Before we look at how hypnosis works, let’s begin with what is hypnosis.
- A state of focused attention
- When a person is in an auto pilot mode
- A process that shifts one’s awareness from outside to inside
- A type of negotiation with unconscious mind
- A process to bypassing critical filter of mind
- A state of hyper suggestibility
All the above could be summarized as
Hypnosis is a way to access & suggest to a person’s subconscious mind directly.
So how hypnosis works?
In order to understand the process of hypnosis and how it works, one needs to understand the model of mind and the functions of the different parts of mind.
The Conscious Mind (10-12 %):
Normally, you are only aware of the thought processes in your conscious mind. You consciously think over the problems that are right in front of you, consciously choose words as you speak, consciously try to remember where you left your keys.
But in doing all these things, your conscious mind is working hand-in-hand with your subconscious mind
- It is like the CPU of a computer with current rules of life
- Its functions include thinking, finding logic, feeling, analyzing, deciding, controlling voluntary body movements
- The conscious mind exercises what we call will power.
- It is also the place of working memory (memory we use every day to function).
The Subconscious Mind (88-90 %)
It is the unconscious part of your mind that does your “behind the scenes” thinking.
Your subconscious mind accesses the vast reservoir of information that lets you solve problems, construct sentences or locate your keys. It puts together plans and ideas and runs them by your conscious mind. When a new idea comes to you out of the blue, it’s because you already thought through the process unconsciously.
Your subconscious also takes care of all the stuff you do automatically.
It controls all of the autonomic processes that you don’t have to think about – the heart rate, the blood pressure, tissue growth, cell regeneration, the immune system and so on. It’s where our thoughts, memories and accumulated experience reside. It controls our emotions, our habits and our responses to the world.
You don’t actively work through the steps of breathing minute to minute – your subconscious mind does that. You don’t think through every little thing you do while driving a car – a lot of the small stuff is thought out in your subconscious mind.
The vast majority of things that we do are unconscious, which we can be grateful for – if you had to consciously think about every single thing you did, you wouldn’t do anything. However, it can lead us astray.
Most problems are things that we’ve learned how to do at an unconscious level in an unhelpful way.
- It can be compared to the hard disk of a computer
- Basic function includes storing information and controlling involuntary body functions
- Divided in two parts:
- Modern Memory (All current life experiences)
- Primitive Mind (All instincts that a person is born with)
The critical filter contains our beliefs, programming / conditioning & is responsible for the inhibitory process.
It lies partly in the conscious and partly in the subconscious areas of your mind. The function of the critical mind is that of a gatekeeper who controls the flow of information from the conscious to the subconscious. The information flowing into the conscious mind is evaluated here and the decision is then made whether to accept or reject that input. If the information is accepted, it is immediately passed on to the subconscious mind for long-term storage. If the information is not accepted, it is either rejected immediately or vented later during sleep in the dream state.
The way to get to the subconscious mind and bypass the critical filter is:
The only way a real change can take place is to get the new programming into our subconscious mind.
- Through our memories, habits, and emotions.
- Memories are only created through experience and you may need many positive experiences to diminish the effects the negative experience. This could take a long time to create.
- Habits require willpower and time in order to become habits.
- Emotions either happen randomly or require changing the way you think about a situation and that can be enormously difficult to do and also take time.
- Through hypnosis.
What does Hypnosis Do?
Hypnosis works by updating the unconscious / subconscious mind with new and more helpful information, like reprogramming a computer.
Hypnosis is a much easier way to bypass the critical filter. Under hypnosis, the critical filter goes to sleep for a while. The Conscious Mind stays awake, and can still make decisions. But now you’re in control while your subconscious is receptive to any suggestion that your conscious mind wants to let in.