What is Auto-Suggestion? Does it Work?
Oh dear, oh dear, I have done poor old Coue a dis-service! At least I managed to quote his mantra correctly, But I gave him the Christian name of Eduard. It is, of course, Emile. If he’s gazing down on me balefully at the moment, I offer up to him my most sincere apologies. However, I feel that Coue was rather underrated.
We noted last time that perhaps he went a little bit off course with his mantra, ‘Every Day in Every Way I’m Getting Better and Better.’ Better at what? Visualization is a most helpful tool in auto-suggestion, but what can we visualize in ‘getting better and better?’ However, Coue’s theory here was right on the money, and he made another very interesting observation.
Not only was he a pharmacist, but also a psychologist. What later became known as the Placebo effect may be traced back directly to him.
What he began to do was to label bottles of medicine with which he treated patients with a sort of seal of approval. If he considered the medicine to be particularly efficacious, then he’d write this on the bottle. He came to realize that patients who received bottles labelled by him in this way, seemed to make a far better recovery than those who’s bottles were not so marked.
This led him into the field of the power of imagination and hypnosis. At a stroke, therefore, we can see that he answered the questions; ‘What is auto-suggestion? Does it work?’ at a stroke. Certainly, he recognized the need for repetition. This is probably the most important aspect of auto-suggestion.
Firms who advertise on television know this only too well. The same advertisement appears time after time ad nauseam. The point is, though, that sometimes an advert will come on the screen for a certain gizmo.
The first time we may take no notice of it. The second time we might be mildly interested. The third time we start to wonder whether we could, perhaps, use it, and the fourth time, out comes our credit card. If these companies simply advertised once or twice, they’d probably never sell a thing.
As in advertising, so in our own desires. We have a desperate need to succeed at something, so we repeat and repeat our wish at every possible opportunity.
Another vital aspect of auto-suggestion is to be logical. Supposing we have a bad headache, bad enough that it would be nice to lie down. We’ve heard about auto-suggestion, so we say “My headache’s gone,” and like a magician waving a magic wand, we expect the headache to vanish. This is quite illogical. We know the wretched headache’s still with us. We can feel it. Even hypnosis doesn’t work in this manner.
However, if we say; “My headache will gradually lessen and in a few minutes will be gone,” that’s a logical approach and will very probably succeed…