Anyone who is awake and who can reason can do self-hypnosis. Some people will find self hypnosis or the ability to be hypnotized by others easier, but with some practice, anyone can hypnotize themselves or be hypnotized. Self hypnosis is not necessarily easy, because even though anyone can do it, it does take some practice. So some effort is required. Once you learn to do it on yourself, you may be able to help others be hypnotized, but it is not a good idea to use hypnosis as entertainment, rather it is meant to be a form of therapy.
Many people do not believe in hypnosis, but even if you do not believe in hypnosis it can still work on you – you can still be hypnotized. However, while you are trying to hypnotize yourself, you will be aware of what you are doing and what you are trying to do, so you must be willing to be hypnotized, and be actually trying.
Not believing in hypnotism can actually make it much more difficult to self hypnotize – if you don’t believe that something is possible, it makes it that much more difficult to succeed. This is also self fulfilling – if you don’t believe that it is possible, you might not be able to do it the first time you try, and so you will now have “proof” that it is not possible. In a situation like this, it is best to try to find someone you know who has experienced being hypnotized and ask them for a description of it. After you’ve talked to a few people about it, and received similar descriptions of how it worked for them, you may be more ready to try again.
Some background on hypnosis
Hypnotherapy is widely regarded as a “New Age” trend, but hypnosis is not a new phenomenon. The earliest descriptions of activities similar to hypnosis date back to ancient Egyptian rites, over 6,000 years ago. Physicians in Europe were using hypnosis in the 17th and 18th centuries. And the word hypnosis itself was coined in 1843 by James Braid. There have been many studies done on hypnosis, as well as various religions weighing in on hypnosis. For example, the ancient Egyptians believed in its importance as part of their religion, while many present day Mormons frown on the idea, believing it opens the mind for the devil to enter.
In the end, it is each person’s individual decision to determine whether hypnosis can help them.
There are 3 basic categories of hypnosis:
• Stage hypnosis, which many people are familiar with as it can be a fun form of entertainment
Hypnotherapy, which is actually two categories –
• Hypnosis done by another person
• Self hypnosis.
These are popular methods of therapy, and are often used as part of programs to quit smoking or lose weight. It’s similar to the idea of making tapes to listen to while you sleep in order to make your mind think a certain way, except in hypnosis, you are usually awake and accessing your subconscious mind for a very specific purpose.