Self Hypnosis A Key to Relaxation And Better Productivity.
When I was a student I became aware of time constraints. For example I would commute from the Montreal suburb of Dorval to Loyola College. It was about a 20 minute train trip. I would occasionally scan a newspaper, if anyone left one on a seat, or I would study a bit. But, to be honest I would usually just gaze out the window let my mind wander. One day I came across a book in a store that featured Self Hypnosis. I was intrigued and I decided to buy the book. It was a memorable decision. Later in my dental career I attended a couple of medical level hypnosis courses.
Some might call it meditation instead of self hypnosis. I believe they are close in characteristics. Some have referred to hypnosis as altered concentration. The goal is to limit one's stimuli and focus on both identifiable and pleasant sensations. It can almost be called a clearing of the mind and allowing uncomplex ideas to set the pace and dictate one's thoughts.
I used my increasing skills in self hypnosis to learn how to take quick naps. In fact I think it helped my studies as I progressed through University. I could take a 30 minute nap and wake a bit sluggish but usually that would wear off quickly and I could begin studying.
The technique, I found practical for me, was to find a comfortable place to sit. I would close my eyes and visualize a situation where I had in fact sat down after a pleasant stroll. I would allow my mind to wander to my feet and visualize the comfortable feeling of relaxation, as if I had just taken off my shoes. I didn't always do that in fact, it was more of a imaginary act. I would feel the tingle start in my soles at the toe level and slowly move to my heels. Then up my legs to my calves. As the visualization of one area in relaxation moved up the body I would allow the previous areas to become comfortably numb, not a Pink Floyd song mind you, a physical numb...
As the relaxation spread up to my hips the scope of the relaxation enlarged to take in a larger region, circling the body from back to front and up the back to the chest area. I discovered that when I got to the rib cage a deep and slow inhalation followed by a deliberate relaxing exhalation gave me a satisfying feeling of 'sinking' into the chair which I was in. The neck was a welcome area, as by now my body was very restful. The face and head were the climax of the procedure, I would have the thoughts of relaxation spread around the face in small increments, the chin, cheeks, forehead and temples in sequence. By now I was either asleep in a restful state or very near that.
One negative, as I noted, was that I often woke from these sessions with a bit of a feeling of sluggishness, even feeling a bit down. I was in the medical library at McGill when I came across an article on hypnosis. They discussed this situation. Their advice was to include post hypnotic suggestions as one began o relax. Mine was to suggest that when I awoke I would feel alert and very positive. After a few trial sessions this began to work excellently. In fact I trained myself to go into a deep hypnotic state in under 3 or 4 minutes and 'sleep' for 30 minutes. It was a regular after supper routine when I was at McGill. I would have supper, make my way to the library, find a nice comfortable chair and go into my routine.
I guess I was less than inconspicuous. I was at a party that some friends had invited me to attend. A cute gal came up to me and said, "Hey I know you... you're the guy who sleeps in the library" As good fortune would have it my classmates were within ear shot and had a great laugh. In fact for some time I was known as the dental student who "slept around". All good fun, and to this day I can take a quick nap when the opportunity presents. I feel it is worthwhile learning how to relax this way. I have read that some high tech companies are encouraging staff to take quick afternoon naps and work a bit later. From an article I read the practice is popular and productive. I do not have scientific evidence on this but I know I can renew my energy after my 'self hypnosis' initiated naps.
Dr Michael Pilon