A lot of people seem to confuse meditation for hypnosis, or rather self-hypnosis, which is obvious given the stark resemblance between the two. Both phenomena induce a deeply relaxing, highly beneficial, and soothing effect on your mind that. This soothing effect can help you get through a frenetic day in a positive and stress-free manner. But are they really the same thing? Let’s get to the answer through a detailed comparison and understand the difference between hypnosis and meditation.
Meditation is a practice in which you attempt to still your mind by removing all conscious thoughts from it. If any thought in the form of words creeps into your mind, you’ll have to find a way to make them disappear. Meditation practitioners are often advised to focus on something particular such as the act of breathing or a distinct image whereby they can prevent distractions. This will gradually quiet your mind and improve your ability to concentrate.
On the flip side, hypnosis is a natural state of mind that each of us experiences on a regular basis. It is usually aimed at a specific therapeutic outcome. Hypnotherapy is prescribed to those who are grappling with issues like excessive weight gain, addiction to smoking/drugs, phobias, and so on.
However, to first release your mind of interrupting thoughts, therapists recommend meditation techniques at the initial stage of hypnotherapy sessions. For instance, they ask you to imagine yourself walking on the banks of a tranquil lake. Creative visualizations like these are effective in calming the mind thereby helping you relax.
Once all the commotion in your mind wanes, it becomes convenient for them to feed the subconscious part of your mind with pre-discussed remedial suggestions. The therapist capitalizes on the stillness of your mind. He guides you through a series of therapeutic measures that will gradually seep into your psyche and start healing you.
Now, creative imaginations work in the case of mediation too. But it does not necessarily target at rehabilitating a person from a failing condition. Rather, it acts as a facilitator in terms of retaining your calmness on a particularly hectic day or under extreme pressure. If you opt for guided meditation, you will be taught simple exercises for muscle relaxation, normal breathing, or correcting your posture. These will regulate your bodily functions in addition to improving your mental health.
Having accomplished the goal of meditation, you can try hypnosis even without professional help. That is if you are suffering from any health-related or psychological disorder and are already familiar with the probable remedies.
All you need to do is have your subconscious mind under control. You should be able to interact with it through the use of vivid images and striking metaphors. Remember that it is the subconscious mind that is responsible for how we act. It is at the very root of our habits, mannerisms, preferences, and at times even our instincts.
To cite an example, say you have a friend or relative who is heavily into alcohol. Even after constantly reminding them how injurious drinking is, you hardly see any change in their habits. They may listen to you and also agree but still continue an unhealthy lifestyle. This is because you could only reach their conscious mind, not the subconscious.
As a result, their subconscious mind remains unaffected by your pleas. It is swayed by their urge to drink at an excessive rate instead. The same goes for those who suffer from phobias. No matter how much you explain to them that a small puppy is harmless, their unconscious mind will still react to the animal in a terrifyingly disturbing manner. This happens despite then knowing that their fear is pointless.
Hypnotherapy serves as an effective means to pass this last bit of information to their subconscious mind and help them recover. Hence, the key lies in how well you keep a rein on your subconscious. Before long, the world will be at your feet.
Besides aiding you in recuperating with your problems, a calm mind also enables you to gain a deeper insight into life and significantly promote the development of your artistic or technical caliber. The perfect example for this would be that of Issac Newton who came up with his theory of gravity while lounging under an apple tree in his garden.
As the story goes, an apple fell on Newton’s head and, in a stroke of brilliant intuition, he discovered the law of universal gravitation. The answer materialized unconsciously because his mind was at ease and thus unperturbed. This equally applies to other professions- painters, engineers, musicians, & writers, who have been successful in creating their best works when they were at peace. The mind, just like our body, operates better when provided sufficient rest.
Going by the stated arguments, the difference between hypnosis and meditation is certain. It is clear that mediation and hypnosis work desirably for personal growth and improvement. You may simply need to adjust your feet to whichever practice fits your needs. As for the more adventurous ones, you can go for both. Either way, you will be greeted by a whole new sphere of possibilities that can uphold your all-round well-being.