Misconceptions abound regarding hypnosis: is it magic? is it brainwashing? is it real? is it dangerous? It is my intention with this short article to provide a clear, simple explanation of what hypnosis is and why it could be beneficial for you to use it regularly.
First of all, hypnosis is not magic or brainwashing. Really. Hypnosis is simply a natural state of deep, physical relaxation in which your subconscious mind becomes highly alert and focused. It feels blissful and dreamy and very comfortable. Hypnosis is similar to that lethargic feeling right before you fall asleep.
If you have ever practiced “meditation”, then you already know what hypnosis feels like. Again, it’s simply deep, physical relaxation.
During hypnosis, you do not turn into a zombie, you are not unconscious, and you will not do “anything the hypnotist commands”. Remember, your mind remains alert and focused. Therefore, you hear everything that is being said and you have the ability to reject any suggestion that you are unwilling to comply with. Hypnosis is also not “truth serum”—yes, you can lie or withhold information or secrets during a hypnotic trance.
Once again, hypnosis is simply you, very relaxed, while listening to hypnotic suggestions, either via a live hypnotist, a phone session, or a hypnotic recording (or through suggestions you have given yourself).
What makes hypnosis so powerful and so beneficial is not that it’s a magic trick. The effectiveness of hypnotic suggestions lies in the fact that when you are so deeply relaxed, you feel more amenable to accepting suggestions and your subconscious mind is more accessible than in its usual waking state.
Most people use hypnosis for one or more of these three reasons: to relax and recharge; to change habitual thoughts, beliefs and behaviors; or just to experience a fun thrill (they like the feeling of “being in an altered state”). Let’s assume your interest is in one or both of the first two uses.
To use hypnosis for relaxation, you can listen to a good hypnosis recording, take a self-hypnosis class, or visit a Certified Hypnotherapist for several sessions. The deepest relaxation is achieved through practice, so once you learn some techniques or buy a recording, you’ll want to continue to do a session every day when possible. If you do that, you’ll find that your trance depth and ability to enter hypnosis easily and quickly will increase significantly over time, even if you’re someone who has had difficulty relaxing in the past. (My “Deep Hypnotic Conditioning” program is an excellent starter session. See the Articles Page for more tips.)
Most people want to use their hypnosis sessions for more than relaxation. While they’re in trance, they’d like to fill their mind with beneficial suggestions to help them change beliefs or behaviors that no longer serve them. Everyone thinks about “losing weight” or “quitting smoking” when the subject of hypnosis comes up. However, athletes who wish to improve their scores or times, salespeople who wish to speak easily in front of crowds, or writers who’d like greater access to their creativity, are also examples of subjects who could benefit from using hypnosis.
The easiest ways to fill your mind with beneficial suggestions during an hypnosis session are to either have a live, custom session with a hypnotherapist (in person or over the phone), or to use a recording on your desired topic. For best results use the recording daily, for at least two weeks, and you will find your related thoughts, beliefs and behaviors significantly improved and even dramatically transformed.
Let’s examine why this works. Remember I mentioned that during hypnosis you are more amenable to accepting suggestions and your subconscious mind is more accessible than usual? This is why hypnosis is one of—if not the—fastest, easiest, most effective means for reprogramming the subconscious mind.
Your mind accepts beliefs and forms habits in multiple ways, including repetition (that’s what makes affirmations work), strong emotion (that’s why getting your emotions involved makes affirmations even more effective), authoritative influence (when you readily accept information delivered to you from a Doctor or other authoritative source), and hypnosis. Since you have direct access to the subconscious mind (the seat of your habits and core beliefs) during trance, suggestions received while in hypnosis are more powerful and do not need to be repeated hundreds of times in order to “sink in”.
In addition, you are relaxed and amenable during trance. Therefore, your critical mind is not constantly rejecting the suggestions or chiming in with self-defeating, negative thoughts like, “This will never work!” or “I’m terrible at public speaking!” Instead of getting blocked out by your old, limited beliefs, the new, beneficial suggestions have the chance to take hold and replace your former thoughts. And new thoughts lead to new behaviors which cement new beliefs, and those in turn generate more uplifting thoughts. It’s a cycle that is far more likely to become permanent when it is initiated through hypnosis.
Not only is hypnosis extremely effective at generating lasting changes, it is also highly enjoyable. Relaxing in a deep state of trance is almost effortless (certainly when compared to doing sit-ups or repeating affirmations into the mirror for an hour). You can literally zone out completely and still absorb powerful suggestions while deeply relaxed. You’ll awaken refreshed and rejuvenated, without ever feeling as if you’ve worked or strained. It’s the ultimate power learning! Lie back, absorb new thoughts into your mind, and then go about your day enjoying all the benefits of regular stress-release and deep relaxation.
|“Like meditation, self-hypnosis is a powerful tool to help balance brain function and decrease stress…Imaging studies have found that hypnosis helps balance brain function. Studies from Belgium and Canada have shown that hypnosis increases the attention areas of the brain and the left hemisphere; it also decreases the perception of pain and the areas of the brain that perceive pain. Self-hypnosis can be a powerful tool for many different reasons, including help with sleep…” -Daniel G. Amen, M.D. from “Making A Good Brain Great” (highly recommended)|
Hypnosis works—and works well—easily and enjoyably, if you use it regularly. I recommend daily sessions, first to become well-conditioned to entering trance, and then for several weeks each time you add a new program you wish to absorb. If you practice hypnosis regularly, you’ll find that you feel happier, calmer, more relaxed, have clearer thinking, increased creativity, and that your thoughts, beliefs and actions support you in achieving your heart’s desires.
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