These two types of mental processes play a very important role in mastering self-hypnosis. Important because the words used in self-hypnosis must always be accompanied by appropriate mental images. And mental images are realized mainly in the form of ideas or imaginations.
The difference between them is as follows. If we look, for example, at a pencil, and then, having turned away, we will call his mental image in our consciousness, this will be a representation . So, a representation is a mental image that has arisen on the basis of information that has entered the brain from real-life objects or phenomena.
If you mentally “see” the same pencil, but bent into a ring (and our brain is not capable of such a thing!), Then this image will be a figment of imagination . Consequently, the imagination is the mental process in which mental images are recreated in a form in which they cannot be perceived in real life with the help of our senses: sight, hearing, smell, etc. d.
Suppose you decide, using the possibilities of auto-suggestion, to warm up. Immersing yourself first in a drowsy state and saying to yourself: “It becomes warm to me,” you should calmly concentrate, present yourself where you were once warm (for example, in a steam bath), or imagine yourself where you never they were, but where it is always known to be very warm (for example, in Equatorial Africa). The heat caused by self-suggestion will be felt by you the more clearly, the more precisely and brighter will be your mental image of warmth – either imagined or imagined.
Mental images can be realized in the sphere of any sense organ. They can be visual and tactile (as in the example with self-suggestive heat), they can also be auditory, taste, olfactory and, of course, proprioceptive, that is, associated with muscular-articular feeling that plays such an important role in any activity that requires precision movements (particularly in sports).
So, the mechanisms of action of PMT are based on the use of four main components that are part of the system of psychophysical processes that constantly occur in the human body.
The first component is the ability to maximally vividly, but without straining mentally, mentally imagining or imagining the content of the formulas of auto-suggestion. If, suppose, the formula “ My hands relax and get warmer …” is used, then simultaneously with each word of the formula, a corresponding mental image should arise. Having said to myself: “My hands …” , the practitioner of self-suggestion should immediately mentally present precisely his (and not someone’s) bare hands with all their features. At the same time with the word “relax,” an extremely distinct (rather than dull-indefinite) image of relaxed muscles should arise. Simultaneously with the word “warm” an extremely bright mental image of the factor that causes heat (steam room, sun on the beach, warm water pouring on hands, etc.), and the same bright mental image of the warm muscles of their hands should arise .
The second component is the ability to retain its focused, but relaxed attention on the selected object (first on its body and its individual parts). So, if the formula “My face relaxes” is mentally pronounced , then at that moment the focus of the quiet focused attention of the student should not be anything other than the image of his own face. At the first stages, attention often “runs away” from the image in which it should be held. This should be treated calmly, as a temporary difficulty in the process of teaching self-suggestion, and, without being annoyed, re-focus unstressed attention on the desired object.
Third component – the ability to extremely relax the muscles of the arms, legs, torso, neck, face, that is, “turn off” their skeletal muscles from tension, reduce their tone and thus reduce the flow of proprioceptive impulses from muscles to the brain. As already mentioned, such an arbitrary shutdown of skeletal muscles (and they, as you know, obey our orders, our volitional efforts) helps calm the nervous system and sink into a drowsy state. Athletes are easier to master PMT than people far from sports, because they are able to relax their muscles well. As you know, physical exercises are built not only on tension, but also on the obligatory ability to relax after each effort. The higher the qualification of an athlete, the better he can relax. So if a person who is far from sports wants to master psychic self-regulation,and in order to achieve this goal, he will begin to systematically exercise, this will bring him double benefits – health is not only physical, but also mental.
Fourth component – the ability to influence oneself with the necessary verbal formulas and the mental images corresponding to them at the moment of decreasing the level of wakefulness and the onset of drowsiness. At the same time, as already mentioned, the word and the mental image accompanying it (imagined or imagined) acquire ultimate strength and can regulate even vegetative functions (for example, the activity of the cardiovascular system or the gastrointestinal tract), which, as is known, can active wakefulness do not obey our will orders. Moreover, it does not matter in principle what the passive attention stops in the first place: first there can be a word, and then a mental image is connected to it, or first a mental image arises in the consciousness, and then it is fixed by the corresponding word.In the process of mental influence and self-action, the word and image always act unidirectionally and mutually reinforce each other.
The possibility of influencing oneself with verbal formulas and mental images corresponding to them in the period of a reduced level of wakefulness makes it possible to consider PMT as one of the variants of self-hypnosis.