The Power of Suggestion – Make Hypnosis Work for You

by Kim on March 18, 2010

Hypnotic dock

Okay, I promised in a previous article that I would cover hypnosis. Now, hypnosis can be a tricky subject because so many people have a pre-conceived idea of what it is. While I know most of my readers here are largely informed about hypnosis, the mainstream perception is still of someone waving a watch in front of their subject…You’re getting sleeeepy. Sound familiar?

Even those who understand hypnosis better than that may not fully be aware of the many possibilities offered by it. The two objections I hear most often are…

Hypnosis can’t help me.

Or

I can’t be hypnotized!

Actually, everyone can and everyone does experience hypnosis at least twice a day —

  • Have you ever missed your freeway off ramp because the road mesmerized you?
  • Have you ever gotten off of an elevator — on the wrong floor?
  • Ever zone out while channel surfing on the television?

These are all forms of induction into a hypnotic state.

The Truth About Hypnosis

Contrary to the belief that hypnosis is only about relaxation, hypnosis is actually an overload of message units for your brain. It is…

  • An overload of information…
  • That disorganizes our inhibitory process (the critical area of mind where we filter/accept or reject information)…
  • And triggers our fight/flight mechanism…
  • Ultimately creating a hyper-suggestible state, providing access to the subconscious mind.

Quite a mouthful indeed!

When we are overloaded with information, the critical mind is unable to process all the input. Our conscious selves shut down while the subconscious mind takes over…creating a state of hypnosis.  In other words, we get into a zone and kick into autopilot.  At the same time, we are suggestible to incoming information.

Think about it this way…Ever drive home from somewhere planning dinner, reviewing the events of the day or mentally organizing your huge ‘to do’ list and then not remember the drive home? Our subconscious mind “knows” how to drive — you don’t consciously think of how much pressure to place on the gas or brake pedal or how many degrees to the left you’re going to move the steering wheel.  You learned how to drive years ago and it is stored in your subconscious mind. It stays there – along with all that you’ve learned – as part of your life script.

Okay, so what does this have to do with personal growth or even business growth?

Be Mindful of Your Input

Our minds are accepting input all day, every day. We take in information from our environment, our conscious mind, our subconscious mind (programming from our past experiences), and from our bodies.

In our hectic and busy lives we are bombarded with information and become suggestible to ideas that we may not even register on a conscious level.  These suggestions can take root deep within our subconscious and are the driving force whenever the ‘autopilot’ kicks in.

It is essential that we pay attention to the types of information and input we accept. When we cultivate a subconscious based on positive and affirming messages, we can be assured that our entire being is working toward the personal and business success we seek.

How can you influence the suggestions you are receiving? Two of the most vital areas we can control are:

Our inner-dialogue: Is your inner dialogue negative, judgmental, or critical?  Is your inner-dialogue positive, loving, and encouraging? Are you focused on your successes or are you focused on your failures?  The wrong focus affects not only your self-esteem but also your interactions with your clients, readers, and colleagues.

Our environment: Is your environment conducive to success? Are you surrounded by naysayers or are you surrounded by people who support your endeavors?  Are you surrounded by encouraging, stimulating, meaningful relationships that help raise you up? Do you watch too much CNN a.k.a. Constantly Negative News?  Is your focus on lack or is your focus on abundance?

Your inner-dialogue and environment contribute to your attitude as well as the interactions with those you work with and serve. By creating a positive interior attitude and surrounding yourself with an uplifting support network, you can improve your personal and business success.

How great is that?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Weston March 18, 2010 at 11:07 am

Hey Kim,

Thank you for putting this up! I’ve always wanted a better understanding of hypnosis than the usual slowly swinging watch. Now I understand how I essentially lose conscious awareness when listening or watching certain things. After being overloaded by sensory information, my conscious awareness just shuts down.

In the case of formal hypnosis, how are messages directed to the subconscious?

Take care,
Ben

Reply

Kim March 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Hey Ben,

Happy to see you here!

In an initial consultation, if done properly, the hypnotherapist overloads the client with information to trigger the primitive fight/flight response. By engaging the flight response (since the client is not here to fight the session), the client ‘escapes’ and the hypnotherapist guides the client to relaxation. Here, the client is being conditioned — to the facilitators voice, to a progressive relaxation…

To be more effective with a client, I’ve tested how a person takes in information. Commands don’t do it for everyone, right? Some take in information literally and others take in information inferentially. We are all on a spectrum.

Part of overloading the conscious mind is about discussing the issue the client would like to work on — often it induces a level of stress. Add to that a comprehensive explanation of how it all works. Inducing flight / escape, then guiding the client to a calm state allows the facilitator to speak to the client’s subconscious.

Hope that helps. See you soon 🙂

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erin March 18, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Kim,
Thanks for this article – I’ve never thought of a negative stream of consciousness as a form of hypnosis. But it is, isn’t it? This is a great piece. I love your blog and your brilliant insights! 🙂
Keep shining,
Erin

Reply

Kim March 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Hi Erin,

I’m happy you stopped by.

Yes, it turns out there are over a hundred different levels of hypnosis. Awareness is key.

Hope to see you soon and keep turning out your awesome creative work!

