Theater of the Mind
The theater of the mind is a wonderful self-hypnosis technique that utilizes imagination training. While sitting in your comfortable, relaxed spot, imagine a movie screen directly in front of you with yourself on it as the main actor. It is important to realize that this technique will work better if you imagine the movie screen outside your head a little ways away from you rather than inside your head.
You are in complete control of what you the actor perform on the movie screen. What you imagine will immediately take place on the screen. All the controls, props, actors, and background effects are in your mind and are created immediately upon imagining them. As the director, imagine yourself (the actor) having already attained the goal that you would like to achieve.
The subconscious mind imparts the same value to actual and imagined memories. It is important to see yourself as already having accomplished your task. You must see yourself having attained your goal rather than in the process of it. For example, if you are interested in getting a better job, imagine yourself on vacation, spending the money that you received from already having this job, rather than simply being interviewed for the job. If you were to imagine yourself being interviewed for the job, then that is exactly what you will get, an interview for the job.
As you create your imagined movie on the movie screen, see yourself as the main actor. It is important that you are the main focus on the screen. To enhance the experience, see everything in as much detail as possible and use emotions, which are very powerful in this process. Imagine the details of what you might wear as the “goal you.” What are the details of the scenery around you? Is there anyone else in the picture? If so, what do they look like? Provide details such as their clothing, facial expression, or anything else that makes them stand out.
In order for the theater of the mind to be most effective, practice it each day for a minimum of twenty-one days without missing a day. Once you begin, if you feel that you have to change anything on your movie screen, do it within the first couple of days. From that point on keep the exact same scene of the movie until the end of the entire twenty-one-day period.
You can also record your entire theater of the mind production and listen to it. This is a great way to ensure that you do not change your movie from day to day. You also have the advantage of preplanning it to be sure that it includes details, emotions, and the various senses.
As in any other form of self-hypnosis, find a comfortable place to sit where you will be undisturbed for approximately five to ten minutes and let your movie begin. As you imagine and see yourself as having attained your goal, see the details and feel as many emotions as possible about having attained your goal. Include as many of the five senses as possible in your scenario. Are you able to smell, taste, hear, see, or feel anything?
It is extremely important while you are conducting this exercise that the goal you have chosen is one that you feel is attainable. You must be able to see yourself accomplishing this task. If you find it is not believable, then you may want to alter your imagination scenario to one that you feel can be accomplished. Once you have accomplished the task, you can always raise or increase your limits at that time.
Close your eyes and relax … Take a deep breath … exhale … and take a second deep breath … and exhale, and on your third deep breath, hold it for about three seconds … and exhale and relax.
I would like you to use your imagination right now. Imagine, or just think about, yourself sitting comfortably in front of a large movie screen and imagine that you are seeing a motion picture of yourself. See it as vividly and in as much detail as possible. See yourself in this motion picture reacting successfully, in the ideal situation, having already attained your goal. As you are visualizing yourself as this successful person … see yourself as the main actor or lead person on your screen … How do you feel now that you have become the person that you would like to be … (pause) … Feel the emotions … What are you feeling? … Maybe confidence … pride … fulfillment … satisfaction … relief … happiness … (pause) … What emotions are you feeling exactly … Let those emotions fill you up … (pause) … Let them grow within you … (pause) … What are you hearing associated with your new goal? What are others saying about you? How do they feel about your accomplishments? … (pause) … I'd also like you to visualize and feel what you think is different … What is different now that you have attained your goal? How is your life changed? … (pause) … Are you enjoying any more freedoms associated with this attainment? … Think about them, get them clearly in your mind as you visualize yourself standing in front of you on that motion picture screen … (pause) … See the details … What are you wearing? … What are you doing? … What else do you notice that is associated with this now orderly achievement? … (pause) … Remember the imagining of yourself doing something with enough detail is equal to the actual experience as far as your subconscious mind is concerned. So see yourself for just a few more moments having achieved your new habit … (pause) …
You are in control of your life now … You have created and attained a new positive habit … With the power of your subconscious mind, it is very easy to do … You have allowed the past disorder to fade away like an unwanted memory … and now you move forward … The disorder of the past has been replaced with order. The dysfunctionality replaced with functionality. So once again feel that wonderful sense of satisfaction and achievement. It is coming from that strong subconscious mind that you have. You have created your goal and through these daily exercises are maintaining it, creating a permanent habit of change.
At the count of three you will come all the way back to the here and now …
One … Beginning to come all the way back.
Two … Feeling totally relaxed and comfortable.
Three … Eyes wide open and feeling great.