Here are the very basics. Please ask me if you have any questions! I love to talk about hypnosis and answer all the different questions that people think of.
What are the conscious and subconscious minds?
Your conscious mind takes in the world with your senses: see, hear, feel, taste, touch and smell. It thinks about it all, criticises it, analyses it, judges it good or bad, right or wrong. Your conscious mind holds your short-term memories.
Your subconscious mind is where you keep your long-term memories. Vast amounts of information that you have been processing your whole life. It can be easy to access, or it can be locked away.
The guards in between represent the protection mechanism of your subconscious mind. They don't let anything pass through unless it is safe to do so. And for good reason!
What is a hypnotic state?
You are in an out of hypnosis all day long. The first state of hypnosis of the day is when you awaken in the morning. Before you start critically thinking about work, parents, kids, emails, pets, Facebook, etc. Happiness hint: if you can say to yourself at that moment 'today is a good day', then that is how your day will go!
You are in a state of 'daydreaming' many times throughout the day; at the traffic lights, staring out of a window, looking at the waves rolling in on the sea, engrossed in a good book, watching the telly, etc. That's hypnosis! That's all it is! You are not asleep and you are aware of everything that is going on around you. In fact, your senses are around 20% more heightened than if you were not in hypnosis. For example, some people may hear a dog barking a long way away that they wouldn’t have noticed before. It is a highly intuitive and creative state.
The last time of the day you are 'hypnotised' is just as you are going off to sleep. Happiness hint: leave all thoughts of work, parents, kids, emails, pets, Facebook, etc. outside of the bedroom door and let your last words of the day be 'thank you', as you drift off into a peaceful sleep.
So how does hypnosis work in a therapeutic setting?
Firstly, you need to have good 'rapport' with your hypnotherapist. It needs to be someone you feel comfortable with and with whom can build a relationship of trust. Make sure your hypnotherapist is suitably qualified.
Your hypnotherapist will ask what it is you would like to achieve with hypnosis and begin working out how to help you to get there. We don't need to know your whole past history and every painful event that led to this moment. It is better if you don't go over it all because this makes you re-live it all again. Hypnotherapy aims to move you out of the past and into a brighter future. It doesn't help the hypnotherapist to know all the details, in fact, it can hinder the process and hold you back. Some good questions your hypnotherapist may ask include: if this problem were to be resolved today, how would things be different for you? How would you feel? Your hypnotherapist is trained to think on his or her feet, also watching carefully for non-verbal communication.
Your hypnotherapist does not judge you or offer advice. It is very important that whatever your wishes and desires are, whoever you would like to be or however you would like to live your life, that they are your own choices. Not someone else's. You are perfect! Your ideas are valid and good and it is very important that you follow your own heart's desires. Don't worry if you can't put it into words, that's what hypnosis is perfect for! Your mind is a weird and wonderful and very powerful thing and it has all the answers. As ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said 2,600 years ago:
"At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want" - Lao Tzu
The next step is what is known as a hypnotic 'induction'.
It simply means that you start to wind down and relax with less thinking, criticising and analysing from your conscious mind. Thoughts will come and go but your hypnotherapist is trained to guide you to let those thoughts go and just relax, observing your breathing and other signals and guiding you to imagine you are in a beautiful, tranquil place, where you can just relax and let your mind wander wherever it wants to. You and only get to decide where your mind will wander to.
You are always in control
As an analogy, your hypnotherapist is like a tourist guide. She might offer a brochure with various choices of marvellous holidays. Which one would you choose? A luxury cruise, a backpacking adventure, a shopping holiday, horse riding in the mountains, lazy days on the beach, dancing and partying, a romantic destination, etc.?
It's all up to you.
If the one that you really want isn't even in the brochure, your mind will make the quantum leap and work out all the details for you. It's very clever.
Positive suggestions and 'post-hypnotic' suggestions.
While you are in hypnosis, as a very general example, your hypnotherapist may suggest several times that you are taking very good care of your body, that you are making sure you get enough sleep, good food and exercise. If your subconscious mind thinks that all of this is a good idea, it will accept it, on a subconscious level, where habits become automatic.
A technique known as an 'exduction' is used to guide you back into the present moment.
Your hypnotherapist might recap on some important points and then count backwards, guiding you to wake up feeling wonderful, relaxed, refreshed and fully alert and taking away all your new learnings with you.
That's it in a nutshell!
If nothing else, the stress relief of it on its own does wonders for people. I think a lot of them just come back to me again and again because they love this little holiday for the mind! Where they can explore new things and become an even better version of themselves.
