How Hypnosis Can Change Your Life & Improve Your Mental Health

Nov 04, 2021
person standing on a hill

Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Hypnosis is an amazing tool for creating long-term change that lasts.

Modern science is starting to unravel the incredible benefits of hypnosis for mental health, yet it has had its footing in modern medicine for thousands of years.

Just do a quick web search for James Esdaile and his book, Mesmerism in India. He medically documented over 200 successful surgical procedures using only hypnosis and no anesthetic!

That’s pretty darn incredible, isn’t it?

Whatever your thought is about hypnosis, hypnotherapy, or even the hypnotist, there is definitely a stigma behind hypnosis due to movies, television, or a general misunderstanding of what it is or how it works.

In this blog, you are going to discover exactly how hypnosis can change your life. Then, you’ll uncover some of the ways it can help you.

Hypnosis 101

It’s probably easier if I just quickly explain what hypnosis isn’t first.

  1. Hypnosis isn’t mind control or for gullible people.
  2. It isn’t becoming unconscious, asleep, or unaware of what’s happening. That means you won’t give up your secrets or do things that are unethical or immoral.
  3. Hypnosis isn’t about the hypnotist dominating or having full control over your mind and body.

There. That was simple, wasn’t it?

The truth is, there is a lot of misguided information about what hypnosis is and isn’t, and I’d much rather you get the honest truth. So let’s talk about some hypnosis facts.

Fact #1: Hypnosis is all about context.

The environment and context of the situation ultimately determine the kind of hypnosis you might expect to participate in.

Think of it like this.

When you go out to a restaurant, you expect the serving staff or cooks to look and act the part, don’t you? If you show up to a fancy, extravagant restaurant, then you would probably expect the staff to wear nice, fancy clothes, wouldn’t you? Of course! That’s the context of the experience you are expecting.

Now, if that same fancy restaurant had the staff wear pirate outfits and talk in pirate talk, your experience probably wouldn’t be a very good one. That’s because you expected something to happen due to the environment and context of the situation.

Now, if that same fancy restaurant, again, had the staff wearing pirate outfits and it was a special pirate event, you would expect that type of environment and context, right?

THAT is what I mean by hypnosis being about context.

Depending on the situation and circumstance, there can be some understanding and expectation of what will happen with the hypnotist.

When it comes to the different situations around hypnosis, there are three different types of hypnosis a person might experience in their life.

The first and most widely used type of hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

You might be an active participant in this and not even know it. Self-hypnosis can happen when you are driving and suddenly arrive at your destination, having no clue how in the world you got there safely.

You might even be in self-hypnosis while in the zone or during a flow state. And if you are an active meditation practitioner, you are also practicing self-hypnosis.

That’s because ALL hypnosis is self-hypnosis. That’s right. Let me repeat that.

All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are the only person who can decide whether you want to go into hypnosis or not.

Hypnosis is about the participation of BOTH the hypnotist and the one being hypnotized. In other words, the hypnotist isn’t doing anything to you. YOU are the one doing it.

All the hypnotist is doing is giving you directions (close your eyes, take a deep breath in, etc.) and suggestions (now just allow yourself to let it go completely.)

Hypnosis is the facilitation of someone’s beliefs and imagination in such a way that they actively participate in their own experience. It isn’t a cause-and-effect relationship.

Instead, it’s this wonderful back and forth psychodynamic loop that ebbs and flows much like a gently swaying hammock.

Pretty cool, huh? Let’s talk about the second type of hypnosis you might experience.

The second and most widely known type is entertainment hypnosis.

The context of this hypnosis is that the participants will do silly and off-the-wall things. When you see a stage hypnotist or on television, there is an expectation of what will happen.

The stage hypnotist is expected to take the participants on stage through various exercises where they’ll suddenly be quacking like ducks whenever they hear their name. The audience expects to be entertained.

The impromptu street hypnotist is expected to walk up to people on the street, ask them if they want to be hypnotized, do so, and then stick their hand to their forehead. The crowd around the hypnotist expects to be entertained.

Likewise, the actor on television playing the role of a hypnotist is expected to use hypnosis in unorthodox ways, like using it to force their subject into submission, or that someone will become ‘hypno-locked’ in a trance, like being black-out drunk. You, as the audience member watching, expect to be entertained.

That makes sense, doesn’t it?

So now you can start to understand even more where a lot of the stigma behind what hypnosis is and isn’t comes from.

