Hypnotherapy is a psychotherapy that brings a person to a state of altered consciousness or a state of mind, better known as a hypnotic trance state.
Through hypnosis, the person will be able to achieve a state of awareness that is referred to by hypnotherapists as ‘trance-like.’
This form of therapy makes use of guided relaxation techniques to invoke a person’s ability to concentrate and relax much more than they could in a fully conscious state. This state of awareness can provide many benefits to people, including relief from many symptoms associated with several kinds of health problems.
Most of the time, much of what we hear does not have a lasting impact
on our lives. There is so much sensory input that our brains cannot
process and store every piece of data it is subject to. In a conscious
state, the auditory pieces given the most importance (and thus
remembered) are those that are aligned with a higher emotional state.
This can be a positive or negative emotion, as in joy or fear.
However, there is another way to make our minds ‘remember’ what we
want it to. This is by entering a hypnotic state, allowing suggestions
to be relayed directly to the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis allows the mind to acutely focus ‘and hear’ while in a deep
state of relaxation. This is a state when the ears hear, but they don’t
have to listen actively. The information heard from the hypnotist, or
the hypnosis audio will be able to penetrate the subconscious mind, free
of the blocking or filtering actions of the conscious mind.
How It Helped Me
Helping to Fight My Addiction
Hypnotherapy is acclaimed for helping people with psychological difficulties such as addiction. And this is the particular area in my life that I used hypnosis in first.
While a person is in a susceptible and relaxed state of mind, it will become easier for them to alter their perspectives regarding their addictive behaviors. Shifting these perspectives was crucial in helping me better understand what I was going through. And how to overcome it.
Hypnotherapy makes it easier for an individual to accept suggestions that are designed to overcome compulsive and addictive behaviors. When a person is undergoing hypnotherapy, they become more compliant and passive, as their defensive conscious filters are being bypassed.
Getting past my defenses was the first step in breaking away from my addiction. I had built up so many “reasons/excuses” as to why it was OK for me to continue with my behavior at the time.
- I wasn’t hurting anyone else. (Untrue)
- I worked so hard that I deserved it.
- No one understands why it “helps” me.
- I’m actually better at my job/life when I’m buzzed. (This one was used often)
- I’m able to deal with all of life’s stresses better.
All of these excuses, and then some, were programmed into my subconscious by me. And they allowed me to continue with my behavior despite seeing the damage it was causing to my life. This program I was running made it very easy to dismiss reality.
But, on the flip side of that coin through hypnosis I was able to delete the old programming and install new thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
This not only allowed me to become aware of my actions, but also to accept what I was doing to myself and those I loved. Without this awareness and acceptance change was impossible.
What About You?
I have found that addiction isn’t the only area hypnosis can help with. Let’s touch on some others.
During the first phase of the hypnosis session, the guided audio will help you establish a behavioral shift by leading your mind and body to achieve a relaxed state. This state of relaxation will be coupled with hearing a positive reinforcement. These positive reinforcements will depend on your specific goal or purpose for hypnosis therapy.
Fighting Symptoms of Depression
Depression occurs for many reasons, and in many cases, the cause may not be easy to determine. However, with the help of hypnotherapy the underlying cause(s) of depression (or any unhealthy behavior) is more likely to be found. If so, hypnosis will help the person to release it and allow for positive transformation to take place.
Even if the ‘cause’ cannot be concretely determined, hypnosis can still provide great relief by helping to reduce the adverse response to triggers. It can also help you to reprogram your beliefs about your current and future life. The reprogramming of your beliefs is the cornerstone of hypnosis’ effectiveness.
Hypnotherapy helps you create new neural pathways. It also enables your brain to start weaving new experiences that are imagined vividly while in the hypnotic state. During this time, you are aware of everything that is happening but are viewing the events as if from an observer’s point of view.
Hypnotherapy helps a person focus their mind on positive outcomes such as seeing a brighter future. During hypnotherapy sessions, you will be brought to a future timeline where you will see yourself doing what you want in life. This way, the subconscious mind will be able to create new beliefs and new positive emotions. In your conscious state, this will manifest as increased hopefulness and happiness, and a reduction of anxiety and depression symptoms.
How Hypnosis Elicits Motivation
If motivation to exercise is your goal, you will hear words that will provide positive affirmations. The words you hear will enter your subconscious mind.
The aim of the suggestions and affirmations is to change subconscious beliefs about exercising. Whereas you may have given exercise a low priority, or thought it painful or boring, your new belief system will be that exercise is fun and important. You will find yourself prompted from within to engage in physical activity, instead of having to apply willpower.
It is important to note that willpower is fleeting. One day you have it. The next you don’t. That is where having these beliefs downloaded to your subconscious creates the biggest difference.
Consequently, you will begin looking for opportunities to exercise and finding yourself looking forward to gaining a higher level of fitness through enjoyable exercise.
The positive affirmations that you hear while under hypnosis will gradually overcome your lack of enthusiasm and procrastination. After the first few sessions, you will soon find yourself having a sense of purpose and eagerness to exercise.
For hypnosis sessions to become successful, the person under hypnosis must be prepared to invest mentally and physically. The subject will still have to do the work (exercise) but anyone who does exercise regularly knows that overcoming mental limits is much harder than physical ones.
Hypnosis helps you conquer procrastination
Procrastination is not just laziness; it is most often caused by fear. An individual may choose to procrastinate over their exercise routine for fear of not achieving their fitness goals. The most common reason for putting off any exercise routine is the fear of failing.
This, of course, can be applied to a procrastination of anything not just exercise.
In this situation, it is more palatable to the mind not to attempt, than it is to attempt and fail. Hypnosis helps you figure out what the cause of your procrastination is. Then, with the help of the positive affirmations, these blocks can be bypassed, so that exercise (or whatever it is you’re putting off) is looked forward to, instead of avoided.
Hypnosis overcomes your tendency for negative self-talk
For the positive effects of hypnosis to take place, it is important for you to completely avoid negative self-talk. Language plays a crucial part in changing perception and behavior. Suggestions by the guided audio will lay the foundation, but you can accelerate your progress by being mindful of your self-talk.
Instead of associating negative words such as, “no pain, no gain” to an exercise program. Or, “I’m not good at this.” “I could never do it right.” “This won’t work.” “I suck.” These are types of negative self-talk we say to ourselves all the time. It is better to focus on positive words. Let your mind instead focus on what you will gain from trying something new. This reinforces the subconscious programming provided by hypnosis therapy, building more and more optimism about the changes you wish to make.
The key is to commit to it for a minimum time period, such as four times a week for three weeks. While it’s best to do it every day, forgetting or feeling guilty if you miss it may defeat the end purpose of adding to your relaxation. You want this to be a positive experience that your mind and body starts to look forward to.
Self hypnosis can and will help you conquer the mountains standing between you and your goals. All you need to do is start.
No matter what way you choose to undergo hypnosis, go into it with an open mind and positive attitude. Create goals that are achievable, stick with it, and watch the changes take place in your life.