Hypnosis: Why It Actually Works
Whether you want to quit smoking, get a new job, let go of unhealthy relationship patterns, start working out and lose weight, become more confident, sleep better, or overcome a phobia like public speaking, hypnosis is the easiest way to make a change.
But first, what exactly is hypnosis?
There are lots of misconceptions about hypnosis based on movies with swinging watches, stage hypnotists, and characters in books. However, hypnosis is not a strange, altered state, nor are you unconscious.
You’re much more familiar with hypnosis than you might think.
In fact, you do it all the time whenever you drift off and daydream or lose track of time. Jogging, reading, driving, watching TV, listening to music, commuting on the subway–these are all trance states and times when the unconscious takes control.
Hypnosis is a focus of attention and quieting of the conscious, analytical mind. This focus offers peaceful inner awareness and the ability to relax deeply enough to recognize and use resources that might otherwise be overlooked.
When you’re in a hypnotic state, you’re able to pay closer attention to your own sources of information and guidance, enabling your unconscious mind, where all your deeply held beliefs and habits are stored, to make positive changes easily.
Why is hypnosis the easiest way to keep those resolutions?
So often we think we need more willpower or discipline to overcome a bad habit, let go of a fear, or make a big life change. I don't think that's it at all.
You're simply using the wrong part of your brain to make a change.
I often give the metaphor of the brain being divided into two parts: 5% is the conscious mind, and the other 95% is the unconscious mind.
Our conscious mind is often really good at judging, analyzing, getting from point A to point B, and possibly doing math.
Our unconscious mind is where our deeply held beliefs, behaviors, and patterns are kept. It's also our intuition and where we feel most connected to who we truly are.
When you want to make a change, you usually try to rely on the limited capacities of your conscious mind for direction and support, even though your unconscious mind has more resources and a better sense of reality and what's really best for you. The best way to make positive changes is to ensure that the unconscious is helping you, not fighting you.
Using hypnosis, you're able to relax and soften that analytical, judging, conscious mind, connecting to the unconscious mind more easily, and figuring out the best way to make positive changes that are specific just to you.
For example, I've seen several clients in the past few weeks who want to let go of negative relationship patterns so they can find a healthy, positive relationship with someone. Using hypnosis, each person has come up with very different ways to let go of those negative patterns.
For example, one client needed to figure out ways to handle his anxiety when his mind went blank when he went on dates and he couldn’t focus on what his date was saying and respond in a natural, easy way.
Another client discovered ways to heal from past abuse from her parents so that she could love and value herself in a way that would allow her to accept love from a significant other and not keep dating the wrong kind of guys.
And yet another client learned ways to stop her obsessive behavior regarding a recent breakup.
Same issue: unhealthy relationship patterns, but completely different ways of solving the problem. It's not a cookie cutter type of thing because you're not a cookie.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is hearing from client in follow-up sessions about how they're surprised to find themselves thinking in new and unexpected ways and feeling so much better.
I truly believe that each one of us knows what's best for us and hypnosis is a simple, highly effective way to figure that out and make positive changes much more easily.