Because this is the type of hypnosis that is most often portrayed, it can be unfortunately easy for people to get the wrong idea about hypnosis and just how much it can help!

Like I mentioned earlier, though, it’s all about context!

Because of the widespread misinformation, the use of hypnosis for therapeutic means (overcoming PTSD, OCD, anxiety, etc.) or even personal development (getting rid of stress, becoming extremely confident, etc.) has been an uphill battle.

That brings us to the last type of hypnosis you might experience.

The most misunderstood but most beneficial type of hypnosis is hypnotherapy.

As I mentioned earlier, because of the misunderstanding around hypnosis, people often overlook the possibility of using hypnotherapy to help them manage their mental health or overcome difficulties in their lives.

They may think that if they see a hypnotist or hypnotherapist for help, that somehow they’ll reveal deep dark secrets, lose all self-control, or worse, forget who they are entirely!

Now that you understand the truth about hypnosis, all of that seems pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it?

The fact is, hypnosis and hypnotherapy are incredible at helping a person overcome unwanted feelings, irrational fears, negative intrusive thoughts, and even unwanted behaviors!

When you decide to see a qualified hypnotherapist, like me (btw, claim your free strategy call right now by clicking here), YOU are the highest priority there.

The client (you) will often seek out a hypnotherapist as a last resort. Often they are sick of coping with a problem, doing unwanted behaviors, or absolutely can’t do it on their own.

They know something has to change, they are the ones who have to do it, and it needs to happen right now.

This might seem familiar to you in some way.

If so, you would really (and I mean really) benefit from working with a hypnotherapist.

Fact #2: Hypnosis can help your mental health.

So by now, you are probably wondering, “How does hypnosis work, exactly?”

Like I mentioned earlier, hypnosis is about engaging the beliefs and imagination in a different way. What the heck does that mean?

Hypnosis is about flexing your mind in a new and unique way. Going into trance (another word for hypnosis) is a skill that requires practice. Dave Elman, a famous hypnotist in the 1900s, discovered a hypnotic principle called fractionation. To put it in simple terms, fractionation is hypnotizing someone and bringing them back out of trance, then putting them back into hypnosis again. Doing this causes the person to go deeper and deeper into trance.

That’s because, as I mentioned a moment ago, hypnosis is a skill and, once practiced enough, can become easier and easier to do.

This is why, if you’ve never experienced hypnosis before, it will benefit you to have an experienced hypnotist who can guide you through the process of going into trance.

(If this is you, then claim your free strategy call right now by clicking here because I’d love to hear from you)

Introducing your conscious mind

In the early 1800s, doctors, professors, and expert hypnotists discovered something interesting happens when you are in hypnosis! They found the secret behind how hypnosis can help your mental health, and it has to do with something called the critical faculty.

Imagine the critical faculty is like a filter that goes between something called your conscious mind and your unconscious mind.

First, let’s talk about your conscious mind.

Your conscious mind is actively reading the words on this screen right now. It’s the part of your mind that you can move your attention around with.

For example, if I asked you to notice the temperature in the room you are in right now, you can shift your attention to the sensation of the temperature in the room. Now, allow yourself to become aware of your tongue in your mouth.

Yikes! Where did that come from?!

Unfortunately, your conscious mind has its limitations. While it’s the part of your mind that allows you to experience your subjective reality directly, the ability to focus your attention is really (and I mean really) finite.

This is known as Miller’s Law. George Miller was a professor of psychology and mathematics at Princeton University, and he discovered what he calls the Magic Number 7 (plus or minus 2).

In simple to understand terms, think of it this way.

Imagine your conscious mind as a glass tube with different colored marbles inside of it. This glass tube only has space for seven different marbles inside of it at any given moment.

Just imagine all seven colors of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) as their own individual marbles inside this tube.

Got it? Ok, great.

Now your conscious mind is the glass tube. It’s only capable of holding in its focus of attention about seven different marbles.

(Note: The plus or minus 2 of Miller’s Law just means that some people can actually experience up to 9, while others are limited to as little as 5)

This means that each of the marbles represents something you’re able to focus your attention on. So you might be aware of the words on the screen (red marble), noticing the clothes on your body (orange marble), so on and so forth.

Every time you shift your attention to something else, imagine you push a new marble into the tube, and one of the marbles pops out the other side. So once you bring something new into your awareness, that means you’ve also lost something else from it.

