Imagery in self-hypnosis

Using Your Very Active Imagination

Imagery as a method of deepening the level of self-hypnosis works great for people who have good imaginations (ALL of us!). Some people find that it is the method that they prefer. We are each unique with individual preferences. So, I suggest that you try all of the different ways but you will probably find one technique that works best for you.

Begin by taking yourself into self-hypnosis and do a body scan. (It’s wise to do the body scan every time.) There are several uses of imagery that you can employ.

  • 1. Special PlaceDescribe a scene to yourself using all of your senses. Make it a place that you feel calm and relaxed and use your imagination to actually feel the things you are describing. If, for example, you describe the sun shining on your back, allow your back to feel the warmth. “What the mind can conceive, the body will achieve.” If you describe soft sand, allow your body to feel your feet sinking down into the sand.

    Here’s a sample, but please adjust it to suit your own style.

    “I am relaxing on the deck of a lovely cottage. I hear the beautiful soft call of wild birds nearby and I can smell the natural fresh scent of trees and grass and earth. I can see in the distance a sailboat gliding across the deep blue water. The day is warm but I feel a lovely breeze on my face and I know it’s keeping the bugs away so I can just relax and really enjoy this time of quiet rest. My body relaxes to a lovely deep level in this setting.”

    If needed, you can add “There is nothing in this scene that causes allergies.” Or choose a different Special Place.

  • Imagery in self hypnosis

    Here’s another example.

    “I’m sitting in my favourite easy-chair. I can feel the comfortable support it gives my back, my hips and my legs. I relax to a very deep level in my chair because I’m surrounded by familiar things. The temperature in the room is just right for me and I can feel a slight breeze from the open window nearby. The fresh air feels cool as it passes my nose and throat and enters my lungs. The oxygen circulating through my body relaxes me even more with every breath.”

    Again, tweek it to suit your style. These are only a couple of examples of imagery. I’m sure that you can come up with many more and you will soon find one that really feels right.

  • 2. Progressive MethodThis combines two methods, actually. Counting plus imagery equals deepening.

    Ten Steps

    Pretend that you are at the top of a set of stairs and there are 10 steps going down. Tell yourself that every time you go down a step, you go deeper into hypnosis. Use all of your senses, so be aware of what the steps look like, what they sound like, what they feel like when your foot lands on each one. Make sure that there is a handrail in your imaginary scene and that you feel completely safe and secure. If you want, you can have the steps lead to a special place. Now you’re combining three methods!


    Some people prefer the image of an escalator, allowing each level that they reach to relax them more and more. Count the levels or name then A, B, C, etc. and remind yourself that every level you reach, takes you deeper than the one before. Make it as real as you can. Feeling the movement, seeing all of the sights and hearing everything in that scene.

    Perform an Activity

    You can pretend to perform an activity like writing the alphabet on a blackboard, slowly. This works well because it is also kinesthetic. (In your imagination you are using your muscles.) This method keeps your mind so busy that it forgets outside distractions and you automatically go deeper into self-hypnosis.