Your unconscious mind is always on and listening. It tracks the billions of bits of information coming from your body and the environment. It loves complexity and ambiguity, as it’s the finest pattern-finding machine on the planet.
As for your conscious mind, not so much. You can only focus on a couple of things at a time. It’s like an eccentric genius locked in an ivory tower – it misses most of what’s happening out there but, what it does notice, it thinks about deeply.
A hypnotic trance is your brain’s way of surrendering conscious control to your unconscious. There are certain things you just want to do, rather than think about.
In fact, thinking about these things tends to mess them up…
Like driving. Most people don’t realise that you can’t drive consciously. I don’t mean that you sleep at the wheel, of course. But if your conscious mind can only track a few things, how can it monitor your speed, lane position, road conditions, progress to your destination, other cars on the road and potential hazards?
The answer is it can’t. Sure, occasionally something might leap to your attention. If you see that you’ve missed your exit, that’s a good example. Most of the time, though, and for most experiences, you aren’t consciously in control.
(This isn’t an invitation to drive straight after seeing a hypnotist. That tends to be a very different sort of trance. Safety first!)
What about having a conversation? Do you deliberately select each word (and how to emphasise them)? Sounds exhausting.
Or do you set an intention – like “oh, I should tell her that funny supermarket story” – and trust that the words will come?
How about walking? If you had to deliberately move and contract each muscle to propel you forward, it would take you all day to reach the kitchen.
Instead, you set an intention and let your legs carry you.
A hypnotic trance is a state where your conscious mind steps back and your unconscious mind takes over. That’s how you navigate the world – through a shifting, overlapping series of light trances.
They are so light that you, appropriately, don’t even think about them.
Maybe these are too light to make my point. Want a more dramatic example?
Think about the last time you entered a flow state.
Artists and writers experience this often – where time melts away and you lose yourself in the task. It feels as if someone else is doing the hard work, while we sit back and enjoy it.
Even if you’re not an artist, there have been times when time seemed to warp. Either hours flew by and suddenly you’re hungry, or a single moment stretches to what feels like hours.
Cooking, reading, playing games, working on something challenging – these are all solid candidates for triggering the flow state.
Once you recognise that these experiences are hypnotic, self-hypnosis is easy. Simply think of how different it is to do these activities, as opposed to being in your normal awareness.
For some of you, this is enough to enter a self-hypnosis trance. If you’re not one of them, that’s okay. You’ll learn this in time – until then, what you need are inductions that are more robust.
Like the kind available in my self-hypnosis eBook. Follow these steps and you’ll find yourself in a deeply relaxing, meditative state.
And that’s only the beginning of what self-hypnosis can do for you…