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The "Best Me Technique" is a form of hyperempiria, or suggestion-enhanced experience, which involves your whole
person in the content of a suggested event. Every letter in "Best Me" corresponds with an element of suggestion, and these
elements can be applied in a variety of ways: to place yourself into self-hypnosis, to pre-experience the accomplishment of a goal, and to end your self-hypnosis session. It's the versatility and the
thoroughness of these elements that makes the "Best Me Technique" of self-hypnosis distinct from meditation and visualization exercises. Instead of merely picturing something in the minds eye, the
Best Me Technique enables us to paint upon the canvas of human experience almost any masterpiece we may desire. This article
will show you how to use "Best Me" suggestions to pre-experience the rewards of future goals now, at full strength
in the present when they are most needed for motivation, reducing or eliminating the need for will power. (It's also a great
way to relax and fall asleep or take a power nap!)
- Unless you actually intend to do so, choose a time when you are not too sleepy or tired, so that you are
not likely to doze off.
- Find a quiet place with subdued lighting, where you are not likely to be disturbed for at least half an
- Turn off your cell phone or pager, if you have one, and take the telephone off the hook or put it on answer
mode with the ringer turned off.
- Sit down or lie down in a position which will enable you to relax
deeply. If you should find yourself becoming uncomfortable during the session, it should not disturb you to gently adjust
your position in order to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
- Guide yourself through the elements of the Best Me Technique. After reading over the following script a couple
of times to get the idea, go through the steps of the Best Me Technique yourself, using words and images with which you feel
most comfortable, and at a pace which allows you to get the most out of the experience. Just as we combine words and pictures
on wikiHow pages in order to communicate
more effectively, we often pair words and images together in hypnosis in order to strengthen the effect of our suggestions.
The present example uses imagery of a boat rocking you gently back and forth to help you relax as you go through the elements
of the Best Me Technique in your mind, but not everyone responds equally well to the same images. Regardless of the words
and images you actually use (see suggestions in the Tips section below) Your purpose is not to achieve a trance (which only
a few people actually do), but to put yourself into a relaxed and pleasant frame of mind where your imagination can operate
- Belief systems: Imagine that its a warm summer afternoon, and that youre lying on the deck of a small
boat which is safely tethered at the edge of a shallow bay, about a hundred feet from shore. If you accept, believe
each detail of the scene as you describe it to yourself, without trying to think critically, your imagination will allow you
to experience the situation just as if you were really there.
- Emotions: Let your body absorb the peacefulness which is all around you, as the boat rocks you gently
back and forth and the sun shines warmly down, driving out all of your worry, all of your tension, and all of your care, and
leaving you filled with perfect, infinite, boundless peace, calm, and tranquility.
- Sensations and physical perceptions: Feel the cool breeze upon your skin, and savor the freshness
of the pure, salt air. Listen to the cries of the birds in the distance, and the sound of the water quietly splashing against
the side of your boat as it rocks you gently back and forth, and that warm, golden glow of the sunlight relaxes you completely
from head to toe.
- Thoughts and images: Its so calm, and so peaceful there on the deck of the boat, that all you want
to do is keep drifting, and dreaming, and floating on, and on. Then, you can just drift on into, peaceful, state of self-hypnosis
by silently counting from one to ten, repeating the following thoughts in time with your breathing after each count: "Sinking
down, and shutting down, sinking down, and shutting down, sinking down, and shutting down, shutting down completely. And the
deeper you go, the deeper you are able to go. And the deeper you go, the deeper you want to go, and the more enjoyable the
experience becomes." And so on, up to the count of ten.
- Motives: At this point, you can either keep repeating these suggestions to yourself until you drift
off to sleep, or you can use the building blocks of the Best Me Technique to pre-experience the rewards of a future goal.
If you are a student enrolled in a degree program, for example, you might proceed somewhat as illustrated in the breakdown
which follows this section, using words of your own choosing to provide the greatest meaning. As you proceed through each
step, take a moment to clarify and intensify it in your mind, so that you feel each portion of the experience as strongly
- Expectations: As you go through each step, believe it will happen, expect it to happen,
and feel it happening, just as strongly as if you were willing it into being at that very moment. The exact number
of repetitions is not as important as the clarity and conviction with which you feel like you are willing your convictions
- If you are inclined to doubt whether or not you have achieved self-hypnosis after a few minutes, you probably
- Decades of research have shown that people vary considerably in their responses to hypnosis. For many people, there
is no such thing as a "hypnotized" feeling.
- An induction procedure is like the theme music to a motion picture or a television drama. It allows us to shift our
thinking from a strictly logical mode of thought to a more flexible, more imaginative way of looking at the world. And we
can all do that!
Experiencing the Rewards of a Future Goal
- Choose the goal. This example illustrates
the accomplishment of a specific goal: graduation. You can increase the incentive value of the Best Me Technique still further
by pre-experiencing other rewarding aspects of your goal, such as celebrating at a graduation party with friends and family,
or relaxing on the deck of a cruise ship as you treat yourself to a much-deserved vacation after your goal has been achieved.
You may also want to pre-experience the rewards of sub-goals along the way, such as completing a unit of study, presenting
a paper, or passing a major examination
while overcoming the stress
that goes with it, secure in the knowledge that you are on the way to a pre-determined and inevitable success. Of course,
the Best Me Technique can also be used to enhance performance in other areas, such as singing, dance, athletics, creative
yourself to work out, or starting
your own business. It may also be a helpful part of a program to lose weight, become a non-smoker, or to
rid yourself of other forms of addiction.
Just make sure that you only focus on one goal per session, rather than making up in a "laundry list" of things to pursue.
Having too many goals at once might tend to interfere with your ability to clearly focus your imagination on the rewards of
- Take all the time you need in order to thoroughly pre-experience the attainment of your goal, using whatever
order and wording you prefer, as long as you include all of the "Best Me" steps. Allow yourself to experience each step as
strongly as possible, but don't just daydream. You can tell how well you are doing in your BMT experience by how good it makes
- (B) Imagine yourself in the future, at the very moment they are handing you your diploma.
- (E) Feel the admiring looks of your friends and family upon you, and enjoy to the fullest your sense of pride
and accomplishment as you grasp the cherished document.
- (S) Let yourself experience this thrill of achievement throughout every part of your body, from head to toe.
- (T) Visualize this goal so clearly that it feels as if you were actually willing it into existence.
- (M) Let yourself believe that you are headed toward a certain and inevitable success.
- (E) And as a result, you are able to act, think, and feel as if it were impossible
Concluding Your BMT Session
- When you have finished, you can simply allow yourself to drift off into a natural sleep, or you conclude your self-hypnosis session by using suggestions similar to the
following. (You don't need to memorize them, as long as you include each step of the Best Me Technique in a way that you feel
- Belief systems: Whenever you are ready, you can silently think to yourself that you will gradually emerge
from self-hypnosis as you silently count from one to five, telling yourself that by the time you get to five, you are going
to be back in the everyday state of consciousness in which we spend most of our waking lives.
- Emotions: You are going to be feeling thrilled and delighted by the exciting experiences you have had.
- Sensations and physical perceptions: Your entire body will feel happy, rested, and refreshed.
- Thoughts and images: Your mind will be clear and alert, and you will easily be able to concentrate
on anything that you have to do.
- Motives: And each time that you return to these peaceful dimensions of self-hypnosis, you will find
a deep, inner core of peace and happiness at the very center of your being, that nothing can weaken, nothing can dislodge,
and nothing can overcome, which will give you the faith and the strength that you need to accomplish your goals, and turn
each new day into a thing of wondrous beauty.
- Expectations: And because you can unconsciously sense your own needs better than anyone else, each
time that you return to these blissful dimensions of multimodal trance, it will improve your life in many different ways and
on many different levels, some of which you may already be aware of and some of which you may not yet realize.
- Now you can silently count to yourself from one to five, telling yourself that at the count of five you will be back
wide awake and feeling wonderful, using words like this: Five. Beginning to return now, as your mind begins to return to its
normal level of functioning. Four. You will be smiling, happy, and confident as you prepare to resume your lifes adventure.
Three. Coming back more and more now. Two. Almost back. One. You can open your eyes now, feeling wonderful. You can open your
eyes now, feeling wonderful.
- The building blocks of a Best Me experience need not be conceptually "pure." The purpose of the Best Me Technique
is comprehensiveness; and each part of a Best Me experience may contain elements of the others.
- Many other types of imagery are appropriate for use with the Best Me Technique.
- You may prefer to imagine yourself floating around high above the earth on a soft pink cloud, entering a cathedral,
relaxing in a grassy meadow, etc.
- Or, you can just systematically and thoroughly relax your body from head to toe as you go through the steps of the
induction one by one.
- You can also use hyperempiric inductions, based on increased alertness, mind expansion, and enhanced awareness
and sensitivity, in contrast to more traditional hypnotic inductions based on suggestions of lethargy, drowsiness, and sleep.
- If you prefer, you can prepare your mind to pre-experience the rewards of a future goal using the Best Me Technique
by meditating instead of using self-hypnosis. In other words,
use meditation for induction, then proceed to using the Best Me Technique for pre-experiencing your goal.
- As with any other skill, regular practice is essential until your goal has been achieved. But, by including suggestions
which define self-hypnosis as a pleasant and beneficial experience in itself, when it is properly done the Best Me Technique
should be an enjoyable and beneficial activity from the very start, and not merely another task to be accomplished.
- With practice, you should soon be able to reach your natural level of self hypnosis rather quickly, and conclude
your self-hypnosis session rather quickly, without taking the time to go through all the steps as thoroughly as at the beginning.
- If other thoughts should start to distract you during your BMT session, just passively observe them and let them
go, as one might do while practicing meditation.
- Some people may find it easier to have a trusted expert guide them through the steps of the Best Me Technique, much
as a skilled personal trainer might be able to provide the optimum amount of pacing and encouragement during a physical workout.
- Still others might do best using a combination of self-hypnosis and Best Me sessions directed by another.
- Recordings are also used to extend the effectiveness of hypnotic suggestions provided by someone else (or you can
make your own).
- You may need to experiment a bit to find which method or combination works best for you.
- Regardless of who is actually providing the suggestions, the most important thing to remember as you Define a Problem and compose BMT suggestions to correct it, is that in order to be completely
believed, a suggestion must be completely believed in.
- If you can believe in it, you can believe it. And if you can believe it, you can make it happen!
- If you should find that you need to Build
Self Confidence in order to pursue a much-desired goal, and if self-help books and articles are not useful enough, you
may need to seek the services of a psychologist, counselor, clinical social worker, or life coach to provide the necessary
support and encouragement, and to help you plan as you go along.
- If you are finding it difficult to put the necessary degree of conviction into your suggestions to Accomplish a Goal, you may need to go back and analyze your goal to see if there are any hidden
conflicts which may be preventing you from focusing completely upon its achievement.
- Don't forget the importance of "environmental engineering." In addition to using self-hypnosis, you need to make
whatever changes you have to in your daily life in order to bring your goal to completion.
- There is an old saying which goes, "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it." We can never fully predict
the consequences of our actions, and embarking upon an unknown course is always fraught with danger. But our willingness to
"dream the impossible dream" -- and, if necessary, to make our own luck -- is what having free will is all about!
- Self-Hypnosis is not a cure-all, and it should not be used indiscriminately.
