What is Hypnosis? How can it help change Behaviors or Habits?

Hypnosis is a natural state of deep relaxation characterized by increased perception and focus of attention. People experience the hypnotic state throughout the day, often without even realizing it, such as when daydreaming or deeply concentrating on a task. Although the hypnotic state can happen spontaneously, this state can also be entered into intentionally in order to change habits, increase motivation, relax, and much more.

Hypnotism is often used to help people lose weight or stop smoking and for stress management as well. This is accomplished when the hypnotist guides a person into the deeply relaxed hypnotic state and then communicates with the person’s subconscious mind. While in a hypnotic state, the subconscious mind is much more open to suggestion than usual. Because subconscious thoughts are known to affect behavior and bodily functions, positive suggestions naturally lead to positive effects in a person’s life.

A person who is hypnotized is in complete control of themselves at all times. A hypnotist cannot force anyone to do anything against their will. Participants can choose to follow the hypnotist’s suggestions or not. For example, a hypnotist cannot force a person to stop smoking, but he/she can make suggestions to the subconscious mind that will make quitting smoking more appealing and easier to achieve by changing the person’s subconscious mindset about smoking. If the person consciously chooses to stop smoking, the subconscious mind is then in full cooperation with this choice, making the person’s resolve much stronger than if hypnosis were not used at all.

The same goes for weight loss. A hypnotist cannot make a person lose weight. In fact, weight can only be lost if fewer calories are ingested than are spent. Through the hypnotic process, however, suggestions are made to the subconscious mind that improve a person’s motivation to exercise and increases their desire to eat healthier. In this way, it is more likely that a person will make permanent lifestyle changes that support weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.

In movies and books, hypnotism is often portrayed as a form of mind control where the subject appears to be sleeping with their eyes open. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The hypnotic state is not the same as sleeping. In fact, because it requires focused attention to become hypnotized, hypnotized people are very much awake and alert. Hypnosis is, however, very relaxing. Because of this, it can be a very powerful technique to help people with issues related to sleeping. Whether it’s helping a person with stress management or breaking a pattern of insomnia or even helping a person wake up in the morning energized and motivated to begin the day, hypnotic techniques are powerful tools that train the mind to develop new habits, increase awareness, and decrease stress.

What behaviors or habits have you changed with Hypnosis?