4 Tips For Effective Hypnotic Suggestions

One of the key ways to bring about changes in our lives using hypnosis is of course to provide our subconscious minds with effective suggestions that will lead to the change we want.

There is of course a right way and wrong way to develop your suggestions. A badly formed suggestion may get the job done eventually but a good suggestion is faster and less likely to encounter subconscious resistance. Learn the right way to develop your suggestions from the outset.

Here are 4 key tips for developing your suggestions effectively. See how the suggestions you develop for yourself compare to these "SMART" tips.

1. "S" = Simple and Specific
Remember that the subconscious mind does not deal with subtlety. Nor does it understand implications. It understands things literally. For example, if you were to ask a hypnotized person "Can you tell me where you were born?" she or he will likely answer simply "Yes."

Think of the implications of this kind of literal thinking carried out by your subconscious mind when you are developing suggestions. For example if you were to give yourself the suggestion, "I now have more money" then that is not specific enough for your literally minded subconscious. If you only receive one more dollar then that is more money but unlikely exactly what you had in mind as "more money."

Prepare the suggestion as specifically as you can and as simply as possible. To continue with our last money example you might choose to suggest to yourself, "I now receive X number of dollars or more each and every month.

2 "M" = Meaningful and Measurable
It is easy to see how measurable is closely related to specific. You want your suggestion to be measurable if it is appropriate so that you know when you have achieved it. For example, you may suggest to yourself that you want to be successful. An admirable goal but not one that is measured. You might suggest to yourself instead that "I achieve my sales goal of X dollars this month." Also notice that it is helpful to set a reasonable time within which expect to realize your suggestion.

By meaningful I mean the suggestion is yours, you want it, and you own it. Make sure the suggestion is for you, and not because you want to please someone else.

3. "R"= Responsible and Realistic
Responsible means that your suggestions are good, first of all for you, and secondly for everyone else connected with you. In other words take into account the effects of your action on the people and places around you.

Realistic implies that, considering everything else that is going on in your life, as far as you are can determine it is possible that you can achieve the suggestion you are giving yourself.

Yes, you need to make the suggestion sufficiently appealing to provide suitable motivation, but not so dramatic that it seems impossible. Pay attention not to develop unrealistic suggestions for yourself because that typically assures you of failure. For example, if your weight is currently 250 pounds and you want to lose weight use common sense to word your suggestions in attainable increments.

4. "T" = Toward what you want
Prepare your suggestion in a positive way - focusing it on what you want to happen or experience and not what you do not want. Remember, your subconscious is keen to comply literally with the suggestions you provide it while in hypnosis.

It would seem to be common sense then, not to use negative words in self hypnotic suggestions. I repeat; the subconscious mind is far too literal to take this risk. So for example, if you want to reduce your worrying do not use a suggestion such as " I do not worry," rather employ a positive approach such as, "My life is now carefree."

You need to know that your subconscious mind makes pictures of your suggestions. For example, If I say to you, "do not think of a pink elephant" what is the first thing that comes into your mind? That's right, a pink elephant! The very thing you do not want to be thinking of.

Given that understanding and literal nature of the subconscious mind, here is a list of words that I would recommend you never use in developing your suggestions:


Change can happen quickly when you take into account the way your subconscious mind works when developing your suggestions. Try shaping your hypnotic suggestions using these guidelines to get the changes you want.

Later editions of the bulletin will have more suggestion guidelines for you. Be watching for them!

Here's to your success,

Stephen Gruber,
Consulting Hypnotist.Montreal