Alright let’s talk about hypnosis and what hypnosis is. It’s amazing how few people have tried this method to help shift their behaviors. There is a lot to discuss about hypnosis and more so why it isn’t used in the mainstream, even though it’s probably one of the most effective tools you could use to produce positive change in your life.
Hypnosis is an altered brain wave state. It allows you to bypass the critical faculty, which is a filter, it’s the critical thinking component of your conscious mind that prevents information from entering into your subconscious mind to take on new suggestions. Hypnosis is a state where you are more suggestible, meaning it’s easier for your subconscious mind to change conditioned belief systems. It’s incredibly effective and my first experience of hypnosis was out of some guy’s living room in Western Massachusetts.
I went to him to quit smoking because I knew a couple of people who were already successful working with him. I was amazed when it actually worked. It only took one session but I was also ready and one must be ready to quit a habit as addictive as cigarettes in order for hypnosis to be successful. You need an emotional desire to change for hypnosis to be effective; Gil Boyne one of the pioneers of hypnosis here in the U.S. coined that idea. Two years later when I was ready to give up drinking I went back to that same hypnotist and I quit alcohol in one session.
Keep in mind some people are more suggestible than others. It’s easier for some people to take on new suggestions. I am probably somewhere in between the suggestibility scale, but once you make a decision to change, like I did, hypnosis is a highly effective tool. Quitting drinking was the best day of my life. Hypnosis is only as effective when people are truly ready to give up a habit. Alcohol created so much pain and suffering for me, so I certainly had a strong emotional desire to change.
It had gotten out of hand and out of control, I was getting black out drunk about 5 days a week on average. I also convinced myself that I couldn’t go past the age of 30 still drinking because it would be that much more difficult to stop. It was like a mental hack or mind trick to help convince me to stop now before delaying. This allowed my mind to be ready to quit and 27 days before my 31st birthday I quit drinking.
It’s wild when we get into these habits and then it becomes this recurring pattern that we just can’t seem to get out of. So many people are in this situation where they know these habits are not good for them but they also can’t give them up. Mostly because there is a need being fulfilled and an emotional connection to these habits. Smoking and alcohol relieve stress. They bury emotions. Often smokers get a thrill smoking in social situations, fulfilling a need of acceptance they received in their teenage years. Hypnosis is not just for habits like smoking and drinking.
I’ve also overcome my irritation of being stuck in traffic, my fear of talking to women I’m attracted to, my fear of public speaking, my disgust of mushrooms, my fear of death, fear of failure, fear of success, my fear of making mistakes and a lot more. Hypnosis can be used for just about anything. It’s good for people who have trouble sleeping, public speaking, stress, anxiety, negative emotions, emotional outbursts, body dysmorphia, improving memory and confidence, overcoming self-limiting beliefs, test taking, sexual performance, weight loss and the list goes on and on.
It is even beneficial for physical ailments like migraines and once I helped someone overcome sweaty hands and feet which affects 2% of the population. Anytime the temperature in a room would go above 70 degrees my clients hands would start sweating and it was extremely frustrating for him as a business professional, as you can imagine.
Even though hypnosis worked for me in quitting two nasty habits in one session each, that isn’t always the case for people. The American Health Magazine did a study and they found that by doing 6 sessions of hypnotherapy you have a 93% success rate for any behavioral issue, in comparison cognitive behavioral therapy has a 72% success rate after 22 sessions, and psychotherapy has a 38% success rate after 600 sessions. Talk therapy isn’t that effective when it comes to changing behaviors. Six sessions is the magic number and typically you can achieve any result in that period of time. Sometimes it takes more, but typically no more than 10 sessions.
Your subconscious mind controls so much. It’s where your beliefs are stored, it controls your nervous system, it’s the seat of your emotions, it dictates your behaviors and it loves working with images. Often I use hypnosis with imagery and it’s so powerful for those with good imaginations. Here is an interesting statistic, by the age of 35 most people are operating unconsciously 95% of the time. Meaning your behavior is determined by programming from the past, and you act very much like a machine or a robot.
Another interesting thing to think about is that most of your programming happens before the ages of 7 and 11. This is the age period where our critical faculty develops, even though this isn’t scientifically accurate you can think about it as the period of time when you’re conscious and subconscious mind splits. The age of 7 is when reasoning develops. Before the age of 7 we are in a constant state of hypnosis. Our subconscious mind is in the forefront and it’s creating programs both physically and emotionally. These programs are often lumped with belief systems like not being good enough, or being unworthy, or whatever other limiting beliefs kids come up with.
Now I’m going to go over some frequently asked questions that I will answer because these are the questions that typically stop people from seeking out hypnosis. For starters why don’t more people try hypnosis? There are multiple reasons. First of all hypnosis trainings come in many different forms and it’s not highly regulated in most states. Colorado is one of two states that requires accreditation and a license number. So you can get an online weekend training and call yourself a hypnotist.
