What Is Hypnosis?

Creating Change With Hypnosis

When asked about hypnosis, most people will recall some theatrical stage show where they witnessed weird and wonderful behaviour going on by some unfortunate volunteers. However, little is known to the public about the positive power of hypnosis when it comes to assisting people with major concerns such as stress, trauma, phobias, anxiety, sleep disorders, depression, stage fright and many more personal and some time debilitating issues. When used as therapy, hypnosis can bring about incredible behavioural change and correct limitations that hold people back from a life well lived.

So What Is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is merely a moment in time where the person is fully aware of their surroundings, but the conscious mind is placed in a relaxed state so that the subconscious mind can be exposed. Hypnotic states can be experienced in day dreaming and when one is captivated by a movie. The person is completely aware of what is going on around them, but their attention is focused on something else.

In hypnotherapy, the client will be aware of their surroundings, but will be solely focused on the hypnosis practitioner’s voice. Using various techniques to relax the mind and body, the practitioner will be able to go beyond the conscious mind and access the subconscious mind where positive suggestions, reframing and alterations of limiting beliefs can be made to affect positive behavioural change in the client.

How Does Hypnosis Create Change?

Our conscious mind is what keeps us alert and helps us to function on a day-to-day basis. However, like an ice berg, most of what is controlling us is below the surface. This is the domain of the subconscious mind. This is the place that holds our long-term memory, beliefs, patterns, addictions, emotions, habits, involuntary bodily actions and our creative imagination. In order to create lasting behavioural change, it is crucial to access the subconscious mind and change the behavioural programming at the source.

Life experiences create behaviours and perceptions. So as an example, if I was bitten by a dog when I was young, which created physical pain, a moment of fear and severe panic, I may now hold on to a fear of dogs. This fear is a coping mechanism of the mind to protect me from the danger of such a thing happening again. Coping mechanisms are very rudimentary reactions and fail to understand the difference between a real threat & a no-threat situation. Therefore, it will create a hormonal, emotional & physical response suited to a threat even though there is no evidence to support such a demanding and irrational response.

Knowing this, a hypnosis practitioner will work skilfully past the irrational conditioning of the conscious mind and alter my beliefs about dogs, create a positive understanding that although such an experience happened once, this does not mean that it will happen every time. The practitioner will further help by creating effective strategies to help calm the brain down when I encounter dogs so my fight/flight/freeze response is disengaged and I can think with a clear mind.

The Power Of The Mind

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” – Mark Twain.

The mind is a beautiful and powerful tool that is unlimited in its potential. However, it is also highly impressionable and can create coping mechanisms that can severely affect and limit a person’s life to such a degree that they are prevented from the enjoyment and adventure that can be experienced. But with every problem lies its own solution and we can see this in the way that simple techniques in hypnotherapy can positively change people’s lives.

The only magic to be acknowledged in such a discipline of behavioural change is how powerful the mind can be and of the infinite potential that lies in all of us. A whole new world of possibility awaits the person who can utilize the power of their mind. Limitations in our beliefs and perceptions will only remain valid until a higher sense of awareness around such limitations can be dispelled.

The mind is like putty that can be molded, shaped and re-shaped. Therefore, it is crucial that we nurture our positive/empowering mental states and work to change those states that no longer serve us.

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