The hypnosis definition that’s almost useful

Sometimes the simplest explanations turn out to be the most complex.

For example:

Happiness is a tricky topic. Psychologists have studied it for decades.

They know some things about it – like how woeful folks are at self-reporting their happiness. Leaving some loose change in a vending machine’s coin return makes people thrilled.

Thrilled enough to rate their total life happiness about a point higher out of ten.

So either this is a cheap and easy remedy to all the world’s miseries… or recent happy surprises skew everything.

And psychologists know some tricks that boost happiness in most people. Things like having a rich social life.

But it’s rarely as simple as “do more X to be happy”.

Let’s say I told you happiness is all about smiles.

If you want to be happy, smile more.

And you can measure someone’s happiness by how easily they smile.

Well, that sure sounds simple. And it’s probably true, even if it’s not the whole truth.

But there’s a lot of hidden complexity there.

How does smiling create happiness?

Happiness seems to come from living a fulfilling life. Is that not the case? Could you do nothing but smile all day and feel the same?

What about folks who are so sad, they’ve mastered the art of faking smiles?

And so on…

It’s similar with this simple, true, yet surprisingly complex definition for hypnosis:

Hypnosis is a process that puts you in an altered state of consciousness, which we call a trance.

Again, that sounds simple and is mostly true, but it masks a lot of complexity.

Is hypnosis the only thing that can alter your state of consciousness? Clearly not. Falling asleep does that far more drastically than your typical trance.

Is hypnosis the only thing that can put you in a trance? I guess that depends on your definitions. But I’ll say this – you can enter a hypnotic trance without a hypnotist around and without meaning to. In fact, it probably happens more often than you realise.

Can you hypnotise someone without putting them in a trance? Again, that depends on your definitions. But you can definitely hypnotise someone without them closing their eyes or even noticing anything different is happening.

Right or wrong, this definition of hypnosis has problems. It doesn’t tell you how to use it or what you could do with it. It somehow creates ‘trance’ – whatever that is – which is not even unique to the hypnotic arts.

It’s the sort of definition you find in a dictionary – accurate yet, by itself, unusable.

Definitions are funny things. They’re the conscious mind’s attempt to separate, label and categorise the world.

It’s a uniquely human power – and a big part of our success story.

But definitions can distract you. You can know the name of every step, yet still not know how to dance. Or you can label every organ in the body, yet still not know how to do surgery.

You might even know what’s holding you back… but that’s not the same as moving forward.

That’s where you need experiences for your unconscious mind to learn.

Try to overpower your problems and you’ll always have them.

Experience freedom from your challenges and you will be free of them.

Sign up for a session and let you experience that now:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: