Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state. Everyone enters that state many times per day. It is a state where the critical/judging part of your conscious mind is by-passed, to some degree, and because of this suggestions given at this time are more likely to ‘stick’ in your mind and take effect.
Your brain operates in four general states determined by the frequency of the electricity generated within it. The four states include Full Conscious Awareness, the Hypnotic State, the Dream State, and the Sleep State.
Full Conscious Awareness is where we spend most of our waking hours. In this state, our mind is attentive and uses logic to reason, evaluate, assess, judge, and make decisions. Unfortunately, when making life changes, the conscious mind often gets in the way.
In the Hypnotic State, the doorway between the conscious and the subconscious is opened, memories become easily accessible, and new information is stored. In the Hypnotic State, you are not really "thinking" in the traditional sense. You are "experiencing" without questioning, without critical judgment or analysis, like when you watch a movie, or when you are day dreaming.
In this state a hypnotherapist can make suggestions that are very likely to "stick" - precisely because your conscious mind is not getting in the way. You are not "judging" or being "critical" of the suggestions.
You pass through all four bands sequentially as the electrical activity decreases on your way to sleep and as it increases up on your way to total wakefulness. Regardless of whether you are on your way to sleep or to wakefulness, when you pass through the upper theta/lower alpha range we go into hypnosis automatically.
Although we all spend time each day in that state we call hypnosis, in order to be hypnotised by someone you must want to go into hypnosis and follow the hypnotist's direction to the letter.
Because in hypnosis you by-pass the conscious mind to some degree, by consciously not wanting to go into hypnosis you will prevent yourself from entering it. So, you are in control. You can choose to let yourself relax or not. There is no hypnotist on the planet who can hypnotise you against your will.
Most people love the relaxed feeling you get in hypnosis, but some people don’t want to go into hypnosis for some reason. Often it is fear of the unknown. But really it’s not unknown, we go into that state when we fall asleep, when we awaken, or when we are focused on one task, like driving.
For some people it is a concern that someone is going to put suggestions into your head that you don’t want? Remember your conscious mind is by-passed to some degree, but not totally, you are always aware at some level of what is being said and YOU CHOOSE to accept it or not. Now does this mean that the hypnotised member of the audience in a stage hypnosis show can choose not to act like a fool, YES definitely!
In answer to the question of whether everyone can be hypnotised, the answer is, “NO”. Only those who choose to be and those who have enough mental capacity to follow directions, can be hypnotised.
What does it feel like when you are falling asleep? What does it feel like when you allow your mind to wander and daydream? Well that’s what it feels like in hypnosis. It’s relaxing physically and mentally.
There are levels of hypnosis. Light hypnosis feels very much like the normal waking state, as you go deeper you feel more relaxed. The worst thing about hypnosis is having to come out of it!
You can split the mind into two parts, the conscious mind and the unconscious mind.
The conscious mind contains at any particular time, all the things that you are conscious of, like reading this, the noises around you, what you are looking at.
The unconscious mind contains all the things that you are not conscious of at this exact moment. For example, your heart beat, your digestive processes, a memory from childhood, your breathing, your phone number. Now as soon as you read this you may put some of these things into your conscious mind, but where were they before that?
When you go to sleep at night who/what controls your breathing rate, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels. These are all controlled by your unconscious mind.
So if you have a problem with a habit, bodily process or a belief that limits you, by implanting suggestions in the unconscious mind you can overcome these problems.
Hypnosis is used for many things. The list is exhaustive but here are some of the more common things;