February has long been thought of as a “launch” month in business. After the end-of-the-year holidays have wrapped up, the “easing into the new year” phase quickly turns into a fast and furious pace, leaving many feeling behind and breathless. Balancing work and personal life can become challenging, and stress can soon become overwhelming.

Something that can help to relieve stress and improve your coping skills is a relaxation technique called self-hypnosis. There are four distinct steps required for self-hypnosis to be successful:

Step 1: Motivation. The individual needs a reason or need to practice self-hypnosis effectively.

Step 2: Relaxation. The individual must find a comfortable, quiet place and be thoroughly relaxed. The elimination of distractions is needed as well.

Step 3: Concentration. Complete focus on the task at hand is required in helping to focus on a specific thought, Image or feeling.

Step 4: Directing. If the individual is intent on a specific goal, directing concentration on that goal can aid I visualizing the desired outcome.

If you have you can follow these four steps, you’re halfway there. Let’s walk through the steps with specific direction in a sample session:

  • Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lay down. It helps to wear soft, non-restrictive clothing.
  • Close your eyes, and think of the goal you have in mind. It may be to just quiet your mind, help you sleep, or to prepare for a presentation.
  • Whatever the goal, keep it top of mind as you worn through the technique.
  • Imagine yourself at the top of a staircase. As you slowly descend, you begin to relax and feel closer to your goal with each step. Match your breathing to each step, so it becomes rhythmic in nature, almost like a tempo you keep.
  • Visualize your goal waiting for you at the bottom of the staircase. As you get closer to the bottom, the air becomes more fragrant, the light more bright, and comforting sounds envelope you. Feel free to switch this up for your needs – if you prefer soft light or darkness, envision that closer to the bottom. Create a calm, safe space around your goal.
  • When you finally reach the bottom, you’ll find yourself relaxed and at peace, standing next to or holding your accomplished goal.

There are a myriad of techniques that can be used for self-hypnosis. Some people prefer specific settings over others – beaches, a maze, outer space even. The wonderful thing about these many techniques is that you can craft them to fit your needs and comfort level.

Now, go forth and find that inner peace!


Kristen Hall, is a Counselor in Training within the State of Missouri and focuses on grief, substance abuse and general life transitions. She is an adult therapist with Step By Step Counseling.