The main difference between meditation and self-hypnosis is that meditation tends to be passive while hypnosis is goal oriented. For example in meditation you are focused on just your breathing or chanting or an image. While in hypnosis you are focusing on suggestions and visualizations for self-improvement. In short, if you combine positive suggestions and visualization with a meditative practice you are doing self-hypnosis
That means that if you combine positive suggestions and visualization in a meditative state you are doing a form of self-hypnosis. Thus self hypnosis is a form of meditation.
This makes hypnosis kinda like manipulating meditative states for constructive means and self hypnosis the skill of choosing your meditative states at will.
To attain a proper state for self-hypnosis you have to stop your analytic mind (your thoughts and doubts) something which occurs naturally in meditation. Deep relaxation helps remove extraneous thoughts and allows you better focus. So relaxation is an important part of both hypnosis and self hypnosis. Once you are relaxed and focused you are in a state of ‘hypnosis’. You will be awake and aware as you don’t lose consciousness or fall asleep. Sleep is useless for hypnosis and self-hypnosis. You have to be aware and focused.
Your conscious mind also has a role to play. Consciously you have to adopt the attitude, “I love this affirmation/suggestion and I know I can make this a part of how I see the world”. While you are in your state of relaxed focused attention – with the attitude of “I love this” – you are reprogramming your subconscious mind.
Of course, many negative beliefs programmed in your subconscious mind have been there for years. This means you may have to do self-hypnosis several times before you successfully reprogram your subconscious mind permanently.
To begin, first;
Learn the self hypnosis techniques, which will work by themselves.
Next, learn the self hypnosis trance format if you want to become an expert.
Finally, practice your new skills with the alpha meditation audio for a light trance state and the theta meditation audio for a deep trance state. (The binaural beats audios in this section are for meditation training on my website InstantStressManagement.com)
Practicing regularly will make you an expert. You could also develop a daily meditation routine, so accessing trance states is easy for you, and do self hypnosis in a trance state whenever needed, as an added benefit/skill. Whatever works for you.