Surprise! - you are in hypnosis every day
Imagine driving home from work or the grocery store. You have done this hundreds of times; maybe even thousands. You know the path by heart - you could probably do it with your eyes closed.
Since the route is familiar to you, your concentration wanders during the journey. You arrive in front of your house and realize that you cannot remember the last miles of your trip.
Because, believe it or not, you were in hypnosis.
So what is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a highly focused state of mind, in other words a change in the state of consciousness, in which the subconscious is free to act without interference from your consciousness.
In addition, it is a totally natural state that you can find yourself in at different times of the day. For example, when you are so absorbed in an activity that you lose track of time and forget what is going on around you.
Perhaps this happens when you are reading a particularly compelling novel. Or when you watch the rain fall on the kitchen window. Or when you're doing something fun - drawing, riding a bike.
What is the unconscious mind and how do you get to it?
Hypnosis gives access to the unconscious. Here is a simple explanation to help you understand what the subconscious is.
When it comes to psychology, the human brain is often presented as housing two entities: a conscious mind and an unconscious mind.
The conscious mind is the one you are currently using to read this text. It is your "awakened" mind, your intellect and everything that you are aware of. You probably think that your consciousness takes into account all the information in your surroundings. This is partially true, but in reality the conscious mind can only process between 7 and 9 pieces of information at a time. This is because you cannot consciously focus on so many things before it gets confused or you lose track.
The unconscious is totally different. The subconscious is all that goes on in the back room of your mind. It works automatically without any help from you and can handle millions of data at the same time.
Great, but why would it be so essential in the end to access the unconscious? Well, for several reasons.
By harnessing the power of the subconscious, you can find answers to questions or situations that cause you to feel "stuck" in life. Connecting with the subconscious also gives you the ability to heal from the inside out - as it allows you to deal with the buried and unresolved negative emotions that cause pain.
The subconscious is also the place of your innate creativity and your ability to imagine your daring dreams.
It is also the place where elements of your memories are stored. This is how it is possible to tap into this resource and let go of past traumas, or to solve problems that prevent you from moving forward.
But to do this, the subconscious needs your concentration and absolute attention. And that's where hypnosis comes in, because it gives you that focused focus.
To see how the conscious mind and the unconscious mind work in practice, let's take the example of the car again.
When you first learned to drive there seemed to be so much to remember. You had to steer, signal, accelerate, brake, watch your mirrors, watch the road and try not to run over pedestrians.
At first it was confusing and difficult. Then the more you practiced, the easier it got. And now it's all in one process called "driving" - something you know how to do automatically.
You no longer have to follow the steps. Your subconscious takes care of all of this for you. This is how it is possible to drive your car from one place to another without being able to remember part of the trip.
It gives you a glimpse into the power of the subconscious
Hypnosis is a technique that helps you communicate with the subconscious by bypassing the conscious mind.
And when you can communicate with the subconscious, you can nourish it with powerful suggestions to make your life more productive and enjoyable.
Is hypnosis mind control?
The word "hypnosis" comes from the Greek "hypnos" which means sleep. Scottish physician James Braid (pictured above) was an important and influential man in hypnotherapy. First, he coined the term "hypnotism" because he thought people seemed asleep when they were in a trance.
We now know that we have to be awake to be hypnotized. Braid tried to correct the definition, but the term "hypnosis" stuck. This probably means why Hollywood screenwriters repeat the phrase "Your eyelids are heavy" every time you are hypnotists in B movies.
But make no mistake: hypnosis is not mind control. Far from there. In a nutshell, hypnosis is a form of communication between two people. In order for a person to be hypnotized, they must be willing to participate.
In its purest form, hypnosis aims to help people make positive changes in their lives, whether it's breaking bad habits, dealing with pain, or removing emotional trauma from the past.
Thanks to the hype and cinematic sensationalism, many aspects of the hypothesis have been exaggerated or completely misunderstood.
One of these aspects is trance. In the movies and on the stage, people in a trance are nothing more than rags who do whatever the hypnotist asks them to do, repeating "Yes master."
But that is not the "trance". It is simply a state of relaxation where you focus internally in your thoughts and your energy, instead of focusing on the outside world - besides, some modern hypnotherapists do not speak any more of “trance” today. .
During hypnosis, you stay awake, able to hear and understand everything. You can even experience this state with your eyes open, although it is easier to relax and cut yourself off from the outside world if you close your eyes.
At the very least, the hypnotic state is a calming state of mind that allows you to forget your worries. In the hands of a competent hypnotherapist, it becomes a tool to help you live better.