Words are just a part of our lives, aren’t they? Why do we need to think about them? When I teach people self-hypnosis, the language they use in self-hypnosis sessions is very important. What’s more, the kind of language used in self-hypnosis can be used outside of formal self-hypnosis too, to enhance your communication with yourself at all times.
The words that you use in and out of self-hypnosis carry a lot of connotation and a lot of deeper meanings for you, as they do for everyone. What one word means to one person can mean something completely different to another.
Think about an occasion in your life that was a wonderful occasion; maybe a happy birthday, the birth of a child, a wedding or a celebration, maybe a time when you achieved something, when you succeeded, or maybe a time when you felt the full force of joy or love. Really think about that experience. Remember what you saw, remember and think about the sounds that you heard and think about how you know and how you knew you felt so good then. Whereabouts in your body were those good feelings? Now, as you really think about that memory and immerse yourself in it, think about the words that you would use to describe that experience.
These are what is going to elicit the most powerful response from within you when you use them in self-hypnosis sessions and when you communicate with yourself.
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Have a think about these questions; what words make you feel good? Which words give you good feelings? Make a list of the words that appeal to you. You can use a thesaurus to help.
Ask yourself; how would I like to feel? Here are some good words you may like to use in your self-hypnosis or just to frequent the internal workings of your mind with: Healthy, Peace, Balance, Harmony, Relaxed, Confident, Good, Happy, Powerful, Joyful, Calm, Unison, Assured, Vibrant, Loving, Progressive, Better, Beautiful.
All a bit obvious, I know you get the idea. It is really important though that you do actually use words that have a good meaning to you and make you feel good within your self-hypnosis or just your internal dialogue.
Now, I am going to add a couple of words here for you to think about. Think about the words “more and more” and “increasingly.” These words are going to be important to create growth, power, and fluidity in your mind. Let me explain how.
Consider the sentence “as a result of achieving my ideal weight I am happy.” This is a nice way to remind yourself that achieving this particular goal, whatever it might be for you, you are happy. Great. However, we can make that more powerful by changing a rather static “happy” to “more and more happy.” I don’t know about you, but I would never want to think that I ever reached the pinnacle of happiness and could not go any further.
“Happy” is static. In order to supercharge your programmes and the way you utilise language in and out of self-hypnosis, you can mobilise the words and get them moving onwards and upwards for you. You can change “Happy” to “Happier and happier” or “more and more happy” or “increasingly happy” or “progressively more happy” or “more and more” appropriately happy. Use whatever feels right for you. Just use other words to develop and power it up.
Words to avoid:
Some of these words may seem fine and feel fine to use for you. I am just giving you ideas and considerations when using these words in and out of self-hypnosis.
When communicating with yourself, my recommendation is that you consider avoiding the following words and types of words;
Words that elicit bad feelings. Words that are ambiguous. Words that are limiting, restrictive, or disempower you. Words that you are uncomfortable with.
When communicating with yourself, ask yourself these questions: Is there another phrase or word that is better? Is there a word or phrase I find more pleasing? Is there a way in which you can put your energy and power into this suggestion in a better way?
So, firstly, I want to point out some words that can elicit bad feelings:
Try, can’t, won’t, don’t, should, shouldn’t, must, mustn’t,
jealousy, temper, no, lose, will, sad, difficult, but.
I want to point out a couple of these words in particular.
The word “try” sends a shudder down my back. I use this word in therapy often to ensure that people won’t do what I am asking them, for example, I might say “try to resist the urge to relax.”
When you are trying to do something, you are not doing it. You build in failure by using the word try. So just remove it from your internal communication.
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You will have heard that expression “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” Yuck. Awful stuff. It really should read “if at first you don’t succeed, try and try, and try and try and try and try and try… etc, etc.” You want to do the things you want to do, you want to achieve the things you want to achieve; you don’t want to try and do them or try and achieve them.
