Hypnosis or Meditation: Aren’t They the Same Thing?

Updated: Apr 24

The quick answer is No. Hypnosis and meditation both produce amazing results when applied properly and consistently.They appear similar however, hypnosis and meditation differ in several key ways. One IS NOT a good substitute for the other, but both are powerful tools.

The Basics. What is meditation and what is hypnosis?

  • Meditation, as defined by Psychology Today, is “a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness. Its purpose is often to curb reactivity to one's thoughts and feelings…” [1]. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years.

  • Psychology Today defines Hypnosis as “a mental state of highly focused concentration, diminished peripheral awareness, and heightened suggestibility.” [2]. It induces an altered, but heightened state of awareness and has been around as long as people have roamed the Earth.


The Differences Between Hypnosis and Meditation

  • Meditation attempts to be devoid of thought. In most types of meditation, the objective is to concentrate on one thing, such as the breath or an object, and create a mental state with minimal thought activity.

  • Hypnosis is aimed at the subconscious. Hypnosis works around the conscious mind and influences the subconscious. It’s easier to address the subconscious while the conscious mind is otherwise occupied with what’s going on in the physical world.

Meditation can help by revealing the reality that stress, anxiety and other perceived ‘obstacles’ in life are self-induced.
  • Meditation aims at training the mind in getting a healthy perspective. You don’t turn off your thoughts, but you learn to acknowledge your thoughts, gain understanding, and cultivate new, more positive attentions.

  • Hypnosis is more outcome oriented. Hypnosis is often undertaken to solve a specific challenge or to enhance performance. It can be used to get over a trauma, increase self-esteem, lose weight, or quit smoking. Hypnosis uses techniques to experience new ways of reacting to the same stimuli in the future.

Both techniques can be useful tools for managing stress or anxiety
  • Meditation uses the power of your own mind to bring about mental focus through concentration on a specific focus point. This takes practice.

  • With Hypnosis, the hypnotist uses specific suggestions, words and touch to induce a trance-like state. It requires the participant to enter a type of hypnotic state of concentrated, and focused attention to allow the suggestions to enter the subconscious mind.

FACT: You are hypnotized several times each day. Each time you are more involved with your thoughts than you are with the outside world, you are hypnotized. You’ve experienced this watching a movie or reading a book where you’re so engaged in the plot that you didn’t hear your loved one calling you. You also experience this while driving. Can’t remember making all the turns after arriving at your destination? YOU WERE HYPNOTIZED!

Let me help you by adding meditation and hypnosis to your self-improvement activities. There’s no better time than the present to get started with your plan!




References

1 “What is Meditation?”, Psychology Today, Retrieved February 19, 2020 from www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/meditation

2 “What is Hypnosis?”, Psychology Today, Retrieved February 19, 2020 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/hypnosis

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