Self-Hypnosis: A Powerful Tool For Children?
Updated: Aug 26, 2022
If there is something out there that is natural, easy to use, and improves the overall quality of your child’s life, you’d want to know about that right?
Even if that thing may be seen as a little “out there” to most people?
If so, you will find what’s inside of this article to be interesting and of much value. Even if you don’t want to read this through, you’ll be glad that you did. There is a little something that more and more parents are putting in their toolbox when it comes to practices that can help their children self-regulate their thoughts and emotions.
And that thing is Hypnosis.
Parents using hypnosis to help their children self-regulate and thrive more because of it?
What is hypnosis? Can it be helpful? Is it all a fluke? If it does work, how do I show my child how to benefit?
All of these and more are going to be answered.
Let’s start with the obvious first question.
What Is Hypnosis?
What is hypnosis? Without getting super detailed into the science behind it, hypnosis is a simple process that is used to slow one's brain waves down from beta to states of theta brain waves. Regardless of what you’ve heard, hypnosis is not an altered state of mind or a “trance” -- hypnosis is a tool that is used to alter someone's state of mind by lowering the frequency of the brain activity.
These states are alpha and theta brain waves which are very normal states that you dip in and out of every single day.
When you wake up you come out of theta brain waves into alpha, which lingers for about 15-20 minutes after waking and then your brain activity speeds up to levels of “Beta” that are most active in your full waking state. You experience theta during sleep, alpha during light naps, meditations, warm showers, or just relaxed moments -- like the ones that occur when you’re reading a book to wind down at the end of a long day.
This is induced by activating rapid eye movement (REM).
During REM sleep, our eyes are rapidly fluttering behind our eyelids, which sends a calming signal to the forebrain – telling it to “calm down.”
This then sends signals through the body that begin to relax the muscles, allowing your body to rest and recover.
So when you artificially activate REM during your waking hours, you relax and become absorbed in your experience.
And THAT is hypnosis. A tool that is used to get you into a state of mind, but not the state of mind itself.
It's not unnatural.
It's normal, and it happens every day.
Watching TV is hypnosis. Looking into your soulmate's eyes is hypnosis. Reading this is hypnosis.
But why would someone want to know how to use this for their children?
The Big Benefit Of Hypnosis
Since you know what hypnosis is now, let’s dive into the benefits of using REM to slow your brain waves down into “trance-like” states.
Theta brain waves produce this chemical called glutamate.
This chemical is responsible for most central nervous system functions and neuroplasticity, which is responsible for changing the brain to adapt to its environment.
Therefore when glutamate is present, your brain is more susceptible to change.
That’s because the chemical that is responsible for “wiring” neurons is more present, creating the necessary environment for change.
This makes hypnosis a powerful tool for helping children empower themselves by changing their behaviors and overcoming fears and old ways of thinking to grow and step into new experiences.
Hypnosis creates an environment in the brain that aids to change and adaptation.
This gives your child a helping hand when it comes to changing their behavior and improving their attitudes about themselves.
Things You Can Use Hypnosis For
You now know what hypnosis is and the underlying science behind why it's beneficial, but what can it be used for?
There are many different things you can do with it, but you must understand hypnosis is not an “end all be all” tool.
It is simply that, a tool, that can be used to aid in self-regulation for your children.
It is also not a solution to everything.
However, it can help you and your children with any of the following:
Getting over separation anxiety
Improving social skills
And in some cases, it can be very helpful in overcoming depression and anxiety disorders along with some other modalities.
But any of what I listed are all things children can accomplish by learning how to use Self-Hypnosis, which is the process of slowing your own brain waves down -- which is super easy for any child to learn how to do.
Let’s get into that right now.
Self-Hypnosis For Children: The How
“How” do you show your child how to use self-hypnosis?
First, I am going to break down how to use REM to slow your brain waves down and get into a theta-level state: which you are then going to be able to show your children how to do.
Then I am going to share with you some specific techniques you can do with your child for them to begin getting the benefits of this unique and powerful tool.
Step One: Slowing The Brain Waves Down The easiest and fastest way to activate REM and slow the brain waves down is to make your eyelids flutter. You can accomplish this by looking up like you're trying to look at your eyebrows or stare at the center of your forehead. Once you have your eyes fixed in that position, the next step is to close your eyelids while keeping your eyeballs pointed up. Here is a short video showing you how it looks:
This will create a fluttering sensation in your eyes. Once that is done you simply use your imagination to slow your brain waves down even more. Here’s how:
Imagine a flight of 10 steps going down, like you’re walking into a basement or downstairs room. Then imagine walking down each step while repeating,
“Step ten, I’m going deeper. Step nine, deeper. Step eight, deeper. Step seven, deeper.”