The word “Will” is another one to avoid if you can. Will is not actually happening, it is something you will do rather than actually are doing. It never occurs. You know, you can put almost any sentence together with the word will in and simply remove that word to make it more progressive and positive for your self-hypnosis requirements. Have a go at doing that. (I realise that there is likely to be at least one wiseguy who now uses the word as in “last will and testament” yes, very clever. I have not heard that one before.)
Here are a couple of examples:
“As a result of stopping smoking, I will be healthier.” Now becomes; “As a result of stopping smoking, I am healthier.”
“I will successfully achieve my goals” is transformed into “I successfully achieve my goals.” Here we have just removed it to make it more progressive. You see it is those finer distinctions that I refer to often that can really make a difference to the way you use language, and you may as well really use it more and more powerfully while you are in the state of self-hypnosis.
Lots of people tell me they want to “Lose” weight. I always tell them that no one loses when they come to see me. Think about what else you lose in life. Generally, it is things you would rather have kept, like your keys or your wallet. You lose things you want to find again. Lose has many negative connotations. Instead of losing weight, reframe it with the words “achieving and maintaining the size, shape and weight that pleases me.” This is much more progressive.
Finally, in this section, I want to mention the word “But.” We can often see this word to be negating what has come before it; I would really like to come out tonight, but I have to wash my hair. Of course, I really love you, but I need to pursue my career. I had a great time, but that guy sitting next to me was rude.
This might not always be the case for you; however, it is for you to be aware of when addressing your own unconscious mind in and out of self-hypnosis.
Secondly, I recommend that you really do avoid using words that are putdowns. They don’t really have a place in self-hypnosis or your mind at all. Avoid the following words and words like them:
Untidy, Dirty, Smelly, Ugly, Stupid, Lazy, Hopeless, Disliked, Unkempt, Smelly, Idiot, Embarrass, Ridiculous. I know you know lots more. I don’t really like even having to write these in this article. Your internal dialogue and self-hypnosis sessions are better without these words.
This next set of words is for you to keep aware of and avoid if you feel they limit you or your programme. I am referring to words that are absolutes. These are words that have no flexibility, that are final. For example:
Always, totally, closed, never, finish, impossible, definitely, completely, death, cancelled. You may, for example, state in a self-hypnosis session or tell yourself that you never smoke again. Which is fine and good for some people. However, you may have one too many glasses of sherry at Christmas and have a sneaky puff on your friend’s cigar. Now this does not make you a regular smoker again, however, it has negated the sentiments that you told yourself. It has made your internal communication to yourself less credible to you because you wrote you would never smoke again and you just did, albeit only one puff, by writing that you would never do it, you leave no flexibility and you leave no room for interpretation of particular circumstances that may arise.
That may be fine with some, just bear it in mind. I mentioned the subject earlier within the guidelines for writing programmes and that is the notion of ambiguity. With self-hypnosis and when communicating with yourself in your own mind in other ways, it is best to avoid words that are ambiguous. Words such as;
Maybe, Desire, Growth, Positive, Negative, Normal, Whole.
You might well use the expression that your desire to stop smoking is increasing. Again, this sounds fine on the surface. However, do you want your desire to stop smoking to increase or your actual ability to stop smoking to increase? If you only increased your desire to stop smoking, it might become a very frustrating experience. Also, you might want to consider referring to your personal growth increasing. It could be referring to something growing on your body somewhere!
Think about the word normal. Who is to say what that is? Do you know specifically what you mean when you refer to anything as being normal? If you are going to use the word normal, I would recommend that you define what that means to you also, be specific about it or just substitute it for the word usual if you can.
Finally, on the topic of words, I would like to point out to you the use of the “Able.” It is one thing being able to do something; it is another to actually do it. If you are going to increase your ability with something, then also ensure you do it.
I realise this article has offered up many considerations so far with self-hypnosis use of language and internal dialogue. These are just that; considerations.
You can allow yourself to find the right solutions and methods for you. As you get more and more used to being in self-hypnosis or just communicating with yourself more progressively and discovering the kind of suggestions and words that have the most powerful effect for you, then you can fine tune your use of them.