What Is Hypnosis? Part 2

June 11, 2018 | By More

Part 2 of 3

By Luke Michael Howard PhD

When it was game day, when there were multiple millions of dollars on the line in sponsorship money, in prize money, and the accolades have been awarded to the very best golf player in the world, when it came to perform, he was no longer working consciously because he’d drilled it over and over again. And if he didn’t get it by that point, then he wasn’t going to get it on that day. Many athletes will say they go into that flow state where they’ve done all the training… then comes time to perform. And they perform and they win their tournament. You can use the same metaphor for an actor or a dancer. They practice and they practice and they practice until they get to the big show night. And if they’re thinking, if they’re inside their heads trying to consciously do all the stuff they practiced,  and there’s a disconnect with the audience,  you can feel it. There’s a disconnect with their unconscious, if you will, and they don’t perform well.

But they trust their unconscious mind. Because they’ve drilled it so many times, their unconscious mind just takes over like that. And they go into a flow state where they’re not thinking, they’re not doing, they’re simply being. They are the thing that they’ve practiced over and over again in that moment, however long that moment lasts to complete that tournament, to win that prize, or that performance. In that flow state where you’re not a second in the future or a minute in the past – you’re right there and you’re present and you’re performing at the highest level.

That’s another form of hypnosis that I like to note. And most of us have experienced this in some form or fashion. Some of us might be professional athletes, professional dancers, actors, performers. Yet sometimes, you might have just been walking, it’s a beautiful day outside. Then just in that moment, you’re feeling your feet touch the sidewalk, for my North American friends, or the pavement, for my European friends. And you just feel it, you feel every step. And you’re just there in the moment and you’re just so free and your mind is so clear. Another example of mindfulness. Another example of hypnosis and that flow state if you will.

Everyone can be hypnotized. Who wants to be hypnotized? We’re hypnotized multiple times a day. If you’ve ever daydreamed in your life, you’ve been hypnotized. Have you’ve ever been caught up in reading a book, and then suddenly you look at your watch and what feels like a couple of minutes is really a couple of hours, you are surprised and can’t believe it. Or you’ve been so engulfed in a movie that you look at your watch when the movie’s ended and you’re like, “Oh my, two hours has gone by? It seemed like it was just 10 minutes.” It’s another form of hypnosis actually. Time distortion in hypnosis. We do it all of the time.

Another form of hypnosis is what we call highway hypnosis. Have you ever been driving home from work (you’ve been making the same drive for 10 or so years) when you automatically you get in your car and you drive to your old home thinking that was your home. You forgot you weren’t doing it consciously and you arrive at your old home and realize “ I don’t live here anymore.” But what happens in that 10, 20, 30-minute journey, you were just driving automatically. You were aware on some level that you were driving, yet it was happening involuntarily. It’s another form of hypnosis.

For me, hypnosis is about letting go. Because only three things need to be present for you to be hypnotized, and you’ve been hypnotized involuntarily, passively, each day. Every time you go past that billboard advertising something you don’t need and it gets into your mind over and over again, that’s a form of hypnosis. Or you stay up late and watch those late night infomercials (like I do if I stay at a hotel somewhere), it’s a massive form of hypnosis where at 3 o’clock in the morning, you think, “Well, actually I think it’s a good idea to purchase one of those Ginsu knives that cut through a boot.” Now I’ve never needed to cut through a boot with a knife but at 3 o’clock in the morning, sometimes that just seems like a cool idea.

We’re all being hypnotized multiple times a day. My job as a hypnotist is to help you to better hypnotize yourself, to help you choose your trances so your trances don’t choose you. Example of this is someone who’s really, really angry all the time, or most the time. Or someone who’s really very depressed and sad all the time. They’re hypnotized. You’re hypnotized. You think when you’re very, very sad for a long period of time or when you’re very angry, that’s not your normal state. That’s an altered state. An altered state, by its very definition, is a form of hypnosis. Something else is going on. It’s not who you are. It’s just something that you’re doing in that particular moment. Albeit, you might not be doing it consciously with volition. Hence, it’s a form of hypnosis.

As I’ve said previously, everyone can be hypnotized – you’re hypnotized every single day. Any time you’re in a loop of thought, an obsessive-compulsive thought that goes over and over again inside your head, it’s a form of hypnosis. Yet you don’t think you have any control of it. And I’m here to tell you right now you’re right, and then on another level, you’re not right. But we’ll get into that in the control podcast when we eventually do that. For me, hypnosis is simply about letting go. When I get a lot of people into my office, all my metaphors point back to them letting go, not just mentally but physically.

In hypnosis, you do not need to try to do anything. You don’t need to try to picture something, try to bring up that feeling, try to hear that. You don’t need to try and do anything. You just simply do it, it’s the new normal. It’s an automatic response. It’s taking one automatic response of whenever John looks at me this way, I get angry. It’s taking that automatic response and changing it into every time John looks at me, I feel neutral or I feel loved. Whatever it may be. It’s about changing the automatic response that you normally have into a new automatic response.

Always Believe, Luke

Part 3 next issue of Tone

Category: Articles, Health & Natural Therapies

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