Hypnosis is a powerful and mysterious process. We know a lot about what it can do and how to use it. What we don’t know is why – the underlying mechanisms behind trance and tapping into the unconscious mind.
But that comes later. Let’s start with what hypnosis is and why it has such incredible results.
The Two Yous: Two Ways Your Mind Operates
This is an oversimplification. But a useful one.
You think of yourself as ‘you’ – a single entity. Another way to view your mind is to separate it in two:
There’s the conscious mind – this is the part of you that thinks, plans, focuses, uses logic and takes action.
And there’s the unconscious mind – this is the part of you that feels, remembers, combines concepts, manages the body and takes care of things outside your awareness.
One way to think about them is the conscious mind is everything you can directly control. The unconscious mind runs automatically. Look back over those differences above. You can choose to think of a red ball, a smelly elephant or a clever rebuttal.
But you can’t choose to be happy, or angry – it just sort of happens. You can do things to help you feel happy, but that’s not like lifting your arm (a conscious action, one that you can control). Sometimes it’s more like trying to convince yourself to feel happy, as if your emotions were run by a separate person.
Another example: you meet an old friend on the street. You try and try to remember their name but it eludes you. After you walk away and your mind drifts to other topics, the name pops into your head. Trying to remember is like thinking – a conscious activity. Actually remembering is automatic – an unconscious activity.
- Following a habit is an unconscious activity, whereas ignoring a habit requires conscious attention.
- Feeling sensations in the body is an unconscious activity, whereas focusing on your right hand is a conscious activity.
- Being reminded of your childhood garden when you smell roses is unconscious, while researching how to grow roses is conscious.
- Your unconscious mind controls heartbeat and digestion, while you can consciously control your breathing.
This is just a small sample. Remember:
If something happens automatically, it’s unconscious,
If it only happens when you decide to do it, it’s conscious.
The Power of the Unconscious Mind
As you can imagine, the unconscious mind is powerful. It controls your habits, emotions, memories and sensations.
Whether or not you consciously agree is irrelevant.
Your conscious and unconscious mind don’t always want the same thing. This is why you sometimes say you’ll do one thing but do another. Have you ever vowed to skip dessert, only to cave when the cake menu comes round? Or have you gotten angry over something really silly? Do you have a bad habit that you just can’t shake, no matter what you try?
Don’t worry, it’s a part of being human. And you can fix this.
But you can’t fix it the way most people try to – buy fighting yourself. By struggling and straining against your desires, then beating yourself up when you fail.
Think about it: the unconscious mind is powerful and on your side. You can’t fight it and you shouldn’t.
There’s a better way: you can work with your unconscious mind.
That’s what hypnosis does. It allows you to access your unconscious mind, to resolve the conflict at its source. It’s working with your unconscious, not against it. This is how it creates such quick, lasting and drastic changes.
If the problem lies in your unconscious – and almost all problems do – then conscious thoughts don’t help. It’s like applying a cast to a healthy arm – the treatment is right, but it’s not where the problem is. Hypnosis allows you to talk to your unconscious mind, to find a solution and give it to the part of you that can use it.
This is how you change.
Never by fighting.
Only by working with your own thoughts, not against them.
And hypnosis is the best way to access those thoughts… and change them forever.