When you hear the word hypnosis, what immediately comes to mind? Is it a dark figure with a goatee swinging a pocket watch back and forth in an attempt to take control over your mind and have you do his evil bidding for him?
If so, then it's time to turn off the cartoons and pay attention.
Have you ever been watching a movie and felt like you were actually there? Or perhaps pulled into a good book by the words of the author? Maybe you were driving down the road, singing at the top of your lungs to a new tune and were almost completely unaware of what was going on around you.
If so, congratulations! You have been hypnotized!
Faith doing a hypnosis demonstration on CityTV Morning News, Calgary (2011)
Hypnosis is commonly defined as a relaxed and focused state of concentration. When you were watching the movie, reading the book and exercising your vocal chords, you were relaxed in your environment and completely focused and concentrating on only one thing.
Here are some common misconceptions about hypnosis:
1. Hypnosis will not make you tell secrets.
When in a hypnotic state, you're merely open to suggestions. You still have a
choice and won't divulge anything you wouldn't ordinarily divulge.
2. Hypnosis cannot make you do something against your will. Those people you see on stage have a desire to do something outrageous, which is why certain suggestions work on them. If you don't have that same desire, those suggestions would not have the same effect on you.
3. You can't be stuck in a permanent hypnotic state. Hypnosis is merely a relaxed and focused state so it's impossible to be "stuck" there.
Benefits of Hypnosis
Hypnosis can be helpful in many ways, from remembering people's names to completely changing your life. Many people use hypnosis to change habits, such as quitting smoking,and form new habits, like exercising daily, reducing the symptoms of stress or sleeping better.
Research even suggests that hypnosis may be able to make your body look younger by reprogramming new cells and instructing them to find the healthiest blueprint to develop.
How You Can Use Hypnosis
There are a couple of different ways to induce hypnosis, including self-hypnosis (Guided Visualization, mindfulness) and seeing a specialist (like Faith). Here are some of the benefits of each:
The relaxation is a key part of being hypnotized, and there are many programs that take you through the relaxing process all the way to helping you accomplish the changes you wish to make.
Another added benefit is the cost. While seeing a specialist can be a huge benefit, cost is a giant hurdle for many people.
If you have any questions, most specialists will allow a free consultation so you can get the feel of them and their space. The biggest thing to remember is you must feel comfortable and be open to their practices if you want to make a change.
Hypnosis depends totally on you. If you don't want to be hypnotized or feel you can't be hypnotized, then your mind will stop you. Without your comfort and willingness, hypnosis will not work, no matter what route you try.
If you want to make a change for the better, do your research and understand what hypnosis really is, so you can make an informed decision. After all, hypnosis can't make you do something against your will!