Reply

Ben March 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm

People often miss how powerful the subconscious mind is. Everything that we experience including what we tell ourselves is repeated in driven deep into our subconscious. When we understand that we need to filter what information our subconscious receives the easier it becomes to approach life differently.

Great post Kim thanks for writing it.

Reply

Kim March 18, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Hey Ben,

Thank you for contributing!
Unfortunately the subconscious can be taken for granted. Learning how it can be tapped into and used effectively contributes to positive outcomes.

Cheers!

Reply

Baker March 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

The subconsious mind is very strong. I have found that aimlessly watching certain television programs also is a form of hypnosis, but is it the type of hypnosis that helps us? Or causes worry and more fear? You make a good point about watching our inner dialouge and our environment. This is a nicely done post with a great message.

Reply

Kim March 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Thanks Baker!

Good questions. I admit, I’m especially mindful of what I watch, read or think prior to sleep. What you focus on expands — it might as well be positive 😉

I appreciate you stopping by.

Reply

ayo March 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

hi kim,
how are you?
thanks for presenting/portraying another view to hypnosis and not sticking to the concept of look into my eyes, with a watch swinging back and forth……
this post addresses the subject of hypnosis with a different perspective
take care

Reply

Kim March 19, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hi Ayo,

Always good to see your smile.
I’m sure I’ve had a post or two that has put you in hypnosis 😉
Be well.

Reply

Catrien Ross March 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Kim, thank you for the warmth of your bright comment on my blog. And thank you again for another informative, inspiring post. You really zeroed in on the two conditions that can transform our perceptions and response – our inner dialogue and our environment. And the wonderful thing is, we have a choice about both – we can choose to ignore or change that inner dialogue, we can choose or consciously redesign the environment around us. And self-hypnosis, which has long been understood and applied in Oriental medicine, can be a truly valuable self-development tool.

Morning greetings to you from the mountains in Japan – Catrien Ross.

Reply

Kim March 19, 2010 at 12:01 am

Hello Catrien,

The pleasure was mine, your words moved me to change my scenery.
Meanwhile, we are still working to lessen the gap between Eastern and Western philosophies in health and wellness. We’re making headway through education and sharing. Thank you for contributing.

Reply

Tisha Berg March 19, 2010 at 6:55 am

Hello my friend!

Glad to see your post on hynosis…relating it to our inner dialogue and the environment was a great way to make it more accessible for the “masses.” As you noted in your response to Catrien, it’s all about sharing; and in doing so, changing the world – one piece of meaningful information at a time.
xo,
tisha

Reply

Kim March 20, 2010 at 9:49 am

Hello Tisha,

Still honing the message(s) with a supportive community for positive evolution. I’m happy to have been a conduit of sorts.
So great to have you here 🙂

Reply

Jeremy Johnson April 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Like the concept here of hypnosis – and your points are dead on. Just the other day coming home from work I was pulling in my garage thinking, “Gosh, how did I get here?” And a few months ago I just drove past the exit as I was going to work.

I’m fascinated by your insights in this area. I’ve used positive self talk with reasonable effect, but I know there is so much further I can take the inputs into my mind. Do you have any tapes/CD’s you recommend that you think would assist with this? Do you have a specific set of dialog or things you input before you go to bed? Thanks for your awesome website.

Reply

Kim April 4, 2010 at 9:18 am

Hi Jeremy,

There are many levels of hypnosis. Some people are not aware they are walking around and operating in this state!

In carrying the ‘Coach’ title, I haven’t highlighted that I’m a certified clinical hypnotherapist. I recommend using recordings that are tailored to you. The scripted recordings have their place, but they do not take into consideration HOW an individual receives information.

We are all on a spectrum that ranges from literal to inferential. For example, if you were to say to your wife, “I’m tired,” she may take you ‘literally’ at your word or ‘infer’ that it means you don’t love her.

If you listen to a canned script, certain words will resonate with you and others will not.

An effective method to use immediately is journaling. That is a post unto itself 😉

Reply

Jeremy Johnson April 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

Very interesting Kim – journaling is a good idea and something I haven’t done very often. So I can write what is going on at the moment each day. As for recordings tailored to me – that is a good suggestion. So I should create dialog that is very specific for me, not just general stuff like, “You are good, you can do it.”

Have you ever tailored scripted recordings for anyone? (I’m going to take a guess and say yes :))

Reply

Kim April 6, 2010 at 1:19 am

Yes, I have tailored recordings for clients. Prior to doing so, I evaluate how the person receives information and I discover some of their “keywords.” For example, the word “relax” does nothing for me, but the word “calm” resonates with me.

Journaling is an activity that works with the subconscious mind. You may be conscious of the content / words, but the strokes in penmanship are connected to the subconscious.

With consistency, writing down desired goals before sleep or having a gratitude journal does wonders.

Reply

Jeremy Johnson April 6, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Hmm, I’ve never thought about different words and the way they resonate with me. That’s a great point. I’m going to take 15 minutes at the end of each day and just write down a few things in a journal. Thanks!

Reply

Nichols Clinical Hypnotherapy July 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm

A very informative one. Some people doesn’t really believe in hypnosis. But this can be a mind opener for them.
Nichols Clinical Hypnotherapy´s last blog post ..Hypnosis, Brain Waves and Your State of Mind

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