Relaxation: The exhale

Kat Nicholls
By Kat Nicholls,
updated on Oct 11, 2023

Man listening to self-hypnosis

Tune into this week’s podcast episode for a self-hypnosis to help you relax

If you’ve been listening to our podcast, Happiful: Finding What Works, you’ll know our exhale episodes are all about pausing, reflecting and putting into practice what you learned in the previous episode. This week’s episode follows on from our relaxation conversation and we are, quite literally, encouraging you to exhale with us. 

Sharing a special self-hypnosis, just for us, hypnotherapist Amy Townsend takes us through a beautiful practice to help us find a safe space to return to again and again. As this episode is all about switching off from the world for a few minutes, we recommend carving out time for this one where you can give it your full attention (no multi-tasking or driving allowed!). 

We hope you enjoy it, listen wherever you get your podcasts or watch below.


Kat: Hello everyone and welcome to another exhale episode here on Happiful 'Finding What Works'. This week's episode follows on from our conversation about all things relaxation last week. So if you haven't listened to that conversation yet, I highly recommend going back in your podcast app and giving it a listen. 

As you'll know, in these exhale episodes, we like to help you put into practice what you've learned the previous week. So today we are here to help you relax, helping us to do that is one of our guests from last week hypnotherapist, Amy Townsend, who has created a self-hypnosis for relaxation just for us. So please ensure you are listening to this episode when you can take about 10 minutes or so to switch off from everything around you and just sink into this relaxation. And of course, with that being said, please make sure you're not listening to this episode whilst driving.

I'm going to leave you in Amy's capable hands for the next 10 minutes or so, and I'll come back and meet you at the end. Please enjoy.

Amy: Begin by taking a moment to make yourself comfortable. Seated with your feet flat on the floor, palms in your lap or lying down and just gently closing the eyes. All you need to do is remain as comfortable as possible and let my voice guide you. I invite you to think along with the things I say. If your mind wanders, know that that is completely normal, just notice it and gently return to the sound of my voice or the sensation of your breath. 

So as you settle here, start to bring your attention towards any sounds around you. They might be loud or quiet, close by or distant. Allow yourself to observe them for a moment. Now start to bring your attention inwards towards your breath, not trying to fix or change it, just noticing the natural rhythm of the breath. In a moment, you're going to begin increasing your level of relaxation by scanning through your body from your head to your toes, releasing any tension from your muscles. As you inhale, notice any sensations in your body. As you exhale, imagine any tension melting away. 

Let's begin by taking a normal breath in and releasing the air, exhaling. Now, inhale, noticing any sensations in your head and face. Hold the breath for a moment and exhale, releasing any tension. Relax completely. Inhale again, noticing any sensations in the shoulders. Hold for a moment and exhale, releasing any tension. Relax the muscles completely. Inhale, noticing any sensations in the stomach area. Hold and exhale, relax, completely. Imagine any tension melting away. Inhale, noticing any sensations in the legs. Hold and exhale, softening and releasing any tension. Relax completely. Inhale, noticing the feet and toes. Hold for a moment and exhale, releasing any tension. Relax completely. Finally, inhale holding the whole body in your awareness. Hold for a moment and exhale, releasing any remaining tension, the whole body feeling calm and relaxed. 

Now, in a moment, I'm going to begin counting down from five to zero. As I count, you might like to imagine that you're floating gently down on a cloud, and with each number I count, you float down, sinking deeper and deeper into relaxation, so that by the time I reach zero, you're as deeply relaxed as you can possibly imagine right now. Beginning now. Five, your body feels more and more heavy. Four, becoming even more deeply relaxed. Three, imagine yourself becoming even more relaxed now. Two, sinking deeper and deeper into relaxation. One, relax even deeper. Now, zero. Let go completely as deeply relaxed as you can possibly imagine being right now, let go and relax completely. 

Now, I invite you to imagine a place where you feel safe, grounded, and calm. It might be a place you've been on holiday, a place you enjoy visiting somewhere you'd like to go, or even somewhere completely made up. Maybe it is a beach, a forest, a mountain, just imagine a place where you feel safe. Now you have the idea of your safe place in mind. Take a moment to settle there. Ground yourself in this place. 

How do you feel? Start to take a look around you. What can you see? What colours and shapes can you see? Maybe you can see flowers or sand or beautiful shells nearby. Notice them. Can you see any wildlife? What can you see in the distance on the horizon? Pay attention to your surroundings. Now, notice what you can feel. How does the ground feel beneath your feet? Are you wearing shoes or barefoot? Maybe you can dip your toes in some water nearby, or pick up a pebble and feel the smoothness in your palm. Can you feel a gentle breeze or the sun warming your skin? What can you hear? Is this place quiet or bustling? What sounds are around you? Can you hear birds, waves, running water? Just notice what you can hear. Is there anything you can smell? Maybe there are flowers nearby. How does the air smell? Does it smell salty? Or maybe it smells like fresh rainfall? Notice all your senses. 

Observe how calm and grounded you feel in this place. And remember, this place is always there for you. You can go there anytime you need to and tap into these feelings inside you. The more you practice, the easier it will become to access this safe place and calm state of mind again. 

Now, relax and rest into these positive feelings. Allow your mind to become quiet for a moment, I'm going to allow you to rest in silence. As you relax deeper and deeper, just imagine these positive feelings of relaxation are absorbing into your being completely. Notice how this feels in your body and relax deeper. Rest deeper and deeper until my voice returns in a few moments.

In a moment, I'm going to begin counting from one all the way up to five. As I count, you will feel more and more alert and aware of your surroundings until, on the count of five, you will open your eyes feeling wonderfully rested, calm, relaxed, and refreshed. And you can take all of these positive feelings and suggestions with you into daily life. Beginning now. One, starting to notice your breathing and sensations in your body. Two, feeling more awake and alert. Three, noticing any sounds in the rim around you. Four, feeling refreshed and positive as you come back fully to the present moment. And five, opening your eyes, giving yourself some time to take in the rim around you and come back to the present.

Kat: Okay, how did you find that? Did you find it easy to sink into a sense of relaxation? Or was it trickier than you thought? Is this something you think you can do more of? Or do you think you need to find something different? Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here. This is just about giving you some space to try new things and see what might work for you. 

And with that, I'm going to leave you to enjoy the rest of your day. A huge thank you once again to Amy for sharing that with us. If you'd like to learn more about her work, please visit Hypnotherapy Directory or her website therapy-with-amy.com. I'll be back next week with an episode about eating, talking about why this can be such a complex thing for us and getting some tips on how we can improve our relationship with food. So make sure you stay tuned for that. And until then, take care.

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