Have you ever lost yourself in a really great television show and found your eyes glued to the screen? Do you remember a time when you got from point A to point B, but don’t exactly recall the drive there? If you answered yes to either of these questions (spoiler alert – it happens to all of us), then you have experienced hypnosis before.
That may seem kind of funny since most of us correlate the word hypnosis with a man on a stage making audience members do hilarious things, but this isn’t always the case. Hypnosis actually occurs every day, and it’s quite an interesting phenomenon. So, let’s dive into just how hypnosis works.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of heightened suggestibility in which a therapist can use suggestions to influence the patient’s unconscious mind while their conscious mind remains relaxed. A common misconception is that hypnosis puts you in a sleeping state, which isn’t necessarily true. Instead, the subject is placed into a sort of trance which causes relaxation similar to a deep meditation, vivid imagination, and extreme suggestibility. The difference between sleeping and being hypnotized is that you are still alert during hypnosis.
In other words, you enter a state of focused attention where you tune out most other stimuli around you. In some cases, this makes it possible for the words and suggestions given by an instructor to place you in a momentary false reality.
There are various forms of hypnosis, including self-hypnosis, which was mentioned earlier. This is when you lose yourself in everyday tasks and hobbies, such as binge-watching Netflix or reading a good book. During this time, you engulf yourself in an imaginary world which can cause you to feel real emotions.
Another form of hypnosis takes place in a therapeutic setting, where a trained professional guides you in order for you to better your mental health. This can be effective in treating anxiety, depression, physical pain, and even addiction.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
More often than not, hypnosis is used during therapy to access painful emotions and memories that have been suppressed from the conscious mind. Here’s what usually takes place – the therapist will have you sitting or laying in a relaxed position. Then, they will add calming music to set the tranquil mood of the session.
Finally, they will use a soothing tone and specific phrases to talk you into a state of hypnosis, where it is much easier to take suggestions and make the necessary change in your life. You start to analyze and consider things you would usually ignore or brush off due to your heightened state of focus.
Can I Be Hypnotized?
Many people wonder if they are capable of being hypnotized, and honestly, not everybody is. We are all different, which means our minds work differently, too. Hypnosis susceptibility measures how easily a person can be hypnotized, and there are various tests such as this test by Clinical Hypnotherapy that will help you determine how susceptible you are to Hypnosis.
The art of hypnosis has been debated for hundreds of years, but scientists have yet to understand it fully. Many studies are being conducted to analyze how different parts of the brain react to hypnosis, and one day we’ll be able to fully grasp this brilliant phenomenon.