What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a natural and safe state of deep, mental and physical relaxation and comfort, in which there is a narrowed inward focus and heightened awareness within the subconscious mind. It’s an altered state of consciousness, or what’s called the “trance” state. In this hypnotic state, as you become more and more relaxed, you become less aware of the surroundings, and more acutely aware of your inner realities: feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, resources and potentials.
Your conscious mind is the more logical, critical and analytical part of your mind. It might seem that this is the part in charge of our daily life –allowing us to be aware of life around us and to make responses and decisions based on the information presented to us. However, it’s really our subconscious mind that pretty much manages everything even if it seems we are consciously in control.
The Subconscious Mind...
The subconscious mind is the director of our experience; housing our imagination, ideas, memories, our central nervous system; controlling our emotions, habits, behaviours and responses, which influence and determine our mental, emotional and physical functions. It’s also responsible for autonomic processes such as heart rate, our immune system, blood pressure, cell renewal etc. It’s not ‘logical’ or critical but merely processes information and produces output according to the some kind of programming; either innate or set in place.
The information brought to our conscious mind and awareness is also ‘filtered’ and narrowed down according to previous input and programming as we can’t process all information that’s around us (it’s said there are about a million bits of information around us at any given moment!). So the reality you’re aware of is in fact an edited version of life and the world around you. In many ways, our subconscious creates the world that we experience and perceive as true.
The problem we often face is that even though we perhaps consciously recognize that a pattern of behaviour, thoughts or feelings is damaging or causing us problems, on a subconscious level, our mind is telling us we’re gaining something out of it or we seem to want to hold to it for some reason. Therefore, we need to get both the subconscious and conscious minds working together. In hypnosis there is direct communication with the subconscious mind and therefore we can bring about change at the subconscious level.
The hypnotic state is used to facilitate and bring about desired change as the conscious, critical mind is ‘dormant’ and by-passed. We can use the altered state of consciousness for personal development, problem resolution, self-healing, and beneficial, powerful and lasting transformation.
Our subconscious readily accepts new programmes when put in place in a language it understands: using imagery and visualisations, associations, metaphor and certain linguistic patterns. So in the hypnotic state we can ‘update’ the subconscious mind, ‘reprogramme’ it with new and more helpful information, which then modifies the ‘filters’ through which information is processed. This change results in a shift in our conscious awareness and so it changes our perception and experience of reality.
Since the subconscious mind also controls our autonomic nervous system and physiological processes, hypnosis can also be used to create physical change, whether shifting a physical illness or controlling pain.
Hypnosis & Stress
Hypnosis is in itself a state of deep relaxation, mental as well as physical. Therefore, just entering the hypnotic state is already on its own an effective way of reducing, managing and dealing with stress. In this relaxed mode, our body is able to regain strength, heal and repair itself.
Self-hypnosis will provide you with a powerful tool you can implement on your own to access this calm state at any time. As it also allows you to communicate with your subconscious mind, you can gain more control over your thoughts, feelings and responses and in this way, you can deal with the underlying causes of stress, as well as to increase focus and motivation, achieve goals more easily, improve your time management, change unhelpful habits, gain confidence, clarity and more.
There are many events that happen around us over which we have no control, but it’s our reaction to those events, rather than the events themselves that is crucial to our experience. Hypnotherapy is an enjoyable tool which can provide you with better ways for your subconscious to react to uncertainties and challenges that are just a normal part of life.