There are many definitions of hypnosis. One common one is “a state or condition in which the client becomes highly responsive to suggestions.”
Hypnosis can happen formally in a hypnotist’s office when the client is relaxing and listening to positive suggestions. Hypnosis can happen in many other situations as well. Hypnosis also happens to all of us naturally every day. Whenever we’re in the alpha brainwave state, we’re especially open to suggestions. Have you noticed that the car is a great place to daydream? As you drive that familiar route, your thoughts naturally turn inward, imagining, planning, or remembering. It can also happen while you listen to the radio as you drive. You may find yourself feeling a certain way in response to what is playing on the radio. You may become open to inspiration while listening to music, commercials, or become fearful because of what is playing in the news. You’re also in the alpha state and very suggestible when you read, creating images in your mind. Every time you fall asleep, you pass through the alpha state.
We spend much of our time in hypnosis, and you are your own greatest and most convincing hypnotist. You might have heard yourself think or say something like, “I have an addictive personality,” “Everyone in my family is overweight, so I am too,” or “As soon as I make some money, something happens, and I have to spend it all.” On the other hand, you may have heard yourself think or say, “I excel at everything I do,” “I was born lucky,” or “Every day is full of opportunities.”
The most important thing to remember about hypnosis is that you always have the power to accept or reject suggestions. You know how it is when a salesperson is trying to convince you to buy something. You have a choice: You can choose to be convinced, or you can say, “Thanks anyway,” and walk away. You can do the same to your own thoughts and others’ suggestions. You first have to become aware that you’re receiving suggestions.
Become empowered and decide to take charge of your own hypnosis. First, make sure to listen to what you think and say to yourself. It might help to write these thoughts down. When you become aware of a thought that is not serving you, rewrite it in a way that is stating what you want, not what you don’t want. Repeat the new statement out loud or in your mind.