What does it feel like to be hypnotised?
Have you ever got out of the car after a trip and thought, I don’t remember a whole section of the journey? Or sat down to watch a film, and find that you have just zoned out, and missed half of the plot? Do you remember being bored at school, and the whole classroom seeming to fade into the distance, while your thoughts were elsewhere?
All of these are incidents when you were in a hypnagogic state, that is your body was functioning on automatic pilot , while your mind was busy with its thoughts. It’s the state immediately before falling asleep. And although you will have had many incidents like these throughout your lifetime, you will have barely given them a second thought. This is just how hypnosis feels.
Self hypnosis can be induced by simulating this pre-sleep state, deliberately relaxing each muscle group, breathing slowly, deeply and evenly, and counting backwards gently until the numbers just seem to float away, and become boring and unimportant.
Most hypnotherapists, myself included, have a relaxing soothing voice, which they use to deliberately calm and direct your attention to relaxing your physical body, and soothing your thoughts, slowing everything down. I like to think of myself as professionally boring.
You find yourself totally relaxed and in a state of calm and peace. You will probably have your eyes closed, but you will be 100% aware of everything that is going on around you, although you do have the ability to choose to ignore it. You may feel that you are playing along, listening to the suggestions of the hypnotherapist, and daydreaming. At times you may lose track of what is being said altogether as you drift into your own thoughts.
Part of the hypnotic induction is to induce a feeling of calm and deep relaxation, so unsurprisingly, this is what most people report on coming out of a hypnotic trance, how wonderfully relaxed they feel, and how it felt better than a good nights sleep.