So you want to try self hypnosis? You’ve seen an ad for an app on social media. Or heard about a friend who managed to quit smoking or stop drinking using this method. So you hit search on the Apple App Store or Google Play and literally hundreds of apps pop up. How do you know which is the best self hypnosis app for you?
What are your goals?
First things first. Self hypnosis is similar to, but not exactly the same as, meditation or mindfulness. Many of the so-called hypnosis apps – especially those designed to help you relax and eliminate stress – are actually guided meditation, rather than hypnosis.
The best self hypnosis apps help you enter a true hypnotised state, with a particular purpose in mind. For example, to lose weight or quit smoking. Meditation and mindfulness, on the other hand, are intended to help you empty your mind of all thoughts.
Mindfulness vs hypnosis
If you’ve ever lain awake at night, your mind jumping from one fear or worry to the next, you’ll understand how these apps can be really beneficial. Who wouldn’t want to escape from these negative thoughts and drift blissfully off to sleep?
This is what mindfulness can help you achieve. It teaches you to live in the moment – aware only of your own body and the feeling as you breath in and out. Through deep breathing and a complete absence of thoughts, you leave anxiety and stress behind. You feel calm and relaxed. And that enables you to fall asleep.
Hypnosis actively engages your subconscious mind
Although your body will feel deeply relaxed while you are under hypnosis, it’s not the same as being asleep.
Hypnosis is a technique for blocking your conscious mind to allow your subconscious to focus intently on suggestions or mental images made by your hypnotherapist. Scans have shown that during hypnosis, people actually experience more brain activity. You use your thoughts to explore new ways of controlling, or eliminating, undesirable habits or behaviours.
If the self hypnosis app you choose sends you to sleep, it’s not really achieving its purpose. Although it’s possible that your subconscious may continue to absorb some thoughts and words while you sleep.
Qualified and experienced hypnotherapist
Once you’ve decided that hypnotherapy is for you, be sure to choose is one that has been developed by a qualified and experienced clinical hypnotherapist.
Aaron Surtees (BSc Hons Psy. Dip.Hyp.) has a proven track record and a high degree of success in helping people lose weight or conquer fears and phobias. He is the founder of the famous City Hypnosis in central London, and is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine and the National Hypnotherapy Society.
His Subconsciouslyapp has a 4+ rating on the Apple Store. Although it’s not the cheapest app out there. If you’re serious about improving your life through hypnotherapy, this could well be the best self hypnosis app for you.
The app allows you to set goals, view treatment sessions tailor made for you, and track your progress through a super-smart algorithm. It basically offers all the advantages of a personal one-on-one therapy session with Aaron, in the comfort of your own home.
There are programmes for all aspects of self improvement – from quitting smoking and losing weight to relieving stress, improving sleep and overcoming anxiety.
How safe are self hypnosis apps?
If you have a serious mental illness – hallucinations, delusions or schizophrenia – it’s wise to avoid hypnosis. For everyone else, hypnosis is completely safe. But be sure to use an app developed by a trained professional.
Some people report mild side effects, e.g. headaches or dizziness, after undergoing hypnosis. But these should wear off almost immediately after your hypnosis session.
Some apps have a ‘wake up’ command built into them to enable you to return to full consciousness after your session. But don’t be alarmed if your app doesn’t have this feature. It’s more to reassure people who worry about getting ‘stuck’ in a hypnotic trance for the rest of their lives. While many people voice this concern, it’s actually impossible.
Remember that, even in a deep hypnotic trance, you are totally aware of, and in control of, your thoughts and actions. You can choose to return to full conscious awareness at any stage. If you fall asleep while under hypnosis, you will wake up normally. There is absolutely no chance that you will get stuck in a hypnotic state for ever, and never come back to consciousness.
That said, it’s important that you trust whoever is guiding your self-hynosis sessions. So choose an app developed by a trained and experienced clinical hypnotist.
How effective are self hypnosis apps?
Just as a weight loss exercise programme won’t see you dropping 10 lbs in a week, your self-hypnosis programme may need time to work.
Ideally, you’ll start with a session of 30-40 minutes, and repeat it on a regular basis. Since hypnosis works in our subconscious mind, repetition is important to make new behaviours ‘stick’. Keep track of your progress and aim for noticeable results within two to three weeks.
Some people are naturally more susceptible to hypnosis. Others cannot be hypnotised at all. This has nothing to do with personality traits. Being a strong and determined person does not mean you will be less susceptible to entering a hypnotic trance.
Scientists believe the difference lies within those areas of the brain associated with attention and control. People who resist entering a hypnotic trance show less activity in these parts of the brain.
If you are unable to enter a hypnotic state, even the best self-hypnosis app will not be effective.