If you’re stuck with your unfounded beliefs on what could be the most common myths and misconception of hypnosis, you are missing out opportunities of relearning new supportive behaviors that could potentially enhance your mental wellness and develop other mental strength.
It’s perfectly understandable as most people who have never undergone a hypnosis session could be suspicious of the process, no thanks to the common misrepresentation of hypnosis as falling unconscious after staring hard at a swinging clock watch. (No thanks to movies and dramas).
While I’m not a hypnotist nor a hypnotherapist, I had my fair share of being hypnotized, either through hypnosis downloads or by watching stage hypnosis by young local talented magician Cody Tan. Both created positive after effects for me.
Anyway, here’s a compilation of common myths and misconception of hypnosis that you really should dispel if you’re missing out the positives of hypnosis.
This is probably one of the greatest fear of anyone getting ready for their first ever hypnosis session, especially if they are not aware of what hypnosis is all about prior to that. Here’s the truth, you will not lose consciousness nor surrender the control of your mind to the hypnotist when you’re being hypnotized.
If anything, it’s the actual opposite of that. When you’re being hypnotized, you’re actually in a super focused and relaxed state, where your conscious intellectual mind takes a back seat to your unconscious mind that is all aware of your senses.
We tend to fear the unknown or those that we cannot comprehend with our existing knowledge. But no, hypnosis does not belong to any cult practice nor hypnotist bears any supernatural mind control abilities. In fact, hypnosis is a natural state of the human mind that is neither created nor uncreated by the hypnotist.
You have unknowingly gone through the hypnosis state thousands of time in your life without knowing it and it happened when you’re about to fall asleep and when you awaken again. Hypnosis is based on scientific studies and practiced by professionally trained hypnotherapists to address mental wellness issues like depression and anxiety.
A common worry is that what happened if you’re interrupted in a hypnosis session. Or what if your hypnotist forgot to bring you out of the hypnotized state. Would you stay trapped in the hypnotic trance state forever?
No, you won’t. I have my fair share of hypnosis session interrupted and I do get out of the trance state almost immediately. What you should understand that hypnotic trance is a pleasant relaxed state that some people might choose to remain in that hypnotic state by their own will if they were never brought out of it. However, it is not a state that lasts indefinitely, and you’ll always get back to your normal senses.
If your experience of hypnosis is limited to watching stage hypnosis where the audiences are being hypnotized and made to perform ballet dance or hilarious acts, you may be excused for having this misconception. When you’re being hypnotized, you may do things that you normally would not do, but you can never be forced to do things you are not willing to.
In a stage hypnosis, the performer carefully selects participants from the audience that has the tendency to “entertain” when they are being hypnotized. In short, if you are not willing to dance like a clown on stage, no hypnotist is able to break your will and force you to do so.
Hypnosis may result in a calm and relaxed mind that may be conducive for your sleep but the hypnotic trance is not the state of sleep or unconscious. The hypnotic trance is not a mystic state of your mind that conjured up by the hypnotist.
It’s a natural state of focus and relaxation that the hypnotist or hypnotherapist guide you towards. In fact, you can experience hypnosis with your eyes open, as I’ve definitely had while watching stage hypnosis. But closing your eyes definitely made the process easier.
While a magician may include elements of magic tricks to spice up their stage hypnosis performance, hypnosis itself is one of the oldest forms of western psychotherapy that struggles to gain mainstream acceptance, no thanks to movies and stage performance that paints the wrong picture of what hypnosis really is.
The use of hypnosis by a hypnotherapist in treating depression, anxiety, and stress issues has also been increasingly popular. A study by Standford University School Of Medicine has identified changes of brainwave in certain regions as a person is being hypnotized.
Is everyone equally susceptible to hypnosis induction? Some articles may indicate that everyone can be hypnotized but the fact is, to be hypnotized, you need to have the ability to focus. You need to focus on the words of the hypnotist for your mind to relax and slip into the hypnotic state.
A study by Standford University School Of Medicine confirmed this with the finding that people who are less susceptible to hypnosis showed less brain activity in regions related to executive control and attention. This is the reason why I highly suggest mindfulness meditation and hypnosis as a good combination of overcoming anxiety.
(Download your FREE mindfulness meditation guide and start building your focus power now. )
Can hypnosis be dangerous? Well yes, if you’re listening to hypnosis audio when you’re driving. Or if you have harmful thoughts introduced to your subconscious mind, as what people struggling with anxiety and depression often does without realizing that they are in a process of self-hypnosis.
Hypnosis, when performed by professional hypnotherapists, is safe and beneficial to your mental health. Unlike stage hypnosis where participants are induced to relax and have fun, clinical hypnosis involved hypnotic suggestion meant to encourage the learning of new behavior in the subject.
Unfortunately, hypnosis is not your perfect truth serum. The hypnotist has no control on what you reveal under hypnosis. Despite your conscious mind taking a back seat in a relaxed state, you are still in perfect control of your speech and action and you are able to break out of the “trance-state” at any time.
In this heightened state of focus, you can even lie more effectively than in your waking state. Hypnosis, by any means, is not a mind control technique and your secrets are definitely safe during your hypnosis session.
On the other extreme of totally dismissing hypnosis as junk science is the belief that hypnosis is the ultimate cure to emotional and mental disorder. As much as I prefer hypnosis in my self-help programs, I have to stress that it is not a miracle pill that kicks off depression and anxiety overnight. Nor will you gain weight loss or quit smoking with hypnosis after a couple of sessions of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a mental state where you are super focused to hypnotic suggestion and learn new behaviors. As effective as it is, you do not achieve miraculous result overnight. You may feel fresh and recharged after a session, but for a permanent change of behavior and action, you need to undergo hypnosis session consistently.
Have you experienced any hypnosis session? Or were you held back by these myths of hypnosis? Share your thoughts in the comment box.
I am an engineer-turned-writer who once struggle with social anxiety. After overcoming problems inflicted by low self-esteem and the fear of interaction, I realize the need for taking a holistic approach in developing our mind. I'm sharing my experience, remedies, and techniques that interest me in my quest to be a better self.
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