Before asking the question, “What is self-hypnosis?”, we should understand what hypnosis itself means. Merriam-Webster defines it as: “a trancelike state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.” Here, someone else – the hypnotist- is in charge. As evident in the name, self-hypnosis differs in that YOU are in control. You put yourself into a trancelike state and direct suggestions to yourself. But how do we even go about hypnotizing ourselves, and what advantage does it have over being hypnotized by someone else?
Before answering these questions, let’s look closer at some ways they differ. While they both completely focus the mind and separate one from reality, hypnosis requires concentration on an outside source (the hypnotist) and outside stimuli. The knowledge and experience of the practitioner can be of great value and can help attain a greater “depth” of hypnosis. It also allows for communication between the guide and the unconscious mind of the client and this can offer much insight.
Self- hypnosis, on the other hand, focuses more on stimuli coming from within. It is actually very similar to meditation, reaching a calm and peaceful state by completely freeing one’s mind of all thoughts. When we induce this state on our own, we heighten our response to the suggestions given: “I am feeling strong, confident and calm”, “my body is completely relaxed and still”, “I am free”….and these suggestions will be better reflected in our daily life. It can be practiced whenever and wherever needed (at no cost), and it is a skill that a person can use for a lifetime. The beauty of both methods though, is that they can be used in tandem or separately to achieve the desired outcome.
Here’s a surprise; you already, naturally and instinctively, know how to hypnotize yourself. We do it every day; when we daydream, when we are drifting off to sleep, listening to music, reading a good book, when we drive to work every day and get there on “auto-pilot”. Sometimes we don’t even remember driving. Those feelings are the same as self-hypnosis, so it is nothing new - we have done it a million times before.
The realization that using the incredible power of the inner mind can help us achieve goals and make positive changes in our lives is well known and documented. People have been using self-hypnosis for years now to help with an array of personal issues: quit smoking, overcome the fear of flying, fall asleep easier, lose weight, deal with stress…the list goes on.
1.) Hypnosis is defined as:
A. The ability to communicate without words
B. A trance-like state where we become zombies
C. A trance-like state that resembles sleep induced by another person
D. Requires concentration on outside stimuli
E. Both C and D
2.) Self-Hypnosis differs from Hypnosis in that:
A. It requires two hypnotists
B. It is very expensive
C. It has to be done at a specific time of day
D. It lowers our response to the suggestions given
E. It can be practiced anytime and at no cost
3.) We already, instinctively, know how to hypnotize ourselves.
4.) Hypnosis and Self-Hypnosis become dangerous when done together.
5.) The power of the inner mind can help us:
A. Lose weight
C. Quit smoking
D. Communicate with animals
E. Both A and C