It was a great question from a client who was planning a getaway weekend with her partner and hadn't been sleeping well all week.
The reality is that after a hypnotherapy session, you will feel as though you have had a good eight hours' sleep in 20 minutes or so.
Hypnosis is a 'state of mind' in which you are totally aware of everything going on around you, you are actually 20% more aware while you are in hypnosis, although your body is deeply relaxed. Every muscle, fibre and cell gets some well-deserved deep relaxation as you go into a pleasant daydream-like state of rest. Since your auditory senses are actually more heightened, you may hear noises way down the street that you didn't notice before. Your hypnotherapist helps you to phase out any loud noises around you so that you can just let go and enjoy the experience.
You are free to 'wake up' at any time you wish to and you are always in control. Although most people love the sensation so much they are happy to just go with it. Who wouldn't! It can be likened to a 'massage for the mind', after which you will feel refreshed and revitalised and looking forward to the rest of the day with more energy!
Good rest and good health!
I loved this question first thing this morning and the video that went along with it. I'm inspired to write a blog post.
Take a look at this video of hypnotist, Michael C Anthony performing a live stage hypnotist act, then come back and I'll explain what's going on here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=602020040504357
(If you're not on Facebook, look up another one of Michael C Anthony's videos on YouTube, etc.).
What's going on here? It's quite clever really
Firstly, the people are having fun!
They are up for a laugh and going along with it. If they didn't want to do it, they wouldn't have put their hand up to participate.
Famous person and an authority figure.
The hypnotist, Michael C Anthony, is a renowned entertainer, having won Male Entertainer of the Year with Campus Activities Magazine, among a number of other accolades. The people would likely have heard of him and have seen others having fun at a hypnosis show and are curious about it. Having credibility as someone famous gives the entertainer a perceived authority, which is helpful for the entertainer in influencing people to obey commands.
Rapport is a key element for the hypnosis phenomenon to take place
Michael is a master at building rapport with an audience. He has many years' experience doing so and has written a number of books on the subject. He is a born entertainer and would have had the audience super fired up with energy and having a lot of fun prior to this video.
A high-energy state is a hypnotic state
When people are in this fun, high-energy state, they are hypnotised. i.e., they are not thinking so much with their critical/analytical mind, they are cheering, clapping, laughing and having fun; they are thinking more with their subconscious mind and are open to suggestion without questioning it.
During the 'entertainment' before this video was taken, the hypnotist fired up the people to be in a heightened state of energy, celebration-type energy! He would have fired up the idea that it would be 'so cool' if you're the lucky one to get up on this stage because we're going to have more fun than you've ever had in your life!
Being so fired up, they can't wait for that command to scramble up on the stage in the hope that they will be the lucky ones! The hypnotist has given them the first command and they have followed it, any other commands he gives they will follow them too, piece of cake.
Once they are up on the stage, the hypnotist is easily able to work out which ones are the somnambulists, a relatively small percentage of the population who are even more disposed to go into hypnosis and follow commands. They are easy to spot, they would have been the first ones to rush up on the stage and the first ones who dropped down on the 'sleep' command. Although pretty much all of these kids would likely go along with it because they are all having so much fun and they are egged on from the peer pressure. They are all in a 'happy high' state, therefore thinking with their subconscious mind to go along with it rather than questioning will I or won't I do it... some of them may slip out of that state, go back into conscious questioning and get stage fright for example and question whether they want to really do it.
Kids are more open to the suggestions being given here
Notice that all the ones who scrambled up on the stage are all kids. There are adults in the audience but they didn't get up. Adults have been trained out of using the power of their subconscious mind, having the idea that it is dangerous or black magic or that they can be controlled to do something they don't want to do. The peer pressure among adults would be more along the lines that it would be unseemly for them to behave in such a whimsical way. But kids are still open to using the power of their mind, even for entertainment, until someone brainwashes them out of it too. So these kids are up for a laugh without thinking about it too much.
Plus peer pressure would be another factor that would help the hypnotist greatly, and the entertainer plays on this beautifully. The participants want to be seen as cool and funny among their friends!
Let's look at what is going on neurologically and biologically speaking.
In very basic terms, the happy hormones are coursing through these kids' bodies and multiplying the happy effect, further heightening their hypnotised state. Especially being hormone-driven young people, they are biologically wired to have fun and behave in a way that may lead to a greater possibility of attracting a sexual mate. They follow impulses to get sex. A number of other neurological and biological processes are at play here, but that would make a really long article.
That's it in a nutshell. Interesting hey?