Many hypnotists are inexperienced and not well trained, which means there are a lot of hypnotists out there that give other hypnotists a bad name because they can’t produce the results like a well- trained hypnotist can. So do your research and see where there schooling is and how many years they have been practicing. Search and research the school they went to and see if it’s credible. Another thing to ask is if they call themselves hypnotherapists? I call myself a hypnotherapist and that is the training I got at the Hypnotherapy Academy of America in Albuquerque New Mexico. I use hypnosis as a form of therapy. I don’t do the street or staged hypnosis. I’m here to help people overcome the things they are suffering from.
Next question. Can everyone be hypnotized? The answer is yes and there are also experiences where people have difficulty going into hypnosis which needs to be addressed prior. The first concern is with the hypnotherapist itself because when in a state of hypnosis people feel vulnerable. They feel like they can be manipulated and if there is distrust when it comes to the hypnotist than the fear will stop you from going into a trance.
Rarely do clients go into a trance so deep that they can’t remember things and you would need great trust in your hypnotherapist for that to happen, regardless you are still going to receive the positive results from the session if you are in that deep state of a trance. So rapport is important and you want to find a hypnotherapist you can trust. Often you will find a lot of hypnotists that are a little quirky and eccentric which makes it difficult for a client to feel comfortable.
Another thing that prevents people from going into hypnosis. The fear of losing control. You’d be surprised how many people have this fear. So there are two things you need to understand when it comes to hypnosis to alleviate this fear. The first is that the hypnotherapist is not putting you into hypnosis, you are putting yourself into hypnosis. You are the one in control the entire time. If you want to go into hypnosis you will, if you don’t than you won’t.
The second thing is that there is this thing called the law of dominant emotion. Your subconscious mind is your survival mind and it’s there to protect you. It will never allow you to be put in harm. You will never do anything you don’t want to do and your subconscious mind will be certain of that. Your eyes will pop wide open if you get an instruction you don’t feel safe with – not that it’s ever happened before with one of my clients, but there was instances when I was hypnotized going back to a past trauma and I could feel my eyes wanting to pop open. My subconscious mind did not want to go to that past event, which is fine, sometimes you have to use less evasive methods like timeline therapy to deal with past traumas.
There are also people who say they can’t be hypnotized. Which is a belief and your beliefs reign true. It’s a limiting belief and in the spectrum of human beings we all go in and out of hypnosis all the time. For instance when you are driving a vehicle and zone out, that’s hypnosis. When you are watching television or a movie, you are in a state of trance. So the belief you can’t be hypnotized will prevent you from going into hypnosis but it’s actually not true, everyone can be hypnotized.
The last group of people are the over analytical. These are the people that think way too much. Conscious thinking will prevent you from going into trance. Asking questions like, “Is this working?”- or - “am I doing it right?” - will prevent you from going into trance. You don’t want to be thinking while you are going into trance. You want to trust the process and just go with the flow. Just listen to the hypnotherapist and it will be a pleasant process because hypnosis is a relaxing experience. It brings you into parasympathetic drive which is often called rest and digest. One of the main signs that you experienced hypnosis is relaxation and often people feel completely refreshed once they come out of hypnosis.
Another question is why are people so afraid to do hypnosis? Well for starters the fear of losing control is one reason. If you ever see staged hypnosis it’s such a strange experience for most especially the first time around and it’s used for comedic purposes but to watch people make a fool of themselves so effortlessly does make it look like there is a loss of control. You have to keep in mind the people who end up on stage are willing participants.
Typically a staged hypnotist will try to hypnotize the entire room, then maybe 10-15 people will get on stage and eventually a bunch of people drop from there because the fear of making a fool of themselves kicks them out of hypnosis leaving about a handful of people on stage. So as you can see you are in control to the point where you will not doing anything you don’t want to do, granted most of those people who end up on stage are likely the highly suggestible ones, which makes for a great show. About 10% of people are highly suggestible to hypnosis.
The other problem with people doing hypnosis is Hollywood. Hollywood gives hypnosis a bad name. In the movie ‘Get Out’ by Jordan Peele the main character gets hypnotized and he goes into a deep black hole where he becomes enslaved by a group of families that live out in the country. This is the farthest thing from accurate, but I’ve heard many people tell me they were afraid of hypnosis because of this movie. Hollywood movies do not depict hypnosis for what it is. Hypnosis is a therapeutic form of bypassing the critical faculty to get direct access to the subconscious mind so you can shift behaviors by the power of suggestion and imagery.
On the other hand willpower is the hardest way to change behavior. In fact there are several studies out there that say willpower doesn’t work at all especially for issues involving self-control. If you can find a way to tap into the subconscious mind than you will be able to make the changes you seek easily. The subconscious mind is the secret to your success and fulfilling on your goals. You can operate your machinery by manipulating the programming in your subconscious mind and there are many different ways to do that, like hypnosis.
Hypnosis has a 90% success rate after 6 sessions for behavioral changes. It is safe and it brings on a state of relaxation. You are in control and safe while in hypnosis, just take some time to find a qualified hypnotherapist to increase your success rate. Thank you everyone and I’ll see you next time.