And continue this until you’re on step one. At the end of the staircase, you will be inside of theta brain waves, which brings us to our next step. Step Two: Exercises And Techniques To Use While In Theta Brain Waves Once in theta, there are multiple things you can do.
To make this easy, I’m breaking down three main techniques you and your children can begin using today to see the benefits of self-hypnosis. 1.) Conscious Auto-Suggestion
Conscious auto-suggestion is the act of repeating certain words and phrases, or affirmations to wire their neurons differently and create change. This is important because as we go through life we allow suggestions that cause a lot of limitations.
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m not important.”
“I”m a burden.”
“Nobody likes me.”
“I’m too different.”
Or anything similar that limits your potential as a human being.
These ideas are suggestions, that when accepted create insecurities and unnatural fears that take away from the richness of one’s life. Therefore by using your mind to replace those suggestions with empowering ones like…
“I am good enough.”
“I am significant.”
“I am loved.”
“I am safe.”
…You can change your entire life.
And your child’s life will change when they have that latter set of beliefs.
They can accomplish this by using the process above to get into theta, and simply spend five to ten minutes a day repeating to themselves one or two powerful suggestions.
This will cause the subconscious to “accept” the suggestions and begin acting out on them. To enhance the effectiveness of the exercise, encourage your child to “see” the words in their mind as they repeat them. 2.) Creative Visualization Creative visualization is closing your eyes and consciously using your imagination to generate mental images.
We generate pictures in our minds all of the time, the only problem is we do it mindlessly and without deliberate intention. The pictures in our minds come from our thoughts, and these pictures create our feelings.
So if your children are feeling insecure, it's because they picture themselves with things to be insecure about.
By using creative visualization, they can change these images by deliberately spending time focused on new images. This also trains their neurons to respond differently and create neural pathways that support better thoughts and behaviors.
Here’s how it works:
Step one: Get into theta brain waves with the process shared in step one. Step two: Begin picturing a movie screen in front of you. Imagining yourself in a movie theatre is helpful (and fun for the kids!) Step three: Imagine a desired behavior, emotion, or event happening on the screen. Get all of your child's senses involved.
Tell them to have fun and to make it feel like they are “really” there -- with sights, sounds, tastes, and touch.
This will begin creating new experiences in the brain that can change it. Step 4: After exploring the image for 10 to 15 minutes, begin counting back from five to one. And on the count of one open your eyes. This is a practice you can do and show your child, and make it fun like a game or “movie time!” If they are socially shy, have them close their eyes and “pretend” to be confident at a party. If they want to get a good grade on an upcoming test have them close their eyes and “pretend” to get an A. If they want to learn how to play better football, have them close their eyes and practice drills and see themselves being better.
Tricks like these can lead to profound differences. 3.) Self-Regulation
One of my favorite ways to use self-hypnosis is to self-regulate my thoughts and emotion by using creative visualization in a very specific way.
When you or your kid is anxious, frazzled, and irritated -- you can have them create peace and calm down by “picturing peace.”
Step one: Get into theta brain waves with the process shared in step one. Step two: Imagine what “peace and calm” would look like.
This can be a nice big field of grass with flowers, water, and a big blue sky, or hanging out with their parents, thinking of a friend or simply imagining a nice quiet room. Some of the children I’ve taught this to like to picture “steam” coming out of their head by leaving the top of it.
These images calm the nervous system down tremendously. Let your kid have freedom in creating their own “internal peace picture.” and remind them to return to that image whenever they find it useful. Here is a guided video that you and your child can listen to for help in this process: And there you go, three simple techniques you and your children can begin using today to see the benefits of self-hypnosis. In Conclusion
Yes, hypnosis can be a powerful tool for children when understood and used intentionally.
It is a safe and accessible way for any child to make changes to their emotions and attitudes. It’s effective in helping children overcome fears, gain confidence and overcome habits and behaviors.
It is not an “end all be all” solution, it is just a tool that can tremendously help your child improve the quality of their life and regulate their thoughts and emotions.
Hypnosis is one of many tools we teach children how to leverage inside of Zamio.