How is therapeutic hypnosis different?
A number of these concepts are used in therapeutic hypnosis; essentially rapport and guiding a person to use their subconscious mind instead of their critical conscious mind, but with relaxation techniques rather than a heightened entertainment or celebration state. The first part of a hypnotherapeutic process entails explaining in-depth all aspects of what hypnosis is and what it is not, so that the person can decide for themselves whether they wish to explore it. If they feel comfortable to do so, it is totally safe with a qualified and reputable hypnotherapist. And it is powerful! Think about these kids in the video who dropped on command. The person who wishes to have hypnotherapy makes an agreement with their hypnotherapist prior to going into hypnosis about which kinds of commands they are interested in. This involves a lot of questions and answers until they get to the ones they really want. Then they may be given commands such as 'no desire to ever smoke another cigarette in your life,' 'you easily and naturally put on your training shoes in the morning and enjoy taking exercise more than ever before,' you feel confident, happy and at peace, and so on, the possibilities are endless. Love my work!
Dip, Hyp. I.S.C.H. GHR GQHP
Online Clinical Hypnotherapist
+34 637 321 798
11 Nov, 2019, No comments
Author: Alice Jones
Business: Caring Nature
The human mind is made up of separate parts that are known as the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind. The conscious mind is the thinking brain with short-term memory, like the regulator helping us make rational decisions. The subconscious mind generates habits, beliefs, long-term memory and emotions. Then the unconscious mind is like the automatic response created for physical feelings. The power of your life lies in your subconscious as how we interact with the environment is directly linked to our subconscious mind.
The subconscious mind makes up the majority of the brain and stores all experiences and memories from the past. Most decisions in your life are based on habituated patterns created long time ago. Your mind then tends to react automatically to ‘protect’ you in some way, based on how you used to perceive a past event or situation.
When a situation arises which your mind associates it with an unpleasant perception, the unconscious mind sends response signals to your body to trigger the fight or flight mode, or some other reaction that is created as a ‘protection’ from the meaning of what you do not like. That protection mode, although based on a good intention, is how negative patterns of talking, thinking and feeling occurs.
When similar situations arise which the association is made, your unconscious mind drives you to react and behave in the same mode, to ‘protect’ you by alerting the potential dangers. Negative thoughts and worries spur round in the mind while the body’s defence builds up.
Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand.
In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. However, stress in a lot of today’s modern society has become an ongoing norm, causing intense and damaging health issues from anxiety, worry, anger, rage, fear and maybe even depression, to insomnia or addictions.
Issues around food is typical when we are stressed as we tend to comfort eat. The unconscious mind is leading your behaviour so without acknowledging whether you are hungry or not, you automatically choose to eat because food is the comfort, the fulfilment, the escape zone, the what real issue does not represent.
Those reaction modes we have developed are being overly relied upon today. The good news is that you are not stuck with the negatives: you can get unstuck with the support of a number of emotional control techniques.
So, HOW can you better manage the subconscious mind to face stressful events?
Mindfulness technique. Hypnotherapists use it to help you adapt to changing how you perceive conditions in your life. By bringing mindful awareness to your actions, from eating, moving, acting, sleeping, all your simple day-to-day activities, you can consciously notice how you want to respond and feel, and choose how you want to lead your life.
Self-hypnosis allows you to use the power of mind to manage the inevitable stresses faced in life. Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and heighten suggestibility. You can develop your own inner script, affirmation, desired changed, etc. while practicing self-hypnosis and allows your subconscious to receive and accept the hypnotic suggestions.
The benefits of relaxation are beyond peace and calmness. It begins the transformation of your quality in life. Relaxation helps eliminate unnecessary energy drain. Maintains stored resiliency. Reduces impatience, irritability, and anger, and improve your physical and mental health. Simply by practicing to breathe slowly and mindfully for a couple minutes, increases the level of relaxation.
When your minds are well-rested and refreshed after sufficient sleep, you have more energy to complete tasks in a more balanced emotional state; resulting in more positive moods. People who get enough sleep will be less susceptibility to illness, more creative and have better long-term memory. Sleep time is also when your body and immune system do most of its repairs and rejuvenation, so check your sleep hygiene and allow that sleep time!
With the above simple tips you can tone down the racing mind, reach a state of relaxation, feel at ease, have a better control of the emotions, and create new positive messages in mind. So instead of letting those negative thoughts spiral out of control, you get to be the one writing the internal script to direct how you talk, think and feel.
Are you ready to rewrite the script? I wonder what it says for what you’d rather feel?