Not feeling "different/relaxed/etc"
when practicing Hypnobabies?
(Disclaimer: This is not an official Hypnobabies answer.
This is just from my personal experience as a Hypnobabies Instructor
and working with moms from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.)
From an e-mail on the Yahoo Group
I was the same way. I didn't feel relaxed for some of the scripts when I began, and continued to have sessions like that from time to time throughout my pregnancies.
Like you, I had done other hypnosis scripts without a problem so I was worried that Hypnobabies didn't work for me for some reason. Over time, I came to realize that the previous hypnosis I had done was "lighter" and more like guided relaxation, so it didn't have the same effect on my subconscious mind that Hypnobabies does. So I didn't react strongly by fidgeting, etc during those previous scripts because they weren't as effective at getting into my subconscious, not because it worked better!
A few pointers:
1. Even when you feel fidgety, continue the session. Just move as you need to move, (with your lightswitch in the center or on, when you reach that part) without judging how much you are getting out of it. It doesn't matter how you consciously feel about the practice, what matters is that your subconscious is getting the suggestions regularly.
2. If you're having trouble focusing and find that you're missing most of what is said because of your fidgeting or wandering mind, stay calm. Look at each word individually, rather than entire thoughts. That focus helps keep your conscious mind active and gives it something to do, so it doesn't run off as often. While it's thinking about each word, your subconscious mind is actually absorbing the meaning and learning the lessons being offered. And if your conscious mind does run off again, just bring it back and return to thinking of each word as you hear it.
3. Move on to the next week as suggested. Most people find that they respond differently to different scripts, so you may find that things go much differently now.
4. Be patient. Your subconscious is learning new skills, and it will take time. What you are describing is actually a good thing, because it means your subconscious has already noticed the new information and is experimenting with it to see what it is and how it works. That's what you want it to do!
Good luck! Oh, and for what it's worth, I've had two incredible, comfortable and enjoyable natural births using Hypnobabies, so I know that what you describe can be a really good sign that it's working well for you! You can find my birth stories in the Birth Story files under Little Steven Edward and Mitchell in the Pain-free section. My first story, Luke's Birth is also there, but that was before I was able to take the full Hypnobabies class, so it went well, but not as well as my Hypnobabies births!
During Finger Drop
All you need to do is do the fingerdrop. There is nothing to "get". You are training your subconscious mind to enter a deep state of hypnosis when you use the technique. There is no reason to believe that you will experience anything that indicates you are in hypnosis when you do it. Some people do have some kind of sensation or indication that they are in hypnosis, and may experience that after practicing the finger-drop for awhile. But most won't, and either experience is perfectly fine. As long as you are listening to your scipts in the order detailed in the workbook and practicing your finger-drops, you are doing it correctly, and your subconscious mind is learning what it needs to know. It truly is that easy.
>I've read the home study chapter description of it. I've also listened to the "Practicing Self-Hypnosis" track that talks about it once and that went pretty well (I fell asleep the second time). But I just can't seem to click off 5x per day. Am I doing something wrong?
No, you're just expecting something that may not happen - a "feeling" that you are in hypnosis. If you are dropping your finger and turning your lightswitch off, you are doing it correctly, no matter how you feel while doing it. It will most likely improve over time, until you at least feel very relaxed when you do it. But even if you don't feel that, you are still doing it correctly, and it is still working.
> The other track for this week is "Deepening"...which I also had some trouble with. Just couldn't settle down, and actually got frustrated and fidgety for most of it. I'm supposed to listen to that one again today, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't master the Practicing Self-Hypnosis one first, rather than alternating them?
No need! What you're describing is perfect! In fact, I'm rather impressed that you're already experiencing the "itching and twitching" or fidgeting that is so common. I usually don't hear about it too much until the 3rd or 4th week, so you're actually picking it up very quickly! It isn't a universal experience to get fidgety and a bit frustrated while listening to a certain script (very often the Deepening one), but close to it! To me, it means that your subconscious mind is starting to really take notice of what is being learned and, like a small child, play around with the suggestions to see how they work. The subconscious mind is very child-like and when you're telling your mind that you can't move with your lightswitch off, it is perfectly natural that your subconscious can respond with curiosity and see if that is true by giving you reasons to move. All you need to do is move your switch back on, fidget, itch or re-position as necessary and turn back off. Every time you do so, you reinforce the power of the lightswitch, and make it more effective.
The important thing is to realize that what you are doing is NOT guided relaxation, it is self-hypnosis. And while becoming deeply relaxed is a very common side-effect of listening to the scripts, the real goal of practicing them is to train the subconscious mind with the suggestions in the scripts. As long as you are hearing the scripts, you are practicing correctly, relaxed and comfortable or not. So even if you go through the whole script sometimes, fidgeting constantly and never feeling relaxed, you are still practicing successfully! Once you realize that, and stop judging the experience, or worrying that the relaxation during practice somehow indicates what your ability to relax during the birth will be, the subconscious mind will generally realize that it's not getting a fun reaction from you and the experiment (and thus the fidgeting) will end.
I experienced the same thing regularly during both of my Hypnobabies pregnancies. It was really frustrating until I learned that it was fine, and not a sign that it wasn't "working". I found that falling asleep to the scripts ended the problem pretty quickly! And if I was having a problem with a specific script (usually Deepening), I would play two in a row (I burned CDs with different combinations of scripts, then eventually got an MP3 player that allowed me to make "folders" of the scripts I wanted to hear that night.) By falling asleep to one script, and moving on to Deepening after I was asleep, I knew I was hearing the suggestions without the frustration of not being able to relax and enjoy it.
During my most recent pregnancy, I had one night when I couldn't relax and settle down to go to bed, so I decided to listen to the Fear Release while relaxing in the tub. I thought it would help me unwind, but it made me incredibly uncomfortable. I couldn't hold still and stayed in the "center" switch (you'll learn that next week) the whole time, and flipped and flopped and splashed around the whole time I listened. I was SO relieved when the CD ended! 20 minutes later, my water broke and I was holding my baby 3 hours after that. The practice was annoying as anything, but once the birthing began, all my skills kicked in perfectly! My birth was fast, (and my others had each been about a day long) comfortable and easy. That's how I know that your ability to relax during the practice doesn't indicate what your relaxation will be like during the birth!