Autosuggestion reached the mass consciousness when it was included in Napoleon Hill’s famous book ‘Think & Grow Rich’. Since then it has been offered as a self help tool in many different forms from affirmations to subliminal messages. However, it is most effective when it is used with self hypnosis.
Self Hypnosis is really a form of autosuggestion. Though self hypnosis an individual trains the subconscious mind to believe something or organize certain mental associations to realize a given purpose.
This is accomplished by presenting the mind with incessant, consistent, self-affirmative thoughts till those thoughts become internalized and taken as the truth. The acceptance of autosuggestion could be quickened through psychological techniques such as visualisation and verbal affirmations.
The point of using deliberate autosuggestion is to change the way one believes, perceives, thinks or feels about any given subject matter. Autosuggestion, and indeed hypnosis, is designed to modify one’s actions and reactions or to modify the way one is composed physiologically.
A fine example is if the reading aloud each night of a written statement that describes a goal you have as though it were already true – “I am rich!”. By repeating the affirmation in the present tense you are using the power of autosuggestion to retrain the subconscious mind and fool it into believing the statement is true – thus forcing it to change circumstances in your life to reflect its new belief.
You basically keep repeating the statement in your mind till you go to sleep. This is believed to filter through the conscious mind into the subconscious but it does have its major drawbacks. To be honest this form of autosuggestion doesn’t work most of the time because the conscious mind overrides the statement with doubt, disbelief and a myriad of thoughts that are evidence to the contrary!
The only truly effectual way to use autosuggestion is with self hypnosis.
Self hypnosis has the ability to bypass the conscious mind and give you, or a hypnotherapist, direct access to the subconscious mind. This is why using autosuggestion with self hypnosis makes the practise much more effective and the results you get much more satisfying and permanent!
Another way to use autosuggestion is to monitor your own self talk and change it as it ocurrs. When you have a negative thought tell yourself the opposite of it twice. In this way you can slowly begin to change your thinking.
This approach does work over time but it is exhausting trying to monitor your own internal chatter and results are slow and sometimes psychologically painful (due to the time required to see them).
If you choose to use autosuggestion without the aid of self hypnosis (and I strongly advise against that course of action) the first step is relaxation. Before starting autosuggestion you should calm your mind as best you can and relax your body. This puts you into the most optimal state for your subconscious mind to receive your instructions.
Count backwards from 10 to 1 while you imagine that you are drifting more deeply into a deep relaxed state with each count. Other pictures and thoughts will often force themselves as you count, which is natural, just ignore them.
Once relaxed recite your affirmation for several minutes. Never end the session abruptly but rather count up from 1 to 10 telling yourself that you are awakening.