The brain is a very complicated organ, divided into sections. People are aware from science classes in high school that the brain is divided into the medulla oblongata, the cerebellum, and the cerebrum. The medulla oblongata is the part of the brain that controls automatic functions, like making our heart beat. The cerebellum is the part of our brain that controls our movement and coordination, like catching a ball, as well as our nervous system. The cerebrum is the part of the brain that does all higher level thinking, and our thinking mind (cerebrum) is divided into our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. Our conscious mind is the part of our mind that is aware and thinking about whatever is going on in front of us. Our subconscious mind is a storehouse of neural pathways, full of memories and thoughts that are recorded and catalogued in a haphazard way.
Our subconscious mind records everything that happens to us, leading to impressions about activities and attitudes about tasks that we cannot always explain the reason for. Our conscious mind is what we use each day to make decisions, yet our subconscious mind sits behind it, advising it on all decisions, and allowing many past habits and patterns to affect those decisions. We can see some of what our subconscious mind is thinking in our dreams, which is when our brain is organizing our memories and thoughts. While all thoughts and memories are recorded, some get lost in the shuffle of making new neural pathways. Our subconscious mind can have an effect on whether we succeed or fail at a task, simply by affecting our attitude towards that task.
We can use hypnosis to exert some control over what our subconscious mind is thinking, and to remove some negative thought patterns and habits. Because our subconscious mind has remembered parts of some memories without giving full information as to why you think a certain way, many of our responses to situations are emotional rather than logical. Hypnosis can reorganize some of the way your brain thinks about your chosen goal.
Meditation, which many might think is the same thing as hypnosis, is actually very different from hypnosis. This is shown by studies done which measured what the brain was doing during hypnosis and during meditation, as brain scans such as EKGs were done on subjects.
The meditative state is similar to the hypnotic state, however meditation is a popular form of relaxation and introspection, whereas in hypnosis, a specific goal is to be achieved through entering the hypnotic state and the power of suggestion.