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If you are enrolled in a hypnosis program, this page will have your first two basic techniques:

  • Countdown Technique
  • Journal


Countdown Technique

Please start practicing the Countdown on a daily basis. It helps you create a strong foundation for change. And please read this entire page twice. Twice is nice.

1. Count down from 10 to 1, slowly.

The basic sequence is a number, the word deeper, and the word relaxed. Speak one word as you exhale. Then speak a second word as you exhale the second time. Speak the third word as you exhale the third time. One word per exhalation.

Before practicing, please read this entire page.

  • Say, “Ten,” as you exhale, stretching out the word to match the exhalation. Then gently breath in.
  • On the second exhalation, say, “Deeper,” stretching out the word to match the exhalation. Then gently breath in.
  • On the third exhalation, say, “Relaxed,” stretching out the word to match the exhalation. Then gently breath in.

That’s one complete cycle.

For the next cycle, you’d repeat the sequence of saying a number, the word deeper, and then the word relaxed. And again, each time you exhale, you say a single word. And stretch out the word to match the exhalation.

  • Say, “Nine,” as you exhale, stretching out the word to match the exhalation. Then gently breath in.
  • On the second exhalation, say, “Deeper,” stretching out the word to match the exhalation. Then gently breath in.
  • On the third exhalation, say, “Relaxed,” stretching out the word to match the exhalation. Then gently breath in.

Can you guess what’s next? That’s right. You’d do the entire sequence again, except you’d say, “Eight.”

And once you finish the last number, the number one, then you’re done.

Q. “How do I breathe?”

Keep your breath symmetrical. For example, if you inhale for three seconds, then you would exhale for three seconds.

Q. “My exhalation is longer than my inhalation. What can I do to inhale more slowly?”

Many people find exhaling to be easier. To inhale more slowly, imagine there’s a feather suspended in mid-air between your upper lip and your nostrils. When you inhale, keep that feather from getting sucked up into your nose. And keep that feather from dropping to the ground.

Remember, this is an imaginary feather. But imagine it as really being there. Many clients tell me this gives them more control while inhaling.

Q. “How do I speak the words?”

Speak pretty normally, and gently lower your pitch later during the word. You can also speak more quietly than usual. Experiment with how to speak with less effort and energy. Ideally you’ll get to a point where the word and the exhalation become one unit rather than two things.

When  you exhale, you speak the word. And each exhalation has only one word. For example, if you say the word “deeper,” you would say it as you start exhaling, “Deeeeeperrrr.” You stretch out the word so it’s as long as your exhalation.

Q. “How often do I practice each day? And when?”

You have two options. You can practice three times per day for a total of 30 counts. Or you can practice twice a day for a total of 30 counts.

If you choose three times per day, each practice session is from ten to one.

If you choose two times per day, each practice session is from 15 to one. This option is easier for many people, because then they simply practice in the morning and after work in the evening.

If you choose to do three times per day, ideally practice in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

Other notes…

  • If you have trouble falling asleep, you can add a bonus session when you’re in bed. Do that one silently.
  • Consistency is key. Even if it’s a hectic day and you only have time for a shorter Countdown, such as five to one (or even three to one), it’s better than nothing.
  • Even a shortened Countdown will help you retrain your brain and give you a nice emotional reset.
  • If you have trouble with consistency, I can help. Just ask me for some tips. My clients have found workarounds that they have shared with me, and I can share those with you based on your challenge.

Q. “Do I always have to speak the words out loud?”

Out loud is better during the first two weeks of getting into a routine. But even during the first two weeks it’s okay to do it silently if you’re at the office or in a more public place.

Q. “After I finish, what do I do?”

Drink some water and walk around to bring yourself out of hypnosis. Make sure you give yourself a few minutes to get back to the regular world before you drive a car or engage in tasks that require a fully conscious state of mind.

This is a foundation skill. Later when you’re a bit more advanced, you can learn how to leverage this hypnotic state with another technique to create change. And yes, that’s a teaser.

