So… What is Hypnosis?Penelope
How many of you have heard about hypnosis and have a some kind of idea about it and wonder is it actually true?
We mainly learn about hypnosis through movies and entertainment shows, and here I explain what hypnosis really is and what it feels like to be hypnotized. I give you examples to make you understand how it is a natural state of the mind that is nothing to worry about.
So today we’ll just look at the basics basically. And that is what is hypnosis? Some of you might even wonder, is it real, does it even exist or is it something that comes from the movies to entertain us? So we’ll have a look at what it is straight away and then we’ll go through a few examples for you to understand when is it that our brain goes into hypnosis, and how you know that you are in hypnosis. So starting from the beginning, hypnosis does exist for real and it is something that happens very naturally to each and every one of us, and it is simply a state of the mind. Just like you have your wake state and then you have sleep and then you have something in between, which is a transit state, it’s exactly hypnosis.
Now, don’t get scared because there’s nothing to be scared about as it is a natural state of the mind, and your mind goes into and out of this transit state many times a day. But we’ll go into this a bit more later. So hypnosis though, is not just the every lacks the state of the mind. It is a relaxed state of focused attention. And what this means really, is that, just to give you straight away an example to understand what this really means, for example, think about when you’re reading a book that you find particularly entertaining, what happens? Many times what happens is at some stage you’ll find yourself totally in the story. You’re focused a completely in what you’re reading and it feels as if you are in the story. You’ll lose awareness of your surroundings and you can actually hear the people talking in different voices.
You can see things with your own eyes, you can smell smells that are described in the book. You simply are in the story, and this is a transit state, a hypnotic trance state. Because what happened is, by entering a relaxed state, because you’re not thinking of something logical, you’re not making any plans or trying to resolve something, which is what you use your conscious mind for, the conscious mind then is able to relax. As you start reading the book what happens is your imagination becomes really active. And because the unconscious mind is the seat of the imagination, it is able to make what you read appear very real to you. And that’s exactly what a hypnotic trance feels like.
Another example that I can give you is, for example, when you’re doing the dishes or when you brush your teeth, maybe some of you have never done the dishes before, but definitely you have brushed your teeth before and it’s something that you do, hopefully at least once a day, right?
So again, because it’s an automatic action that you do every day, you don’t need to actively think consciously about it, you don’t need to think, now I have to grab the toothbrush, now I’ll have to grab the toothpaste, squeezed the tube and put the toothpaste on. You don’t think all of this right? So you just do things instinctively, which means you are not using the conscious mind to make the action, to carry out the action, and therefore your conscious mind relaxes, because it’s not required to do much. And then the unconscious mind kicks in performing the action in an automated way. And while this happens, your conscious mind because it’s relaxed, can just wander off and think about something else, about what you have to do tomorrow, what you, what you did today, things that you have to do differently tomorrow, or maybe you’re thinking about the next movie you’re going to watch on your last holiday you’ve been on.
And what happens when you don’t focus your attention onto something, your other part of the mind takes over and performs things automatically. So this kind of splitting of the two actions of the mind creates a focused state of relaxed attention. So day dreaming is also hypnosis, a form of hypnosis.
And then one last example I can give you about this is when you drive often to the same place, like when you’re driving to work or when you’re driving to the same store twice a week, maybe three times a week. Again, it becomes an automated action. So it can happen sometimes that you get into the car, you put it in first gear and off you go. You’re thinking with your conscious mind about anything under the sun, but paying attention to the road, and your unconscious mind kicks in and drives the car for you, and it gets you there completely safely.
And then when you stop the car, it’s like a wake-up call and go like, okay, how did I get here? I didn’t notice passing this amount of traffic lights, I didn’t notice turning at this crossroads. You were not paying attention to what you’re doing, but because you know how to get there, you’ve been there so many times before, your conscious attention has been able to let go and relax. Your conscious mind has relaxed and your unconscious mind has taken over and has driven you safely.
So another example lastly, that I can give you is when you go to bed and you simply let go completely and you start relaxing. Usually you don’t know when you’re going to sleep. What happens is, you just relax yourself and eventually you fall asleep. You don’t really know – now I’m awake, now I’m asleep – it happens gradually.
So this relaxation state that you allow yourself to go into so that you can eventually go to sleep is a hypnotic trance. Sometimes your conscious mind gets into this whirlpool of thoughts and won’t allow you to sleep, which is because you’re too stressed.
But oftentimes we can just let go and close our eyes, have a nice little trip of something nice and something relaxing, and then we fall asleep.
So this is really what hypnosis is like, this is the best way to describe it.
I hope you found this article interesting and that you have learned something new. If so, please let me know what you think about it.