What is Hypnosis, And How Does it Work?
Article © Copyright MindTraining.net
(Also see below: What is Subliminal Hypnosis?)
Hypnosis is simply a state of mental relaxation, where you are perfectly safe, and in complete control, at all times.
When in this relaxed state, positive suggestions can be made from a hypnotic audio recording or from a trained hypnotherapist, to help create positive changes in your life, by changing negative habits at the mind's control-center - and creating positive new ones, which your mind and body can use as a new blueprint to follow.
As long as these positive suggestions agree with the person's own moral and ethical code - which is a major requirement in order for them to be effective - they may then be accepted by the mind and are allowed to help create positive new benefits to the person's life.
Hollywood movies, hypnosis is not a trance-like or zombie-like state where you can be controlled by another person - which means you are in complete control of your own mind, body, thoughts and actions at all times.
This also means you can choose to exit the hypnotic state at any stage if you decide to do so.
Hypnosis has been scientifically and clinically proven to provide a wide range of benefits and has been shown to assist in overcoming a wide variety of issues, while helping people to focus upon and achieve their personal goals.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
When you are under hypnosis you are simply mentally and physically relaxed.
The relaxed state allows your mind to become more receptive to positive suggestions, which can then be received more easily and effectively in the deeper "subconscious" mind, to create positive change in your life.
The subconscious is where all our inner life-programming is situated, so self-sabotage or problem issues can be changed at the very control center or source.
These positive hypnotic suggestions are best made only by a reputable audio hypnosis recording or during a hypnosis consultation by a qualified hypnotherapist.
During this time, you are fully aware of your environment at all times, and in total control of your own mind and body.
This relaxation can vary in depth from day to day depending upon how you feel and how tired you are - sometimes it will feel like very light relaxation, and other times it can feel deeper and more trance-like - but either way you are always in total control.
People often say things like "I could hear every word you were saying", or "I felt like I could open my eyes if I wanted to" - because you are aware of everything around you, just like when you meditate (which is very much like hypnosis).
There is also change in the brain wave activity, similar to the changes that occur just before sleep - when you move from the beta state (the awake state) to the alpha state (the lightly relaxed state) and sometimes, in hypnosis, to theta state (deeper level of relaxation).
How Safe Is Hypnosis?
Extremely safe. In fact, you are naturally in this state many times during your normal day, without knowing it - such as when you first wake up in the morning, before you go to sleep, watching a good movie, listening to music, in the shower, and many other times.
Contrary to many myths about hypnosis that come from Hollywood movies, hypnosis can never make you do anything against your will, or to divulge any information that you are not 100% willing to give out. You are always in complete control at all times.
So needless to say, you always have the option of getting up and leaving at absolutely any stage, just like if you were in the shower.
Will I Always Wake Up?
Of course! 100%, every time, without fail. You are always in control. You never have to worry about this.
It is simply not possible to remain stuck in a relaxed state - in the same way it is unlikely to find oneself stuck while taking a relaxing shower (which is a similar, comparable relaxed mental state). You naturally exit the relaxed state every time, even in the unlikely event of a hypnotherapist walking out of the room or an electrical problem causing an audio recording to stop halfway through. In both cases, the person would simply wake up naturally by themselves, safely and easily.
Will Hypnosis Work For Me?
While there is 3-5% of people who do not respond to hypnosis, the answer is generally yes. It is mainly only the level of results which may vary., as well as the varying amounts of time each person takes to respond, as everyone is unique in this regard. ie. Results can occur quite suddenly, or be slow and progressive - where people think no effect has taken place, but then realize upon looking back, how much things have actually changed from the starting point.
Can Hypnosis Make Positive Changes In My Health, Body, Stress Levels, Personal Development, Achieving Goals, and Improve Sports Performance?
Certainly. Your subconscious is in command of these areas, and this is the area of the mind that hypnosis works with directly. In much the way software changes the way a computer program runs, hypnosis works on the inner level to bring about the outer, external changes.
What is Subliminal Hypnosis?
Subliminal hypnosis has been studied extensively by scientists since the 1940's. This is where the hypnotic suggestions are placed at a sound level below the normal level your conscious mind can hear, so you will not hear anything but music when you listen to the subliminal - but your subconscious can hear the hypnotic suggestions quite easily, loud and clear.