Q. “I have a busy life. I don’t think I can easily fit this into my routine.”

I can help you fit this into your routine, so just ask me.

Practicing consistently will sharpen your focus, reduce stress, and make you more productive. And you’ll feel happier. Busy people tend to get the most benefit from the Countdown.

And they’re often surprised at how easy it is to fit into their day after I share a few pointers. So again, if you need help making this a routine, just ask me. I’ve seen some people struggle with it who then, after a few pointers, become masters of the Countdown in a short time.


Please start keeping a progress journal on a daily basis. Write in cursive rather than print. You remember cursive, right? It’s that old-fashioned loopy writing that you learned as a kid.

Keeping a journal may seem simple. But there’s a lot of hidden power in keeping this type of journal. If you’ve done this type of journal before, you already know the deeper effect writing in a journal can have.

Some of my most journal-skeptical clients became big fans of the journal. And if you ask them explain why the journal worked, they wouldn’t be able to quite put it into words.

  • They would tell you that they experienced some powerful shifts that surprised them. Logic alone doesn’t explain the power of their changes.
  • On the surface, keeping a journal seems so ordinary. But there’s more to the story, and I’ll keep it mysterious for now.

Please get a journal.

  • Some people use an ordinary notebook.
  • Some  buy a really nice notebook or journal.
  • Some use a three-ring binder.
  • If you don’t have a journal, yet, then just use loose leaf paper until you get one.

Using the journal

1. Get out your journal right before going to bed.

  • With a little practice, it may only take two minutes to fill out your journal each night.

2. Write down the hypnosis exercise you did today.

  • Ex. Write down what techniques you practice (e.g., Countdown) and how many times you did them.

3. Write down brief thoughts or experiences from today. They can be hypnosis related or random things.

  • You don’t have to write a whole page. Please keep this brief.
  • If you’re finding that you want to write a lot, then consider doing this step earlier in the evening.
  • Ideally writing in your journal right before bed takes two minutes.

4. And last but not least, write down two appreciations.

  • The appreciations can range from very simple to very profound.
  • I’ll share a few appreciations from my old journal.
  • I appreciate that: I have hair on my head… I had a nice lunch with an old friend.
  • I appreciate that: I live in a free country… I’m married to a wonderful woman.
  • I appreciate that: I have two feet to walk on… I have a roof over my head.

Q. “Why do you want me to write in cursive instead of print?”

Studies have shown that cursive engages your brain in a more powerful way. If you’re going to write for two minutes, you may as well get the most from those two minutes.

Q. “I don’t remember cursive. Do I still need to write in cursive?”

I can’t make you write in cursive. I strongly recommend it to speed up your progress and to get the most from the journal.

If you want to remember cursive, look online for the letters and start practicing a bit.

  • Your muscle memory will return faster than you expect.
  • You can ask your subconscious to help you remember cursive as you do the Countdown.

Q. “What’s so useful about the two appreciations?”

The last things you think about before falling asleep can influence the quality of your dreams and your sleep. By coming from a place of appreciation, clients tell me that helps their sleep.

And it helps them become more appreciative of what they have rather than focus on what is missing. And that attitude helps people make faster progress in their hypnosis journey.

Q. “I feel uncomfortable keeping a notebook around. When if someone else reads it?”

Talk to me about this concern. We’ll figure out a solution, together.

Q. “I’m having trouble doing the journal consistently. Is it really that big a deal?”

Yes, it’s that big a deal. Talk with me about what’s going on with consistency; we’ll figure out a way to make it easier.

Q. “A friend told me that there’s synergy between the Countdown and Journal. Is this true?”

Yes, it’s true. And it’s surprising, because there’s no obvious connection between the two. But after being a hypnotist for many years, the evidence I’ve seen is too compelling. Clients who do both do much better than clients who only do the Countdown. I’m sometimes amazed at this connection, but I’m not surprised anymore.

Bottom line: do the journal if you want to make faster progress. It matters. A lot.