What is hypnosis?
You’ve seen it in movies, and TV shows. A mysterious looking man takes out a pocket watch, and swings it back-and-forth in front of the subject until he enters a deep hypnotic sleep….one where he loses control over his body, and mind until the operator allows him to take it back. The drama continues with the sound of a bell, or the mention of the word and the subject fulfills the operator’s commands without hesitation.
Is this hypnosis?
Maybe in the movies, but not real life it isn’t. So what is hypnosis really? It is a natural, mental state whereby the person “under” the hypnotic influence enters a deep state of mind that allows him/her to access memories from their subconscious mind (the part of the mind that is beyond our conscious awareness). I use the word “under“ jokingly because this is another way that it has been described, but nobody is under anything. Entering a hypnotic state is done completely at ones desire and will. In fact, you may be surprised or even shocked to know that you, that’s right you…enter hypnotic states every single day as you fall asleep at night time, and as you’re waking up in the morning. To put it in mild technical terms there are 1 of 4 brainwave states that we can be in. One of them is awake, where your brain has the most activity. It’s the state in which you are in right now (or the Beta state). The second is when you are a bit relaxed (Alpha). The next is right before you fall asleep (or Theta). Bingo! The Theta state is the hypnotic state. We all go through the state of relaxation as were falling asleep and when we’re coming out of sleep in the night time, and the morning respectively. This is a hypnotic state, and the state in which your mind is very relaxed, but still aware. This mental state of being allows you to be at a deeper peace, less judgmental, and at a state where your subconscious mind is more accessible to you.
Why would I want my subconscious to be accessible to me?
To understand it simply, the subconscious mind houses all of our important experiences and memories. Some say that it houses all of our memories! This being said, we can access information in the subconscious mind that is no longer available to us on a conscious level. What this does is that it allows us to remember experiences in our life that are connected to negative habits, and or behaviors that we don’t have explanations for today. With this Power, we are able to make changes on a deeper, subconscious level by working with the subconscious mind so that we are able to function better, and change annoying, and even hurtful habits that may sabotage our day-to-day living, and help us become better more productive people.
No Pocket Watch Needed
The whole pocket watch thing is archaic, and the way that hypnotists got people to focus on something outside of themselves. It was used to “get people out of their own heads” so that they wouldn’t think too much and listen on the hypnotist’s suggestion thereby facilitating the trance state. It’s rare that someone would use a pocket watch to hypnotize someone today, but you can. More commonly used is the hypnotist/ hypnotherapist’s voice with proper suggestion which is just as effective and less annoying than having to follow a pocket watch.
You’re definitely not asleep
Contrary to popular belief hypnosis is NOT a state of sleep. I mentioned above that hypnosis simply puts the person being hypnotized into a deeply relaxed state of mind that is present before sleep, and as you come out of sleep. The person is quite awake although very relaxed which may be misinterpreted as sleep from an outsider’s point of view. The closed eyes, and relaxed muscles can even mimic sleep in a person’s body and brain but the hypnotized person is very aware, and able to remember everything that happened.
In summary, hypnosis is a deeply relaxed state of mind in which one can make many changes for the better. There have been many misconceptions as to what it is no doubt, but many of those have been debunked. Since you have access to the subconscious mind while in hypnosis you can more easily change negative habits and behaviors for happier and healthier living.
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