This allows the positive hypnotic messages, otherwise know as hypnotic suggestions, to be more easily accepted by the subconscious, without the conscious mind mentally arguing with, and intercepting them.
While you relax to the sound of the relaxation background soundtrack, the subliminal hypnotic suggestions, which are playing below the music soundtrack around a level of -27 decibels, are absorbed by your subconscious mind.
While your conscious mind is focused on the music, your subconscious mind actually absorbs the subliminal hypnotic suggestions - which only it can hear.
Humans ‘consciously’ hear only a tiny amount of information that the subconscious actually takes in, mainly as a form of mental protection (ie. so we are not overloaded with information and bombarded by signals informing us of the tiniest sounds or bits of information).
In a study by University College London, it was discovered that our brain responds to stimuli even without having consciously seen them, which indicated we subconsciously observe and absorb subliminal messages that we may have no conscious awareness of. Another study by Gettysburg College confirmed these results. Another more recent study showed that positive subliminal messages created a strong improvement in self image and mental outlook.
While our (weaker) conscious mind can basically only focus on one piece of information at a time, the subconscious is much like a computer, and can absorb over 1 million bits of information per second, without a problem. This is why, at times, the less you ‘hear’ a suggestion, sometimes the more effective it can be - because it does not allow your conscious mind to ‘argue’ with it logically, and reject it.
The music lulls the conscious mind into a light state of relaxation, while the second track is being absorbed by the subconscious without interruption.
How Relaxed Do I Need To Be?
Actually, not as deep as you think. A common misconception is that a person needs to be in a deep trance-like state in order for the subconscious to accept the hypnotic suggestions, but this is not actually the case.
In fact, you are in a type of hypnotic state of relaxation at many different times during your normal day - such as in the shower, upon awakening in the morning, and before sleep at night, waiting at traffic lights in the car - and often even while watching television or listening to music.
With hypnotic recordings, you actually go to various different depths of relaxation each time you use them, depending upon various external factors such as the time of the day, stress levels, etc - sometimes the relaxations will be lighter, and sometimes they will be deeper - or often, in between.
While deeper levels can be a bonus, your mind still accept the hypnotic suggestions quite easily regardless of the level of relaxation you reach each time.
Is it Possible to Erase Something From My Memory, using Hypnosis?
While the thought of being able to forget a traumatic event is technically achievable, it is often easier and more effective to use different methods to deal with events such as these, than by simply trying to directly erase the memory.
For instance, one effective technique involves releasing the traumatic emotions and fears surrounding and related to that event, which helps to remove the emotional impact of the event, and allows it to fade more easily from the mind. Another method is to simply change the way we perceive or even remember the particular event - so that it no longer deemed traumatic, and once again, it simply fades from our conscious attention.
For instance, if someone has a fear of dogs, due to previously being bitten by a dog - then at the hypnotic level, the person can be guided back into the memory of that event, but the details of the traumatic event can then be changed, to a new outcome which is more comfortable for the person - eg. walking away from that experience happy and healthy (and not bitten by the dog).
In this example, the person might be guided to imagine a scenario where the dog was happy and friendly, and quite safe to pat without any risk of being bitten. Or, if that particular scenario still brings up fear, an alternative scenario might be where the dog was safely leashed, and unable to be of any harm.
So by changing the outcome of the scenario at the subconscious level, it begins to change and muddy the clear recollection of the memory, until the subconscious is no longer clear as to which event actually happened.
Eventually the new (chosen) reality can then take precedence, and the old memory is basically erased. This is easier and often more effective than actually trying to completely forget something, such as a traumatic event - though it can be achieved, just with a higher level of difficulty and a lower chance of success.
Can Beliefs Be Changed With Hypnosis?
Yes, and no - ie. only if the new belief is something that you morally agree with at the deepest level. For instance, an honest person could not be persuaded, through hypnotic suggestion, to act out some kind of crime (as it does not lie within that person's own personal ethics) - however someone with criminal tendencies could possibly (though not definitely) be persuaded it may be a good idea.
On the more positive side (and more commonly used) - hypnosis can be used to create stronger and more life-affirming beliefs, which will help the person to shape their life behaviors and activities in a healthier way, towards improving their overall sense of physical or mental wellbeing.
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