Hypnosis isn’t just some parlor trick that you see on television, carnival or on some cheesy talk show. You aren’t going to be at the mercy of the hypnotist who’s standing in front of you, waving an “antique” pocket watch. It’s much more than what.
It’s a legitimate technique that is recognized in the medical field; and doctors, nurses, psychotherapists, chiropractors and even dentists are trained in hypnotherapy. They use this technique to tap into your mind’s natural mental powers to promote improvement over the mind and body.
The first instance of hypnosis happened as far back as the 1700s when a German physician, Franz Mesmer, would “mesmerize” his patients, putting them into a trance-like state. He would then use the power of suggestion to treat his patients.
Inevitably, he was kicked out of his town because the locals accused this practice of trickery and was called a charlatan.
Today, there have been extensive studies that show how powerful hypnosis can be. Most people are able to be hypnotized. This ability is measured by the Stanford Hypnotic Susceptibility Scales.
These scales were developed by Stanford psychologists and individuals are rated from 0 to 12 based on how they are receptive to suggestions given by hypnotists.
There’s about only 5 percent of people in the world where hypnosis doesn’t work and at the other end of the spectrum, there is a very small percentage of folks who score the highest score of 12. Most commonly, people will register within 5 or 7 on the Stanford scales.
Hypnosis is usually used today for one of two reasons, for entertainment (this is referred to as “stage hypnosis) or hypnotherapy.
With stage hypnosis, an audience witness a volunteer (or a group of volunteers) be put into a trance and then they are made to do silly things like think they’re a chicken or act a certain way.
With hypnotherapy, you are placed into a trance like state by a licensed hypnotherapist. The trance itself isn’t the therapy, but the patient is introduced to specific images or suggestions that will alter the patient’s behavior in a way that is most beneficial for them.
For example, you may have heard of people turning to hypnotherapy if they want to quit smoking or if they want to lose weight. What’s even more interesting is that breast cancer patients at Mt. Sinai will undergo hypnotherapy after their surgery to help the healing process. Pretty neat, right?
Your brain is one of the most intricate organs in the body. While it only weighs 3 pounds, it uses anywhere between 20 to 30 percent of the calories you ingest, about 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe, and it requires about 25 percent of the blood that courses through your veins.
You would think that something that is that demanding is pretty solid, like a thigh muscle, right? It’s actually 85 percent water!
Hypnosis is that trance-like state you experience when you are extremely relaxed, your imagination is at its peak, and you are more susceptible to suggestions. While we don’t know exactly how the process works, it is theorized that hypnosis works by changing your brain waves.
When you’re in the trance, your brain is in the same state it would be if you were daydreaming, in a light sleep, or if you were in deep meditation.
There’s another theory that when you’re hypnotized, your consciousness takes a step back and your subconscious mind takes over, allowing your therapist (or yourself if you are doing self-hypnosis) to deal with your subconscious.
Yet another theory suggests that during hypnosis, the activity in the left side of the brain quiets while the right side becomes more active. Although the theory of left-brain, right-brain dominance has been disproven, hypnosis may have a hand in how each side of the brain communicates with the other.
When it comes to enhancing your cognitive abilities, you have supplements that you can take, like nootropics.
These supplements, also referred to as “smart drugs,” are designed to give you the mental boost that will help you increase productivity and alertness while enhancing your ability to learn new things and improve your memory.
While you could take supplements to improve your brain function, hypnosis doesn’t require ingesting anything.
You can use hypnosis to improve any aspect of your life, whether you want to lose a few pounds, quit smoking, or find relief from stress, but it can also be used to enhance your relationships, improve self-esteem, and increase your concentration or productivity.
Since the 50s, hypnosis has been medically recognized as a valid form of treatment. It can improve your emotional state of mind while treating a wide range of mental and neurological maladies. If you suffer from any of the following, you may find hypnosis beneficial:
Self-hypnosis is the term used to describe when you hypnotize yourself and give yourself therapeutic suggestions. To be able to do this, you first need to know how to reach that hypnotic trance. Sometimes this can be done by listening to an audio recording, or you can learn how to induce the trance yourself.
Self-hypnosis is comparable to meditation because you’re putting yourself in a state where your mind is quieted and you’re able to relax and focus.
It’s important to know that self-hypnosis is much deeper than meditation because you’re slipping into a highly suggestive state of mind and you can use that to basically reprogram the way your mind functions in some ways.
With self-hypnosis you are going to use various techniques like guided imagery, neuro-linguistic programming and affirmations to achieve the desired results.
You could follow self-hypnosis scripts you can follow (either speak out loud from memory to reach the hypnosis state, or read the script into a recorder and then play it back). You could also listen to prerecorded self-hypnosis sessions.
Before you spend any money on self-hypnosis apps, prerecorded sessions, scripts, or even nootropics, try this basic script to see if it works for you.
Self-hypnosis is an affordable way to achieve the cognitive results you’ve been hoping for. It can also help in other aspects of your life. However, if you decide that you do want to try this for yourself, you will want to have someone nearby if this will be your first time.
When you’re in your trance-like state, it’s almost like you’re asleep, so you won’t be fully aware of your surroundings. If there is an emergency, you want someone around so they will be able to wake you.
With that aside, here are some ways you can ensure you are successful in your effort to hypnotize yourself:
At this point, you will want to chant quietly and slowly to yourself that positive affirmation. If you want to focus, you can say something like “When I awake, I will focus on XYZ.” If you want to learn something new, you can say something like, “When I awake, I will learn XYZ.”
Hypnosis is a powerful tool that will take some practice to master. However, it’s important to remember that it may not work for you. If hypnosis doesn’t work for you, you can always boost your cognitive abilities with nootropics!