What Hypnosis Is

Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state. Many people believe they can’t “get” hypnotized when, actually, they fall into trance all the time. For example, in boring classes or lectures, you may notice your mind “wandering.” Where does it go? Generally, when something rouses you out of your reverie, you might not even know what you were thinking when it “went”. That’s trance, or self-hypnosis. Your mind simply blanked out into a pleasant state of relaxation–until someone drew your attention to the fact that you weren’t paying attention. Another example occurs all the time during driving. That may be more of an explanation for accidents than cellphones. People’s focus simply drifts off due to the monotony of the road. In fact, on the open road this phenomenon has a name–road hypnosis. Still another example occurs when you read a great book or see a riveting movie. Not only do you forget or not notice your surroundings, but you may become so involved with the characters that you feel emotions related to their lives. Haven’t we all seen–and succumbed to–some “tear-jerkers”? Why do we cry at fiction? — Because we are “in” it; we become part of the story. That is the objective of the author and screenwriter. And we like it too. It’s a way of leaving our reality for a little while; it’s a break. Same thing with hypnosis. You have just explained self-hypnosis that just sort of “happens.” What about going to a therapist for hypnosis? In all the examples above, there are three key elements: The desire or willingness to relax or drift off, the presence of...
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