What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a particular state of our minds where the conscious mind is in a passive but focused state. In this state the conscious mind’s critical filter is relatively inactive facilitating communication with and programming of the subconscious mind.
The state is similar to that we achieve when we are either just dropping off to sleep or just waking in the morning. The conscious mind is registering impressions but not actively ‘thinking’. Passively watching television or working in the garden where we are performing repetitive tasks can also induce a ‘hypnotic’ like state. In this state the analytical part of our conscious mind is narrowly focussed on the activity and frees up the ‘observer’ aspect of our conscious mind to interact with our subconscious.
An analogy would be that we can’t see the stars in the sky during daylight because the sun is so bright – however at dawn or dusk when the sun is just below the horizon we can. Hypnosis is dimming the ‘brightness’ or slowing the activity of the conscious mind to a passive observer state. At this level of mind state we can more easily communicate with the subconscious mind.
From the above description of hypnosis, we can see that the state of hypnosis is very similar to that achieved using meditation techniques. Like meditation it is usually a state of deep relaxation which people find very pleasant. The primary difference to meditation is that with hypnosis another operator or facilitator is actively engaged in guiding the focus of the subconscious mind.
Unlike commonly held beliefs, usually based on demonstrations of stage hypnosis, hypnosis is actually a state of mind which a person allows themselves to enter. Even with stage hypnosis, the volunteers that choose to go on stage know what they are letting themselves in for and have consciously agreed to participate.
As such all hypnosis is in fact self-hypnosis. In the same way that people allow themselves to go into a hypnotic state, they are also free to return to their normal state of consciousness anytime they like.