What comes to mind when you hear the word hypnosis? An illusionist with a pocket watch? For me, it is the terrifying teacup scene from the movie Get Out! There are hundreds of thousands of myths around hypnotherapy, and today we are going to disprove some of them and see how it can be useful to us.
Can it make me quit smoking? Is there hypnosis to lose weight? Is sleep hypnosis a real thing or just another scam?
There are many things hypnotherapy can accomplish and many things it cannot, but you will be surprised to know that hypnosis is 100% backed by science. It has only been slightly distorted in film and television.
Can I hypnotize the girl I like to go out with me? Probably not, but who knows? Let’s find out!
What’s the deal with hypnosis?
While researching I came across hundreds of definitions from different academics, reading everything made me dizzy, it was almost hypnotizing (I’m hilarious, I know).
However, we came here to learn how to be better people (and maybe how to date a pretty girl), so this is the simplest definition I found: hypnosis is a technique for correcting behavior through suggestion. Easy, short, clean.
With the definition, we demolish the first myth about hypnotherapy, the person who is hypnotized does not remain unconscious or asleep, quite the opposite. For hypnosis to be effective, the person must be awake, in all their senses, and must be willing to be subjected to the process.
So no, you can’t force anyone to date you, sorry. Try to take showers more often.
Hypnosis awakens certain brain activities and mental processes that can enhance or dissipate some abilities of the brain. So in theory yes, you can quit smoking or lose weight through hypnotherapy.
It’s basically an RPG
If you stop for a second to think about it, we are all playing a role play every day. Sometimes you are a level 55 parent. Other times you are an office paladin. Some days you must play as the designated driver warrior of the drinks night. We are always fulfilling a role, it is normal and necessary so that we can all live together in a society.
When a person is subjected to hypnosis, he is assuming the role of being the hypnotized one, and that state of mind is what allows effects on behavior. It is like over-sensitizing the brain to external stimuli so that they have greater impacts on us. The hypnotized one expects to feel and experience certain things, and the hypnotist validates those sensations. Sounds fun right? Scary… but fun! Like bungee jumping.
Myths about hypnotherapy, what is true and what is not?
Research on hypnosis has come a long way in recent decades. Luckily, today we can differentiate what is accurate and supported by science and what is only urban stories.
- It does not happen while you are asleep. As we already learned, for hypnotherapy we must be fully aware and alert, at no time do we fall into a “hypnotic coma”.
- The hypnotized person is not weak-minded. There are those who believe that to be hypnotized you must be very gullible, but the truth is that the mental processes that this involves have nothing to do with being unbelieving.
- You can’t hypnotize someone to do something they don’t want to do. The subject must be one hundred percent willing to go through the process for it to be effective.
- There is no posthypnotic amnesia. When you are hypnotized you are fully aware of your surroundings and what is happening at all times.
- There are qualified psychotherapeutic techniques that involve hypnosis. It is not a thing for street magicians.
- The person cannot be trapped in a state of hypnosis. The subject can interrupt the process at any time and does not depend on the hypnotist to get out of it.
Hypnosis and therapy
Of course, not everything is laughter and jokes. Hypnosis has not been studied to be used in parties or to scam people on the streets. How can hypnotherapy be used to treat mentally ill patients?
When hypnotized, the patient enters a state of suggestion and for that attention is needed. It can be achieved that the subject enhances their memories or focuses on emotions that they normally oppress from day to day. Let’s say that someone suffers from great stress, but cannot reach the original source of it, with hypnotherapy the patient can remember some trauma or a childhood experience that was always there but always ignored. Hypnosis helps us clear distractions in the mind and focus on what we are looking for.
This technique has been shown to be effective for people who are grieving or have suffered a traumatic experience in their lives.
So now you know, if you want to trick someone into dating you, rent a Ferrari for a day, but leave hypnosis out of it.
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