What’s the difference between hypnosis and meditation?
People often ask what the difference between meditation, hypnosis and also mindfulness is, so here is one way that I like to explain how things work to people.
There are some similarities and also a few differences between them, and I often talk about how this means that hypnosis can be easier for people than meditation.
Ways that they are similar..
Both hypnosis and meditation are all about learning to take yourself off to a quiet and peaceful state of mind that helps promote calmness of thoughts and reduce levels of stress and anxiety.
Some people find a good way to talk about the two is to use the example of asking what the difference is between alcohol and wine. Lots of people now use apps to help them meditate and of course when we think of someone practicing meditation we often imagine a Buddhist monk on a mountain in Tibet, sitting cross legged and spending many hours achieving a calm state.
So, in that way, meditation can be seen as a more specific, specialised way to find yourself in a type of hypnotic state. It is also often thought of as being part of a wider spiritual system.
Ways that they differ..
One of the biggest differences is that hypnosis is usually more directed and then used to help people detach from emotions and behaviour that people don’t want so that they can then begin to see new ways of thinking and behaving.
This is why we would use hypnosis to help stop smoking based on the conversation we would have. We can then weave all the positive benefits of becoming a non smoker into a directed hypnosis session for you.
We can utilise the power of positive suggestion within hypnosis to bring about subconscious change to the way you think and feel about being a smoker and cigarettes. When we use hypnosis we help you to drift into a calm type of hypnotic relaxation and focused attention, so that the suggestions can enter your subconscious mind.
With meditation the work is all done by you. You are the one trying to relax yourself and let your thoughts go to wherever you want them to go whilst meditation occurs. Of course this can actually be very difficult and that’s why visiting someone who can do hypnosis for you makes things much easier.
In a nutshell I always talk about how mediation can be quite hard to do on your own and hypnosis is much easier when you have someone to guide you and you can just lie back and relax and let things happen to you. You are always in control, but you almost don’t even need to listen as the words drift over you and you drift in your own imagination.
Well mindfulness is all about living in the moment, not worrying about things that have already happened or about things that haven’t happened yet. You can learn that when you are out for a walk you can enjoy the walk, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, and hear the sound of the leaves on the tress rustling while detaching from whatever else is happening in your life. Of course this takes a bit of practice and hypnosis can help you as well as using some meditation techniques too.