotions run high, when our unconscious minds are more open to reprogramming. If I have a positive or negative life experience and focus all my attention towards the emotions that build up inside me during that moment, the unconscious mind will create a trigger, so that in the future, if I experience a similar event , these positive or negative emotions will kick in. A similar experience is not even necessary however, as one of our five senses, the sense of smell for example, might produce a similar emotion if I smell something that reminds me of a past experience. This is why what we think does make a difference. The author addresses the need to limit self-criticism.

It is important to identify and write down our life goals, both big and small, and both short and long term. Once written with the help of our conscious mind, we can then get our minds into the alpha state to assess which goals are most important. Then, in future meditative states, we can implement the use of visualization to picture ourselves at a time and place where we have already achieved our goal. The author calls this “creative daydreaming”. This visualization practice is also performed during the alpha state, to communicate with the unconscious mind. It is important to use all five senses during this process. Not only visualize, but taste, smell, hear, and feel what it is like to have achieved this goal.

Before we begin this visualization process, an important and necessary step is to write down a list of benefits that achieving this goal will offer us. Many people try to change their habits simply by the imposition of will power onto the conscious mind. Yet, in most cases, this alone does not change the preprogramming of the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is much more powerful than the conscious mind, and will win out most of the time when there is a conflict of beliefs between the two. By identifying the benefits of changing a habit, the unconscious mind will be more receptive to the change.

Writing down positive affirmations in the present tense (i.e., “I am…”) for each goal is also beneficial when used in conjunction with the other practices above. During a meditative state, recite an affirmation out loud several times. Then after a while, state a pre-identified trigger word. Over time, the unconscious mind will associate this trigger word with the positive affirmation. Then during the day, as needed, instead of reciting the affirmation over-and-over again, during the awake state, instead recite the trigger word.

Using only one tactic to shift our unconscious beliefs has less effect. But when various self-hypnosis tools are used simultaneously, greater possibility of change is available.