a workbook for writing your life story

Clear Your Mind and Experience Your Memories: Self-Hypnosis and Meditation

Clear Your Mind and Experience Your Memories: Self-Hypnosis and Meditation

Is there something you’d really like to remember more clearly? Self-hypnosis and meditation both can be used to help you better remember past events and other memories. While the terms “self-hypnosis” and “meditation” may sound intimidating and strange, it can greatly benefit you while you work on your memoir.

If you’re trying these for the first time, begin with three to five minutes. Afterward, you can work on increasing your time.

Meditation

The most common form of meditation is mindfulness meditation, in which you observe your thoughts as they drift through your mind. It’s helpful to think of your thoughts as boxes on a conveyer belt. Each box is a thought, and the conveyer belt is running in your head. As you practice mindfulness meditation, the goal is to simply let the boxes pass by on the conveyer belt without grabbing a hold of them.

To practice meditation, follow these steps:

  • Sit or recline comfortably, you may also choose to walk for your meditation practice.
  • Close your eyes and allow your body to relax; make no effort to change or control your breath.
  • Bring your attention to your breath and the way your breathing makes your body feel.
  • As thoughts come, let them pass on the conveyer belt, and return your mind to your breath.

Do this for as long as you feel you can. It will help you to clear your mind and get your body into a relaxed stated before trying to access an old memory.

Self-hypnosis

Self-hypnosis can be seen as an extension of meditation. The goal of self-hypnosis is to enter the experience with a completely relaxed body in a slight trance state. There are a variety of ways to enter this state, and a variety of resources to help with that.

Try this entrance into a trance state:

  • Sit or recline comfortably.
  • Close your eyes and allow your body to relax; make no effort to change or control your breath.
  • Starting at your toes, contract each muscle individually for ten seconds and then let it go. Work your way to your head, progressively tensing and relaxing each muscle group.
  • When you get to your head, count backwards from 10 to 0 slowly. Visualize yourself going down a flight of stairs while counting.

After this, there are a number of ways to access an old memory. Try this method or find one that works for you:

  • Imagine yourself walking up to a giant palace which houses all of your memories. Take note of the outside of the building. Look at all the small details.
  • Enter the palace. Notice what the inside of the building looks like and take in all the small details.
  • Notice that there is a door on your right. Open the door and enter the room. In this room, you will find a variety of objects relating to the memory you are trying to access. There’s a book on the shelf. Pick up the book and read about your experience in this memory.

When you’re done with the memory, count backwards from five while telling yourself you’re returning to your body. Wiggle your toes. At 0, open your eyes.