I am a registered Psychotherapist/Hypnotherapist and teach paople to use self hypnosis. I don't always use the term hypnosis but lt relaxation. I have pasted a few paragraphs from my notes. I hope they are of help.
LEARNING TO RELAX
Most people never relax properly. They are either awake or asleep which can be difficult for them to achieve easily or for any length of time. Learning to relax both mind and body while remaining aware and awake is of enormous benefit in combating the stress and anxiety that can lead to depression and illness. Achieving such a state of mind is the KEY to contacting and working with your EMOTIONAL MIND.
Keep a notepad by your bed to note any dreams you may have. This habit encourages communication between the various parts of your mind.
The state of mind you will learn to achieve will be used to carry out the exercises given in the weeks ahead. Firstly though it is important to master and practice the relaxation techniques I am about to explain.
Please spend as long as you need practising until you are comfortable with the routine. You may find one particular way suits you better than another. Use the one that you get on with the best. How long you spend in a relaxed state each time depends on you and what you are trying to achieve. As a guide, between 25 to 50 minutes is all you should attempt at any one time. You will need to find a room where you will not be disturbed with a comfortable chair or a bed. The drawback of a bed is that there is a temptation to fall asleep when lying down.
Make sure your phone will not ring and make yourself comfortable. It is best to remove your shoes, as the feet tend to enlarge as we relax and can cause discomfort. Sit with your legs uncrossed to avoid numbness and your hands where they feel most comfortable. You may benefit from some very gentle background instrumental music playing just loud enough to be heard. This is entirely optional and not necessary. Always have a pen or pencil and notebook beside you.
Read the following right through before attempting any of the methods shown. Begin by looking ahead with your eyes open, then: -
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
HOLD FOR A FEW SECONDS
THEN SLOWLY LET AIR OUT
REPEAT AT LEAST THREE TIMES
AS YOU BEGIN TO RELAX
LET YOUR EYES CLOSE
With a little practice you will be able to take half a minute to expel all the air from your lungs. When you breathe correctly your stomach will gently rise and fall. Filling your chest with air is the wrong way to breathe and can cause tension. As you relax you will find that after a while you automatically start to breathe through your nose .(breathing affects the state of mind)
You may find that you feel your eyelids flutter or experience a tingling sensation in some part of your body or even feel a muscle twitch. These are all signs that you are relaxing. You may however relax and feel none of these things.
Once relaxed with your eyes closed do absolutely nothing.
You may be surprised how difficult it is to do absolutely nothing. All day long your mind is working - checking - planning - reacting - occupying itself -
JUST ALLOW YOUR MIND TO BE STILL AND LET GO!
It can help to look slightly higher with your eyes behind your eyelids than you would normally, focusing on the centre of your head. There is within you a natural state of calmness and peace. All that is required to access this state is that your thinking mind simply stops thinking.
Thinking takes energy - trying to resist thinking takes even more - so just do nothing. As you look into that stillness you may find that thoughts try to drift into your mind. Let them. Allow them to float in and out, but do not focus on them or pursue them. JUST BE AT REST. Thoughts may turn to colours and patterns may appear. Again just watch with indifference.
Try this exercise a few times. Tell yourself that you will remain awake - but your active mind can rest. You may be surprised how quickly time passes. So before you start, look at a clock and decide how long you are going to relax for. With practice your eyes will open automatically at the right time.
Sometimes disturbing memories that you have tried to ignore may drift into your thoughts. Treat these in the same way but do not avoid them. It can take courage to face emotion that is stored inside you but if it comes into your thoughts and feelings there is a reason for it. If you find the thoughts disturb your relaxation too much simply imagine yourself with a smile on your face and end the session. Then write down those thoughts and feelings. Write down the main feeling you experienced that troubled you. Later on you will learn how to use such feelings to understand yourself and your problem.
You will find that relaxing in this way is a very pleasant and refreshing experience, which leaves you feeling calm for many hours afterwards. This is because the mind starts to produce 'alpha' waves when you relax in this way. These calming waves affect every cell in your body in a beneficial way causing a chemical change to take place.
To relax in this way is the most natural and beneficial exercise you can do to restore or maintain the natural balance between your mind and body. In this state of mind, your emotions and feelings have the opportunity to communicate themselves to your thinking mind. Much of the anxiety, frustration and worry that people endure can be resolved using the simple methods outlined. Never underestimate the power you have within yourself to overcome problems.
The secret of unlocking this power lies in the active communication between the various parts of your mind and body - achieved through conscious relaxation.