Emile Coue (1857-1926) was a French psychologist and pharmacist who believed in the effective use of medications but also knew that the human mind was an "untapped resource" in terms of human healing. His story is worthy of study and anyone who wants to understand the way our mind works in terms of suggestion would do well to familiarize themselves with his techniques.
Coue is quoted as saying "[autosuggestion is]... an instrument that we possess at birth, and with which we play unconsciously all our life, as a baby plays with its rattle. It is however a dangerous instrument; it can wound or even kill you if you handle it imprudently and unconsciously. It can on the contrary save your life when you know how to employ it consciously" (Coue, 1922).
What's he talking about?
He's referring to the way we speak to ourselves or the way that we describe ourselves to others. Have you ever heard someone say "Well, I've just got an addictive personality" or "That's just the way I am" (describing some habit they have)? I am willing to bet you have. I would even bet YOU'VE been talking like that, too!
Did you know that every time you say things like that, you're making them "truer"? Even if you don't want to be/act a certain way, you are making it more difficult to overcome or change.
Coue realized this during an experiment with a group of terminal patients. As he helped them to realize they were healing, they got better. As he says, "[e]very idea conceived by the mind, says Saint Thomas, is an order which the organism obeys." (Coue, 1923).
So, if you want to change something about yourself, avoid repeating phrases that key your mind on what you're working to overcome in the first place!
Sounds great, how does one do that?
- First, focus on what you want most.
- Create a simple affirmation that you can use to help you to focus on what you want.
- Repeat said affirmation each day, as you meditate on what you want.
- Develop a habit of repeating your affirmation at night and throughout the day. (I'd do it about 10 times prior to going to sleep!).
- Look for the results.
BTW, this is a simplified version! The one I teach my clients is much more involved, but this works well, too.
So, just how well does this method work? My clients can tell you some great stories of their personal success with auto-suggestion but I'd like to tell you one of mine.
This past Christmas, I got sick. Like REALLY sick. I was nauseous and couldn't get out of bed. My wife was cleaning the house by herself as we were expecting company later that night (Christmas dinner).
As I lay there feeling pitiful, I realized "I'm a hypnotist! I need to practice what I preach!!" So, I started using Coue's method and keying in on the fact that my breathing was helping my nausea go away.
So, I said "As I continue to breathe, my comfort increases".
It took two full hours of slow breathing and repeating the same affirmation until....
I got better
I got up from bed and I was fine. I mean, suddenly, totally fine. I went to help my wife finish cleaning, helped with dinner and entertained our guests until about 11pm that night.
I invite you to use these same techniques on a habit you'd like to overcome. As you see success, bring it to the forefront of your mind. Celebrate it. Embrace it.
If you think this is a joke, as yourself this question: "How's my way working out?"
If you'd like to learn more about how you can use hypnosis and hypnotic techniques to help you overcome your bad habits, thought processes, improve living or get healthier, please feel free to contact us at:
-James Tigert, C.H.
Coue, E. (1922). "Self Mastery Through Conscious Autosuggestion". Taken from https://archive.org/details/selfmasterythro00amergoog
Coue, E. (1922). "My Method". Taken from http://healthyvisionshypnosis.com/downloads/Auto_Suggestion_My_Method_by_Coue.pdf