- Self-hypnosis should not be used to treat any type of mental condition, or to recover old memories, except under the
direction and supervision of an appropriately qualified and licensed mental health professional.
- Do not use self-hypnosis to eliminate pain or other physical symptoms, except under appropriate medical supervision.
Such symptoms are often a natural warning signal from your body that something is wrong (or that something may be GOING wrong).
And unless you are a physician yourself, there are probably a large number of potentially serious conditions that you have
never even heard of!
- You should not stop taking any type of prescription medication while using self-hypnosis without talking to your
- Don't try to use the Best Me Technique to "scare yourself" into achieving your goal. Psychological research
has conclusively shown that human beings are motivated primarily by reward rather than punishment. Keep it positive!
- Don't be fooled by distorted images of hypnosis in the mass media. Hypnosis and self-hypnosis will not weaken
your will, leave you susceptible to demonic or occult influences, or turn you into someone else's willing servant. A good
source of accurate, up-to-date information about hypnosis may be found on the Web page of the American Psychological Association. Click on "Psychology Topics" at the top of the page, and then click on "Hypnosis."
- Do not allow yourself to be misled by the exaggerated claims of advertisers, or by or phony degrees and "board
certifications." People can end up paying thousands of dollars to be hypnotized or to learn self-hypnosis, when they can
just as easily learn it free of charge if they are willing to take the time. Many self-improvement projects, however, may
require the additional professional assistance of a licensed psychologist, counselor, or social worker for their successful
completion. In the U.S., you can find a properly-qualified therapist by calling your State psychological, counseling, or social
work association and asking for the names of members near you who include hypnosis as one of their specialties.
Sources and Citations
- Bányai, E. I., & Hilgard, E. R. (1976). A comparison of active-alert hypnotic induction with traditional relaxation
induction. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 85, 218-224.
- Gibbons, D. E. (2005, August). Kicking it up a notch: Multimodal hyperempiria. Paper presented at: the annual meeting
of Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Charleston, SC.
- Gibbons, D. E. (2004). Multimodal suggestion for facilitating meditation and prayer. Hypnos,31(2), 90-92.
- Gibbons, D. E. (2003, July). The Best Me technique for constructing hypnotic suggestions. Paper presented at the
Annual Conference of the British Societies of Medical, Clinical, Dental, and Experimental Hypnosis: Royal Society of Medicine,
- Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form: Hypnosis, hyperempiria, and the Best Me Technique. New York,
NY: Authors Choice Press.
- Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published
1979 by Plenum Press).
- Gibbons, D. E. (1999, August). Suggestion as an art form: Alternative paradigm for hypnosis? Paper presented at the
meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco.
- Gibbons, D. E. (1979). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. New York: Plenum.
- Gibbons, D. E. (1976). Hypnotic vs. hyperempiric induction: An experimental comparison. Perceptual and Motor Skills,
- Gibbons, D. E. (1975, August). Hypnotic vs. hyperempiric induction: An experimental comparison. Paper presented at
the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago.
- Gibbons, D. E. (1974, March). Hyperempiria: Waking up hypnosis. Paper presented at the meeting of the Southeastern
Psychological Association, Orlando, FL.
- Gibbons, D. E. (1973, December). Hyperempiria: A new "altered state of consciousness" induced by suggestion. Paper
presented at the meeting of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Newport Beach, CA.
- Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (in press). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. In J. W. Ruhe, S. J. Lynn, & I. Kirsch (Eds.)
Handbook of clinical hypnosis. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Gibbons, D. E. & Schreiber, A. K. (2005). Multimodal hypnosis. Hypnos, 32(2), 82-87.
- Lynn, S. J., & Kirsch, I. (2006). Essentials of clinical hypnosis: An evidence-based approach. Washington,
DC: American Psychological Association.
- Lynn, S. J., & Kvaal, S. (2004). A comparison of three different hypnotic inductions. Unpublished manuscript, Binghamton
University, Binghamton, NY.
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