Hypnosis What is is?
Hypnosis is a mental state similar to daydreaming and is sometimes referred to as being in a “trance”. For instance, thinking about a time when you were reading a book or watching a particularly compelling movie, did you ever get so engrossed in it that you were kind of disconnected from your life a little? As if transported into the story as you watch or read? This is a kind of trance.
Using Hypnosis for therapeutic reasons
When deliberately utilizing the trance state usually the purpose is to creatively explore or influence your mind while you are “disconnected” from your everyday life. This includes trying to make changes in reactions, habits and feelings when using hypnosis for personal change.
Different Levels of ‘Trance’
The trance state varies and has different levels – in a light trance for example you might still have passing thoughts such as remembering something you need to to later that day, ideally to try to let go of that thought so you can engage in the hypnotic process fully. In a much deeper trance state you are closer to falling asleep, but still listening. In a trance your mind tends to be more relaxed and open, but you are still in control, – you are not unconscious.
So in looking at the difference between meditation and hypnosis, with meditation you are in a sense trying to disconnect from your normal everyday waking state in a similar way to going into a hypnotic trance. The only real difference is that often meditation is geared towards having no thoughts and ideally, a totally quiet mind. Achieving this quietness of mind takes a lot of practice, at first you may only manage it for a minute or less. With hypnosis (and similarly Mindfulness) there is no necessity or requirement to have a totally quiet mind, rather, the ideal is to ‘let go’ of thoughts and no dwell upon them or be bothered by them.