Hypnosis Defined – Sort of…

One of the questions I get frequently is, “What is hypnosis?” or “What does hypnosis feel like?” There are as many answers to that question as there are people who have been hypnotized or who perform hypnosis.

My favorite answer (to date!) is from Mike Mandel, a world renowned hypnotist and trainer. “Hypnosis is not what you think it is. It’s what you think it is.”

I know that statement is a bit or a non-definition. But it is so true. Rarely is hypnosis what you think it is. No matter what you’ve been told by others, seen in the movies, or read in a book, it is a unique experience for each person. There are, however, several things that nearly all people who experience hypnosis say is true.

First, it is relaxing. Since most hypnosis starts with relaxation, that would make sense.

Second, you are always aware of your surroundings and are fully awake”. That’s because hypnosis is not a “sleep state”. It is a “heightened state of awareness and suggestibility”. So, the concept that you are asleep is totally incorrect.

Third, you are not under any form of mind control. In actuality (if you are working with a “good” hypnotist), it is more like an episode of Dancing with the Stars! The hypnotist and participant work together to reach a state of relaxation and suggestibility where the hypnotist’s suggestions lead the participant to a place where they can see their problems (and solutions) from a new & different perspective; allowing the participant to adopt that new perspective resulting in significant change.

There are many more common themes between hypnotic participants. The keys are, it is safe; you are never under someone else’s control; and the results can be dramatic.

Consider this as you decide if you want to pursue hypnosis to help you with changing behaviors and habits. Or just to experience hypnosis for the first time. Remember. Hypnosis is not what you think it is. It’s what you think it is!