The glass tube and marbles also work with negative thoughts, difficult emotions, and even unwanted behaviors.

With me so far? Of course you are!

When something stressful happens to you, suddenly, your conscious mind replaces one of the marbles with a black marble. Now, if you notice how the stressor affected you and start to feel bad, you’ve shifted your attention to the emotion and popped another black marble into the glass tube!

Suddenly you start becoming aware of how bad you feel, and it makes you think of other times in your life you’ve felt this way… (black marble), which makes you remember that thing your mom or dad said to you when you were 10… (and another).

Now your conscious mind is full of black marbles, you are stuck in a cycle, and all you seem to be able to do is fill your glass tube with black marbles!

Phew! Maybe this is you? Maybe this is how your day-to-day thoughts and emotions go? For some people, they can’t seem to get out of the neverending black marble loop, and for others, they aren’t even aware it’s happening to them.

I’m sure we’ve all been there a time or two (heck, I have!), and it really, really sucks, doesn’t it?

So how does any of this help your mental health?

Well, it all has to do with the direct relationship between your conscious mind and your unconscious mind.

Your unconscious mind & the critical faculty

You now know that your conscious mind can only focus your attention on about seven different things. That means your unconscious mind is what’s taking in all the rest of your sensory information.

Remember when I asked you to shift your attention to your tongue earlier? (Ooo, I got you again, didn’t I?) Well, the question becomes, “Where did your tongue go?” It’s always been there, yet somehow your tongue goes completely unnoticed until you focus your attention on it.

This is where something called your unconscious mind and critical faculty comes in.
You see, your unconscious mind contains all of your beliefs, past experiences, personality traits, automatic behaviors, habits, routines, and core values.

Your unconscious mind is what helps you remember your address, your phone number, and the instructions on how to put your pants on. It keeps your heart beating without your active participation, and it takes over the driver’s wheel while you are on your way to work, daydreaming in the car.

It’s also why sometimes it feels like you are completely incapable of change.

Sometimes it can feel like your body and mind have taken over, and you end up saying or doing something you later regret. Maybe you got angry at a spouse and said something mean. It was like you didn’t have any control over the behavior, and your words just spilled out like dropping a bucket full of paint.

The unconscious part of your mind realistically runs about 95% of your day-to-day operations. When you get up and do your usual morning routine, the same patterns of habit you perform are all stored in your unconscious mind.

In the same way, it can seem like you are out of control of your words or actions; your day-to-day life is pretty much running in the same fashion.

The typical drive to and from work, getting a shower, brushing your teeth, cooking, your job duties, your evening routine, your workout habits, the way you eat….

The list goes on... and on... and on….

While you think you may be in total control of your life, the truth is, you really aren’t. At least, not in the traditional sense!

It would be TERRIFYING to have to consciously manage more than seven different things at any given time.

Imagine trying to drive to your favorite coffee shop (or ice cream shop, or whatever), but you had to consciously perform EVERY action.

“Ok, how do I fire this muscle? How do I use my body to turn the wheel? How do I keep track of all the small details of driving, like operating the wheel, the pedals, using my muscles and my eyes, while also keeping track of everything around me?!”

Yikes! That’s a LOT of stuff to focus on. Luckily you have your unconscious mind to handle it all.

To put it another way—you only need to worry about seven different colored marbles in your glass tube at any given time, but your unconscious mind is handling about 2 MILLION marbles a second.

YEAH. Imagine trying to manage THAT.

There is a downfall to this responsibility that your unconscious mind is holding, though. Your unconscious is child-like, meaning it’s malleable and capable of change. It’s also very literal.

What do I mean by that?

When you were a child, your parents probably told you about fictional characters being real, like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. And, as a child, you also definitely believed them, up until a certain point. (I hope!)

Until a certain age, usually 8 or 9, children live practically unconsciously. That means they are constantly using their imagination, learning, growing, and developing into tiny humans.

Just like YOU, children learn everything through observation and mimicry. At this stage, a child will learn behaviors, beliefs, values, religious views, world views, etc. It’s during this process of development that everyone develops something called their critical faculty.

The critical faculty is like a sophisticated filter where we will start to either accept or reject, like or dislike, or even love and hate certain things. This filter keeps you safe by telling you to turn around when you are in a dark alley and helps you find a significant partner through personal selection.

In other words, your critical faculty is what keeps your child-like and malleable unconscious mind safe.

