How It Works...
|To make this as easy as possible to understand, remove the word hypnosis. It’s just a word… and Hollywood and books of fiction have totally misguided the understanding of what it is and how it works. Think of this is goal based meditation… a process that can get you to achieve your goals without the struggle and force of conscious thought and will power.
The word “hypnosis” is the only thing that gets in the way of people understanding what this process is and how it works. If you ever daydreamed, dreamed or used your imagination to create something in your mind that you once did before or never did then you were engaged in self hypnosis… directing your mind to a certain behavior or outcome by using your imagination.
Everyone knows there have been things we either wanted to do and couldn't or didn't want to do but did anyway. That's because our desires are conscious thoughts while our behaviors are created and motivated at a subconscious level. The simple process of hypnosis is the natural, safe and expedient way for behavior modification.
What is Hypnosis?
Understand that the process of hypnosis is the same as guided imagery or visualization, the same techniques athletes and successful achievers use in many areas of life.
We have all been in a hypnotic state; in fact most of us visit this state every day.
- Have you ever been driving and all of a sudden your exit is right there?
- So focused on a movie or a television program that you didn't hear someone calling your name?
- Have you ever been so deep in thought that you almost had to be shaken out of it?
- Or have you ever daydreamed?
Of course, we all do things like this on a daily basis. This is what it is like being hypnotized. When in hypnosis, you can hear everything going on around you, you can hear all of the suggestions you're being given and most times people say to me, " I don't think I was hypnotized." When asked why, the reply is usually, "Because I heard everything you said." This is one of the misconceptions of hypnosis!
The subconscious mind then accepts these suggestions and creates the behavior changes or body changes in order to achieve the given suggestions. When in hypnotic trance, the subconscious mind is 88% more alert than in a conscious state.
When in hypnosis, you can bring yourself out whenever you truly desire too. People have asked, " What happens if the hypnotists/hypnotist walks away or something happens to him or her and I'm in hypnosis"? Don't worry....you will either gradually go deeper and then wake up or simply begin to rise out of the hypnotic state to a fully conscious state.
There are various definitions for hypnosis though they all mean the same thing. Simply put, hypnosis can be explained this way. When a person is in a relaxed state, the conscious mind is able to be bypassed in order to directly make suggestions to the subconscious mind. That's basically it. That's all you need to understand in order to grasp the idea. The subconscious mind then accepts these suggestions and creates the behavior changes or body changes in order to achieve the given suggestions. When in hypnotic trance, the subconscious mind is 88% more alert than in a conscious state.
Can Anyone Be Hypnotized
The question alone is yet another example of the misunderstanding of what hypnosis is or how hypnosis works. I wonder how silly it may seem if asked, "Can you breathe?" or "Can you sleep?" or anything else that is done naturally without any thought or strategy. Well, hypnosis or being in what is a hypnotic state is just as natural. You may even be there as you are reading this.
Any time we are in what is called the zone or spaced out, daydreaming or having your head in the clouds we are referring to the same thing, being out of the state of conscious, analytical thinking and entering what is exactly what is a light hypnotic state. We drift in and out of this state all day, every day. Dare I say it… a light trance.
When gauging brain wave activity, there are four levels, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Once we leave total awareness, conscious, analytical state of mind (Beta) we then drift into the Alpha state, which I described previously with a variety of terms. This is considered a light level hypnotic state though a lot of change can be directed in this state. This is why so many hypnosis clients think they were not hypnotized, because it was a lighter level and not what they expected hypnosis to be. Though these same people welcome the positive changes they achieve from this process and learn hypnosis is usually not what most people expect it to be. Theta is the state of mind when we are dreaming when asleep, though still conscious as we are aware of many of our dreams and then Beta, which is to be unconscious.
With this simple understanding it may seem that all people can be hypnotized. Well, not quite. Though the number varies a bit, it is reported that people with an IQ below 70 will not respond to hypnosis and anyone who is too drunk would not be a good candidate either. Therefore it is safe to say that almost all people, especially anyone who comes to a hypnosis session on their own is capable of being hypnotized. Be fore warned of one factor to prevent the hypnotic process from happening… you. If you do not want to be hypnotized, then you won't.
Belief ~ Desire ~ Expectancy
The most important factor regarding the application of hypnosis is a combination of three things. Belief, Desire and Expectancy. You must Believe it will work...have a genuine Desire for it to work and...Expect that it will work. If these three factors are in place, then you are willing and open to suggestion.
Some changes require a different approach, understanding and strategy but can all be achieved through hypnosis.
We are all victims of habit. Most of us hardly ever recognize our positive habits, like exercise or a healthy diet, for we look at those as expected. We do however focus on all of our negative habits, like over eating and smoking. There are two things to understand, habits are a conditioned response in the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between a "good" habit or a "bad" habit. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between reality or imagination.
If you do something enough times, the subconscious mind begins to believe that this behavior pattern is what you want and therefore stores it for you and makes it part of your natural behavior.
Then, no matter how much you try to consciously change that behavior pattern ( using what we know as "will power") your subconscious mind wins the mental tug of war and you return to that "stored" behavior pattern. This is why I refer to "will power" as a downfall for it will not work for the vast majority of people in a permanent or even sometimes short term period. The only way to effectively and permanently make a true change in your behavior pattern is to change the remembered pattern in the subconscious mind.
There are four levels of brain wave activity, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. The top level, Beta, is complete consciousness and the deepest level, Delta, is deep unconscious sleep. The middle two levels, Alpha and Theta are simply more relaxed states than total consciousness but above deep sleep. This is what is referred to as the hypnotic state of mind, simply being relaxed.
Alpha is a daydream or when you drive up the highway and drift off a bit and Theta is when you are in a dream state, above deep sleep. The light relaxed state of Alpha is all that is necessary to achieve in order to make behavior changes. This is why most people do not think they are "hypnotized" because we have all been misled as to what hypnosis really is.
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