Hidden Hurt Domestic Abuse Information

Self-Hypnosis and Relaxation Techniques

Self-hypnosis is basically about changing our negative thought patterns, while relaxation techniques help us reduce the tension in our bodies and minds.


Self-hypnosis works on the subconscious as well as the conscious level by helping us relax and feeding our subconscious mind with positive thoughts and images.

Forget the circus tricks, hypnotic trances and stage hypnotist, this is not about making you do silly things in public or manipulating you into being someone you are not :)

The aim of counselling for instance is to bring the subconscious issues into the conscious, then examine them, address them consciously and trust that the change will sink into the subconscious again. In some ways self-hypnosis short-circuits the process, as when we are in a state of deep relaxation the subconscious is much more open to suggestion. There are loads of 'quack' or largely ineffective self-hypnosis recordings available on the internet, but there are also some very good ones. I have found that for me the ones which use a combination of hypnosis and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) are very helpful and do actually make a difference to the way I feel in myself.

However, THE most helpful method in reducing stress, anxiety and PTSD symptoms have without doubt been the Holosync Solution Instant Meditation CDs. They work by filtering slightly different frequences into each ear (headphones required), which means that the brain has to somehow sort out the dissonance between the two sides. In so doing, it balances the two halves of the brain and creates new neural networks. Once beyond the first stage, which is the Awakening Prologue, there is also the option of additing affirmation to the hypnosis CDs which helps to affirm positive thoughts and attitudes and beliefs in our mind - without any of the conscious stress of doing so! So my personal (speaking both as survivor and as webmaster of Hidden Hurt), would be the Holosync Solution.

Relaxation Technique

This is a basic relaxation exercise which simply helps us be aware of tension within our body and teaches us a way of reducing that tension. If the body is less tense, we tend to be less tense, and therefore less anxious ... the converse is also true, i.e. when we are anxious, our body tends to tense up, so being able to voluntarily un-tense our body is generally beneficial for us both physically and mentally. Here is the exercise:

    1. Sit or lie down somewhere warm and comfortable (where you will not be disturbed).

    2. Let your breathing settle into a slow rhythm. Be aware of your tummy rising and falling, but don’t make an effort to breathe deeply (when you’re relaxed you naturally take shallow breaths).

    3. Tense and relax parts of your body in tune with your breathing. Breathe in and tense muscles and relax them when you exhale. Practice this using a clenched fist to start with. Keep your breathing regular and try not to hold your breath!

    4. Apply this to the rest of your body, starting with feet and calf muscles, moving to general leg muscles (throughout the legs), onto buttocks and groin, stomach, shoulders (hunch up to your ears), arms, hands and face. Repeat each tense-and-relax at least twice.

    5. Spot-check your body for parts that are not relaxed and do them again. In particular check your stomach, neck, shoulders, and face (check your forehead, jaw, eyelids, lips and tongue for tension).

    6. When you’re feeling completely floppy and heavy, keep your breathing steady. Enjoy feeling at peace and completely relaxed.

This is a good exercise to do before listening to the Self-Hypnosis CD or trying to settle down for the night, and I also find that I benefit from doing a 'spot-check' while at work or driving or typing - all activities where I tend to involuntary tense up and not even be aware of it!

Next: Supplements for Depression

© Hidden Hurt, 2011

Return from Self-hypnosis and Relaxation Techniques to Self-talk, Affirmations and the Inner Critic

Recommended Reading:

Life after getting out of an abusive relationship often continues to be a struggle, and It's My Life Now offers guidance to overcoming common pitfalls, blending worksheets with insights on self exploration and ongoing growth. From handling feels of loss and guilt to overcoming feelings associated with having loved an abuser, this book continues to offer invaluable lessons and be a real source of help and strength:

To order in the US: It's My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence, 2nd Edition

To order in the UK: It's My Life Now

The Self-esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi - recommended by workshop facilitators.

Click on the donate botton below to support Hidden Hurt. Thanks you.

UK National Domestic Violence Freephone number 0808 2000 247

The Self-esteem Journal: Using a Journal to Build Self-esteem (Overcoming Common Problems) by Alison Waines - A very helpful work book with exercises to dip in and out of while recovering.

To order in the US:

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