How to Use Hypnosis for Exercise Motivation

Man undergoing hypnosis.

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It happens to everyone. You’re hitting the gym day in and day out and you’re finally beginning to see results. Then, life gets busy, you have a few too many cheat days in a row and suddenly, it’s been a week or two — or five — since you’ve hit the gym. The very thought of working out becomes a grim existential wrestling match. You know that if you don’t start exercising again soon, all those hours at the gym will be for naught. 

Yet, even the thought of extreme atrophy isn’t enough to motivate you to work out. So what do you do? Get hypnotized. Can hypnotism really motivate you to work out? Experts say that it can be an effective motivator, mostly because your mind is relaxed and more open to the power of suggestion. So, the short answer is yes.

You Are Getting Very Sleepy…

Now, hear me out, this solution may be unconventional. Ok, it might sound downright crazy, but it works. Studies show that hypnosis can reduce anxiety, aid in smoking cessation and irritable bowel syndrome. Preliminary studies also reveal promising indications that this kind of therapy can even help treat skin disorders, insomnia, hypertension, asthma and hot flashes. 

Now, celebrities are using hypnosis to slim down and get ripped, and their physique is evidence enough that it works. The only way to know if it’ll work for you, though, is to test it out yourself. 

What Is Hypnosis?

Despite what you might see in movies, hypnosis doesn’t involve swinging clocks or spinning spirals. Rather, it involves a hypnotherapist that’ll guide you into a deep state of relaxation. Some people describe it as being in a trance-like state, but it’s not much different from zoning out while watching a movie or daydreaming. 

While you’re experiencing this sense of calm, your hypnotist can make suggestions to help you be more open to change. They won’t be able to control your actions. How you behave is up to you. However, you will be more attentive and impressionable during these sessions because you’ll be experiencing a heightened level of focus and concentration. 

Practicing Self-Hypnosis 

If you’ve never tried clearing your mind with meditation, let alone hypnosis, it’s best to make an appointment with a certified hypnotist or hypnotherapist before using this treatment on yourself. Once you’ve attended a session or two and are familiar with the process, you can try practicing self-hypnosis.  

Aside from being more affordable and accessible, this treatment method can be just as effective as meeting with a professional if you do it correctly. 

1. Create a Comfortable Space

You can practice self-hypnosis anywhere but, wherever you are, it’s important that you’re comfortable. Otherwise, you won’t be able to relax or fall into a trance. 

Create a comfortable space with cushions and blankets, curl up in bed or simply close your eyes when you find yourself in a safe space like your car. Position yourself so that your legs and feet are uncrossed. Loosen any tight clothing and clear your schedule for the next 20 to 30 minutes. 

2. Relax with Hypnotic Induction 

Relax your body with progressive muscle relaxation. Focus your awareness on any tension you may have stored in your body, beginning with your toes. Work your way up through your legs, torso, arms and head until you feel completely at ease. Use imagery — like sitting on a beach or placing your worries on a hot air balloon — to improve the hypnosis. 

3. Introduce Suggestion

When prepaying membership fees and working out with a buddy aren’t enough to motivate you, the power of suggestion may help. Once you’ve zoned out or entered the “trance-like” state, pay attention to how you might improve yourself or act differently. In this case, you want to exercise more, so use affirmations to encourage yourself to do just that. 

“I am excited to exercise,” “I am looking better all the time,” and “I get stronger every day” are just a few possible mantras you can repeat over yourself. Use the first person and repeat these simple but clear statements with conviction. Adopt a reassuring and confident tone and keep the suggestions positive but realistic. They must be actionable to be effective. 

4. Reawaken to Your Surroundings

Once you’ve made your suggestions, gently reawaken to your surroundings. Count to five and tell yourself that you’re becoming more aware, that you’re waking up. Wiggle your fingers and toes, letting the movement slowly ripple through your body until your eyes open. Take a big stretch. Then, get up and go about your day — or, better yet, go work out!

Work Hard, See Results

As helpful as hypnosis can be, it’s not a magic bullet or cure-all. Even if you believe it’ll work, you still have to put in the work to see results. Maintain a healthy diet, hit the gym and try to stay consistent. In time, all the hypnotherapy and hard work will pay off. 

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