How does hypnosis work?

Sep 24, 2020
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Using hypnotherapy to address certain issues in our life like depression and anxiety, or tackling bad habits such as smoking and overeating is becoming increasingly popular. Lots of people are undergoing online hypnosis sessions whilst the coronavirus pandemic is with us. But do you even know what is really going on and how this works?


What is hypnotherapy?


People have been arguing about hypnosis for over 200 years now, and science has still not explained properly how it works. When we watch someone who is under the influence of a hypnotist, we can’t understand why he or she actually does these things. This is only a small part of what is actually a bigger puzzle of how the human mind works. It is very unlikely that scientists will find a definitive explanation of our minds in the near future, so it is likely that hypnosis will remain a mystery. 


However, psychiatrists understand the fundamental ideas of hypnosis, they have guessed how it works. Hypnosis is a trance-like state which makes you extremely suggestible, relaxed, with a heightened imagination. It is not like being asleep, because whoever is experiencing it is alert the whole time. It is often compared to daydreaming, or the feeling you get when you lose yourself in a film or book. You are completely conscious but fully focused on one thing, tuning out a lot of stimuli around you. 


In the trance you experience every day with daydreams or movies, an imaginary world can seem pretty real to you – things which you picture can affect your emotions. You might feel fear, sadness, happiness, and you might even jump out of your seat when you are surprised. Some call this state ‘self-hypnosis’. 


Accessing the subconscious?


The most well-known knowledge of hypnosis is probably that it is accessing someone’s subconscious. Usually, we are only aware of what is going on in our conscious mind. We think of problems which are right in front of us, choosing which words we want to say, and trying to remember things we have actually done. 


By doing all these things, we are actually already working with our subconscious, the part which does all the ‘behind the scenes’ bits. It puts plans together and runs them by your conscious mind for you to choose from. In short, your subconscious pretty much runs the show. When you’re awake, you’re only evaluating subconscious thoughts and putting them into play. 

Psychiatrists believe that practising this relaxation and focusing can work to calm and organise the conscious mind. In the hypnotic state, you are still completely aware of what is going on, but your conscious mind takes a bit of a backseat and lets the subconscious come forward. This allows it to be directly worked with as if there is access to the control panel in your mind. Zoom hypnosis sessions are available online which use this to create positive change in your life.

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