Hypnosis & Self-Help Articles
The Mental Mini-Vacation
by C. Roy Hunter, Hypnosis Trainer
©1998, revised ©2011
How often do we let stress get the best of us? Have you ever tried to stay calm when people push your buttons, only to find your subconscious taking control? The Mental Mini-Vacation may become your key to staying calm in a sea of stress! Mastering this simple mental exercise may easily provide benefits to you personally, socially, and professionally.
WHAT Is It?
This simple mental exercise involves constructive use of the imagination to fantasize an ideal, peaceful place. While doing so, we may establish a "peaceful place" trigger as a reminder to stay calm when our buttons get pushed. The technique is easy to learn and easy to use!
WHY Learn It?
Often we react too quickly to stress and end up dealing with the consequences. The subconscious is our mental computer, and must be programmed to allow us to maintain self-control in order to avoid reacting without thinking. Whenever willpower and imagination are in conflict, the imagination usually wins out. Would you walk across a 1-foot-wide plank between two skyscrapers? How much easier would it be to walk that same plank if it were only one inch off the ground?
HOW Do We Program the Subconscious?
Imagination is the language of the subconscious. To demonstrate this to yourself, hold your arms out in front of you, close your eyes, and imagine that you hold a bucket in one hand and 100 helium balloons in the other hand. Imagine water pouring into the bucket...see the water, hear it splashing, and feel the bucket getting heavier and heavier. Also imagine the helium balloons holding up the other hand, and in less than a minute most people notice a difference between their two arms. This demonstrates the power of imagination!
Here Are Some Potential BENEFITS...
Others who successfully utilize the Mental Mini-Vacation have reported the ability to maintain greater self-control during times of stress, resulting in making wiser decisions. Managers have found their people-skills enhanced by their increased ability to remain calm. Sales people have increased their incomes by staying calm while overcoming objections. Some have enjoyed better family relationships at home. Which benefits might you enjoy by mastering this mental exercise?
Find a comfortable place to relax: seated, reclined, or lying down. With your eyes closed, imagine an ideal, peaceful and pleasant place. You may use the sample script reprinted below from my self-hypnosis book, Master the Power of Self-Hypnosis (Sterling Publishing, 1998). Modify it as needed. I suggest that you practice several times weekly until you master the technique. Remember to establish your "peaceful place" trigger as instructed in the script.
from Chapter 8 of Mastering the Power of Self-Hypnosis
(Crown House Publishing, 2011) by C. Roy Hunter
Your imagination is like the rehearsal room of your mind, where you have the ability to practice being the person you wish to be! You can imagine what you plan on doing tomorrow, or you can replay what happened yesterday by re-living those experiences in the imagination.
We use the imagination quite frequently to imagine our anticipated pleasure for a planned long-weekend - when we finally get out to the lake, or out on the golf course, or the campground, or the beach, etc., etc. Couples dating can attest to the fact that anticipation influences both the mind and body! I'll avoid describing what frequently takes place in the imagination during a date; yet I'll remind the reader that both the mind and body will respond to the imagination! Both mind and body also respond to fantasized places of peace and beauty.
Consider your own imagination to be your own private place, where you can travel through time and space. Star Trek viewers can compare the imagination to the holodeck of the mind, because you can create your own program! You can BE anywhere you wish, and DO anything you wish...in your imagination. You can re-live any memory (happy or sad), or you can experience any fantasy. Although many of our parents taught us not to daydream, we can't avoid daydreaming occasionally. The question is whether you control your daydreams, or vice versa.
The mental mini-vacation utilizes your ability to daydream. You may enjoy going back in time to a favorite vacation spot, or you may imagine going forward in time to a future vacation. You have the choice! Remember that you have total power, total freedom, and total privacy in your imagination. You can do anything you wish, and go anywhere you wish. Are you ready?
Enter self-hypnosis using your chosen induction, then adapt the following script to your own words. Again, notice that the simple wording means more to the subconscious than good grammar...
I'm going to count backwards now from ten to one. As I do, it becomes easier and easier for me to imagine sights, sounds and feelings in my beautiful peaceful place...
Number Ten - deeper and deeper, relaxing physically... With each breath, it's easier to imagine my peaceful place...
Number Nine - deeper and deeper, relaxing mentally... With each sound, it's easier to imagine pleasant sights, sounds and feelings...
Number Eight - deeper and deeper, relaxing emotionally... The deeper I go, the better I feel, and the deeper I want to go...
Number Seven - deeper and deeper, relaxing totally... The deeper I go, the easier it is to go even deeper, imagining my peaceful place...
Number Six - every nerve and muscle relaxes completely... as if I'm becoming a part of the peace that I imagine...
Number Five - each number making it easier and easier to go deeper and deeper... and it feels SO good to just relax...
Number Four - as I go deeper, it becomes easier and easier to imagine sights, sounds and feelings that are so calm, and so peaceful...
Number Three - just drifting into total relaxation... into my place of total peace... where I can enjoy being anywhere I wish now...
Number Two - just relaxing at my ideal peaceful place now...
Number One - waaaaaaaaaaaaay down deep... Relaxing into a very deep, inner peace... a very deep, inner peace...
As I touch my finger to my thumb, or take a deep breath and think the word RELAX, it's an automatic reminder of my inner peace. [Touch a finger to your thumb, and take a deep breath.] Whenever I do this in the waking state, I feel calm and composed, free to think with a clear mind... but for now, I can just enjoy going even deeper into relaxation... deeper and deeper...
With each breath I take, it's easier and easier to enjoy my freedom of imagination, to go to a favorite vacation spot now... and imagine my IDEAL vacation... doing what I enjoy doing, and relaxing as well...
In my mind, as much time as I wish can pass... and I feel as though I've enjoyed an hour's nap... I feel like I enjoyed an hour's nap...
Before emerging from trance, imagine feeling the way you wish to feel! Then, when ready, count forward from one to five and awaken yourself.
Most hypnotherapists use a similar method to help clients establish a peaceful place. The act of taking the deep breath (or touching your thumb and finger) WHILE imagining your peaceful place anchors a sense of inner peace to that act. Anchoring your peaceful place into your trigger during trance compares to programming your computer. Activating your trigger during the conscious state compares to pushing the "Execute" button on your computer. Your deep breath (and/or touching thumb and finger) will now become a trigger for inner peace!
Reprinted from a portion of Chapter 8 of Mastering the
Power of Self-Hypnosis
©2011 by C. Roy Hunter, all rights reserved. Published by Crown House Publishing.
The older version of this article referenced the 1998 version of the self-hypnosis book,
which was published by Sterling Publishing.
Do you wish the above
meditation on CD?
It is included with a copy of MASTERING THE POWER OF SELF-HYPNOSIS.
The CD with “The 10-Minute Mindpower Nap” (original title was “Relaxation through Mind Power) also includes “What to Do When Your Buttons Get Pushed.”
Other CD's are
Roy Hunter practices hypnotherapy near Seattle, in the Pacific Northwest region of the USA. He also worked part time for the Franciscan Hospice facilitating hypnotherapy for terminal patients for seven years, and teaches a 9-month professional hypnotherapy training course based on the teachings of Charles Tebbetts. Roy is the recipient of numerous awards, including awards from three different organizations for lifetime achievement in the hypnosis profession. You may see Roy’s numerous awards at: http://www.royhunter.com/hunter.htm
is available for mentoring and coaching.
For more info, visit: http://www.royhunter.com/consulting.htm
updated: December 30, 2012
Originally posted: September 21, 2001.