Self hypnosis is a powerful force that can be used in the attainment of goals or to bring about change in one's health. Best results are done by repeating a suggestion for approximately three to five minutes while in a relaxed state of mind.

How your suggestion is formulated is important. There are seven basic rules of thumb:

1. Say you want to quit smoking, it's important to avoid using a negative--a "not"--in your suggestion such as “I am not going to smoke.” The reason being is that the brain skips over "nots". To experience this first hand, if you are in a situation where you can stand, please do so and do the following. Alright, are you standing? The next instruction is "Please do not stand!" Did you sit immediately or were you somewhat confused thinking something like, "He just asked me to stand and now I'm supposed to do what??"

The truth is that the brain skips over the "not," and unless I had put you in a situation for you to question it, you would have continued to stand. This is why when you say, "I am not going to smoke," the brain interprets it as “I am going to smoke.”

2. Avoid using "not" in the past tense. For instance, you'll find that with self hypnosis you'll stop smoking. Avoid then thinking, “I don't smoke any more.” either consciously or as a self hypnotic suggestion. Even though at that moment you feel accomplished, it becomes like boomerang and for a while you'll be free of smoking and then the habit of smoking will return just as a boomerang returns.

3. Likewise avoid using “try.” Avoid saying, “I'm trying to (whatever)." Trying indicates that you didn't succeed--you tried but just didn't make it.

4. Avoid the phrase, "going to" as in I'm going to lose weight. If someone tells you that he/she is going to come visit you, what is the first thing you want to know? When, right? The word "going" causes anxiety which stands in the way of success. I'm going when? tomorrow? next week, next month, next year?

5. "Giving up" and "Doing Without"--avoid using both. Giving up is means the same as not being able to "cut the mustard," or "make the grade." "Doing without," is synonymous with being a bad girl or boy and made to go to bed without desert.

6. Avoid suggestions such as “I am less anxious” or “I am more relaxed around strangers.” These suggestions have you perceive others as "strangers" or you as being "anxious" and keep you in that frame of mind.

7. Also avoid suggestions with “I have to” or “I must” or "I got to." Psychologist find that when their patients think in those terms, they become more anxious and irritable which actually reduces their IQ making it more difficult to achieve their goals.

If you want to lose weight, in addition to many of the above problem suggestions, there are several others:

1. "I'm so hungry I could eat a house or horse." First, hungry is a powerful word that only results in empty feelings. Secondly a house or horse is a pretty big item.

2."I'll start my diet tomorrow." The word diet is "die" with a "t" on the end of it. It means starvation.

3. "I'll eat today and starve tomorrow." If you knew that you were going to starve tomorrow, what would you do today? Eat, right?

4. "I quit eating so much." The word quit is again a problem since elementary school. Afterall, do you want to be a quitter? Even though you consciously know how you are applying the word such as in "quit smoking," too, unconsciously it's connected to being a quitter. So why use the word--especially when so many other far more powerful words and phrases that can be used?

5. "I'm losing weight." No one wants to be a loser. This is ingrained in each of us since elementary or preschool. So why use it in your thinking.

These are all no-no's. For more information on how to formulate affirmations and suggestions for self hypnosis to attract what you want in life, see the resource box.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Kuhns B.S.Ch.E., NGH certified, a prominent figure in the field of hypnosis with his best selling hypnosis and stress management cds at and . He aims to raise awareness in using self hypnosis for self improvement. To find out more please visit