You’re making a weird face right now.
You’re frowning, curious to find out what this really means. I get it, the word “prayer” sounds too religious and somehow also sounds like the opposite of freedom. Keep reading.
Last post, I talked about 4 ways to reduce anxiety. Under pt 2, I talked about hypnosis, and mentioned prayer as a way to practice self-hypnosis.
Prayer is a very efficient way to practice hypnosis. Here’s why.
We know what “prayer” is.
I figured most of you would be able to identify better to “prayer”, no matter your religion, or cultural background. You know that praying, in the spiritual sense, is expressing gratitude, asking for forgiveness, and especially wishing for mostly health, wealth and happiness.
It’s already a habit.
For most of you, praying is already a habit, current or forgotten, but it’s in there somewhere. I remember when I was little, I used to pray every evening before going to bed. My parents encouraged thanking God for food, health, family, love, asking Him to protect my loved ones, and asking forgiveness if I wasn’t being a good sister to my siblings. My parents said we could wish for what we wanted at the end, and I remember I used to dive into my imagination and wish for a boyfriend, for good grades, and for babies later in life.
Prayer is about thanking, asking for forgiveness and wishing. Feelings of gratitude, forgiveness and hope are extremely powerful, and can help our mental health in ways we are not even aware. And the rest can be up to you. Are you talking to God? Are you talking to the universe? Or to someone in particular, practicing for when you talk to them face to face? Or are you talking to yourself, thanking yourself, asking yourself for forgiveness, and wishing yourself plenty of amazing things? Which I totally encourage by the way!
Okay, so now where does self-hypnosis come in?
The two ways to practice self-hypnosis.
Remember praying is essentially wishing. Remember hypnosis is simply diving into your imagination, and letting your mind travel to places (figurative and literal), where you feel good, free, loved, entirely yourself. A place where everything is perfect according to you.
Remembering: When you’re feeling gratitude, forgiveness and hope through your prayer, you can picture the moment you’re referring to. This helps you find places your mind can return to when you’re feeling down to relive these positive emotions. For example, you’re thankful for today’s weather. Close your eyes, and picture it. Are you moving? Are you still? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell or touch? Let yourself stay in this moment for a little while and soak it up!
Then, when you dip in feelings of powerlessness, guilt, and despair, it will be the perfect opportunity to use your imagination and return to this place.
Storytelling: When you’re wishing (which is often a big part of prayer), picturing the next day, the next happening, dive into your imagination and paint the picture as precise as possible and only allow for what you really wish to happen to come up. If your automatic disaster scenario unrolls, let it come and rectify. Rewind in your mind and relive the event in the best way possible. Let yourself wish for the best, you may as well be attracting it!
If you’re still struggling, think back to when you were little, inventing stories all the time. Think back to when you were a teenager, and before going to sleep, you told yourself stories about your future first boyfriend or girlfriend, and imagined kissing him or her to the point that you’d sit up in your bed and hold out your arms in front of you, hugging this imaginary person. You’re fully conscious of the story, and you could stop any moment, but your mind’s traveling and you’re feeling love, affection, excitement, thrill even.
Tip on how to start.
I don’t really like to tell you what to do, so don’t read this next part if you don’t want any tips on the way to start the process. If, however, you’re a little lost and want to know how to get around it, here’s a small tip.
Hands on my heart, “dear universe”. I put my hands on my heart and say “dear universe…”. I fix a point in the room or I close my eyes. I imagine a place I know I am entirely safe, myself and allowed to think, feel, say what may. Sometimes it’s at the top of a mountain, sometimes it’s on a cloud in the sky, it can be anything. Then, I go on to list two or three things that I’m grateful for today. Sometimes, I like to think of all the things I’m grateful for, but that’s a more difficult exercise.
From there onwards, I go on to think about all the things I wish for, a raise in awareness for our fragile planet for example. So I reflect on what I’m doing, and what I envision myself to do and things sort of flow. I end up with an image of myself as an actor of change, in a world where we’ve found solutions for our best future. So let it happen and dare to imagine!
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