Deep breathing is an important part of the hypnosis induction process. It’s natural to relax when we exhale; that’s just what our bodies do. By breathing deeply, and by slowing down the frequency of our breaths, it helps to calm our system and bring about a shift in our awareness. What happens when you’re excited, scared or energised? Your breathing speeds up, right? Well, by controlling your breathing you cause your body to do the opposite, just as it might if you were asleep.
Remember that in normal sleep, our breathing naturally slows down. It’s the same in hypnosis; in fact it’s one of the indicators that we’ve entered a hypnotic state. When the breath becomes relaxed and rhythmic without the need to focus on it and purposely control its speed and frequency, we can be sure that our mind has entered a state of hypnosis.
When you concentrate on your breathing pattern you’re becoming more aware of your internal experience, which is one of the key features of hypnosis. This state of heightened concentration and awareness is what helps bring about the hypnotic state. Taking several deep breaths at the beginning of a hypnosis session helps to separate our minds from our normal, full waking state and shift them into a more relaxed mentality. This is why I mention deep breathing at the beginning of the self hypnosis CDs and hypnosis download recordings. It’s the first step to getting you there.
When most people take a deep breath they breathe in through their nose and out from their mouth. I think this way of breathing helps highlight the change in pattern and makes the experience that much more focused, but that’s just me. People are unique and should do what is most comfortable for them. I don’t want to tell people how to breathe deeply or how long each breath should take. I’m not looking to limit your experience or influence you in a way that is not natural for you. Micromanaging your internal experience is not what hypnosis is about.
I just simply ask you to relax and breathe in, and breathe out. With every exhalation your body will find deeper relaxation on its own. Your unconscious mind will become more open to suggestion and the benefits of hypnosis will begin to take place.