This means if you have high self-esteem as a strong unconscious belief, then when somebody says something mean to you, your critical faculty turns on and rejects what they said.

“That’s not MY belief,” says your critical faculty, “It’s THEIRS!”

In the same way as your unconscious mind, the critical faculty is something you developed over time, meaning you’ve learned absolutely everything inside this filter.

Whether it was from watching your parents, listening to your peers, or having experiences that were painful and hurtful, your critical faculty was developed and formed from everything you’ve experienced.

This sophisticated filter is why, as an adult, you would laugh in my face and say, “Yeah right!” if I told you that Santa Claus was on top of the roof during the Holiday season.

And yet, if you told a child the same thing, their eyes would light up like a bright star, and they would become excited with joy!

They haven’t learned the hard truth because their critical faculty is still developing.

So how does this help us?

How hypnosis can help your mental health

Well, when someone is in a deep trance, their critical faculty takes a backseat.

Yep, you heard that right. When you are in a deep state of hypnosis, your critical faculty temporarily goes offline, and your sweet-baby unconscious mind becomes readily available to receive open communication without a filter.

That means, in a deep state of hypnosis, your mind becomes just like if you were a child. Meaning if I suggested to you that dancing bunnies were outside in the hallway, you would get excited about the possibility of seeing these cute little furballs doing the jig.

So when it comes to your mental health, your unconscious mind opens up to the possibility of new beliefs, different values, truthful feeling affirmations, and confidence-boosting suggestions. As a child, you may have believed in Santa Claus, and just like that, during hypnosis, you’ll open up to new potentials and possibilities.

It’s during this window of limitless potential that an experienced hypnotherapist would give suggestions and directions on ways to improve your life.

“And you can just begin to let it all go. That’s right...allow yourself to gently release all of the hurt and pain from the past few hours, days, weeks, and years...letting it all go right now….”

There are also certain step-by-step procedures, called hypnotic protocols, that hypnotherapists can do, which, when performed, will create rapid, lasting changes to a person’s life.

This means through various methods of suggestion, direction, and running protocols, you can finally be free of unwanted feelings, like anxiousness, stress, sadness, grief, pain, hurt, discomfort, shame, guilt... (you get the point).

The reason hypnosis works is because, if you remember from earlier, your unconscious mind is running the show. It’s through your unconscious mind that you do the things you do, say the things you say, and believe the things you believe.

And your critical faculty will only let the stuff through that correlates and is agreed upon by your unconscious mind.

Meaning, for example, if you say affirmations but don’t really believe what you say, then you’ll never get the results you want.

Imagine saying the affirmation of “I am rich and wealthy” but having the internal belief of, “I really dislike people with money!” How do you think that would go for you?

Would you ever achieve being wealthy if you didn’t really like people who were that way? Of course not.

While in hypnosis, however, you’ll believe you are worthy of being rich and wealthy because your unconscious mind is open and available to receive positive suggestions since your critical faculty is offline.

That means when your critical faculty comes back online, it will now have the new internal belief of “I am rich and wealthy” to start accepting. Suddenly your affirmation has a deeper meaning than just being words on a page.

That’s pretty simple to understand, isn’t it?

This is what makes hypnosis such an incredibly powerful tool of positive change.

Are you ready to get help from a professional?

When you make the decision to work with an expert like me in the field of hypnotherapy and hypnosis, you are opening a window of possibility for your life to be different.

This opening of opportunity is enough to help you transform discomfort into confidence, fear into strength, and shame into wisdom. That means as a board-certified hypnotherapist, I can help you to finally:

  • Stop negative intrusive thoughts
  • End compulsive self-sabotaging behaviors and procrastination
  • Overcome anxiety and stress
  • Conquer overwhelming emotions
  • Eliminate fears or phobias
  • Let go of grief, loss, or difficult past experiences
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Become more confident
  • Improve your self-esteem and self-image
  • Unleash your creativity
  • Improve your athleticism
  • Find your purpose or passion
  • Easily transition careers or jobs

If you are even slightly curious about if hypnosis could change your life, then you are invited to claim your free one-hour strategy call with me by clicking here. Of course, you are free to choose to keep living life the way you always have, but if you are serious, and I mean really serious, then we need to talk.

When you book your call with me, we’ll discuss a plan on how you can finally find clarity, peace, and freedom.

The best part is that it’s absolutely free.

Claim your free strategy call with me!

We’ll dive deep into what you want and make a plan on how we can get you there.

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