Meditation Versus Hypnosis-What’s the Difference?

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Meditation Versus Hypnosis, natural remedies for depression

Focus on the tranquil water scenery.

Meditation Versus Hypnosis–How to Tell Them Apart

By Jocelin Higgins

Meditation has really gained in popularity these past few years. Have you noticed? More and more people are taking time in their day to meditate and it’s not just for Buddhists anymore. Hypnosis is gaining in practice also and is now being seen more of a healing and self-awareness tool than the stage show of yesteryear.  Meditation versus hypnosis, let’s take a look. How are they the same, how are they different?

A Little History: When Each Began

Both hypnosis and meditation have been around for quite some time. The practice of hypnosis dates back to the 1880’s when coined by the Scottish surgeon, James Braid; meditation on the other hand, began even earlier about 500 B.C. by Siddartha Gautama Buddha.

The Similarities of the Two

Let’s start with their similarities. Both of these practices are about getting into a state of relaxation. When you are either meditating or practicing self-hypnosis, you are training your mind to focus, relax and your breathing to go deeper. In the process, your brain waves begin to slow down. They go from a waking state of Beta down into Alpha, a mild trance and then into Theta, a much deeper state of consciousness where a person is able to gain insight and tap into a higher vibration.

Both meditation and self-hypnosis can get a person to these states and in either of them, you feel very present in the moment as well as relaxed and clear minded.

The Differences Between Them

The difference between these two relaxation and healing practices is about where your focus is and what is your intention. While the experiences are very similar in that your brain waves alter in both, each has specific purposes.

The purpose of meditation is to quiet the mind and gain mindfulness to let go of anger, fear, stress, pain and whatever else is bothering you. You may passively receive creative ideas to apply to your life or insights from within on how to approach a certain problem or situation. Thich Nhat Hanh stated it well, when he said, “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”  You are finding emotional and spiritual health. This is from the book, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation.

Hypnosis, whether it be self-hypnosis or guided hypnosis is more outcome driven.  While a person meditates day after day just for the sake of doing it, the purpose of hypnosis is to enter into the subconscious to heal the mind and heart by changing automatic responses.

It is to identify the reasons why people act in ways that they don’t want to and find a way to change these habits to more positive ones. It follows the presupposition that the basis of behavior is buried in the subconscious mind and it is unknown to the conscious mind, unless it is accessed through the use of hypnosis.  By becoming hypnotized, a subject can gain a better understanding of a problem and a trained hypnotherapist can reprogram the subconscious mind to respond in a different, healthier way.

Thus, a client will go into a hypnosis session with a specific issue or problem to address and a specific outcome to reach (examples: to give up smoking, let go of excess weight, learn how to deal with depression or suicidal thoughts) . With trust in the process, the client will have either made progress toward this goal or have reached it entirely. A wonderful book on the subject is called, Hypnotherapy: A Client-Centered Approach.

Gaining Spiritual and Emotional Health

As you can see, both meditation and hypnosis share a common experience of slowing the brain waves and shifting consciousness but differ in their purposes and expected outcomes.

Well, I hope this post was educational to you and helped clarify any confusion that you previously had between the two. Please feel free to post a comment below. I’d love to hear your insights as well.

Namaste. Happy breathing and much enjoyment in your altered states as you are finding spiritual and emotional health.

Works Cited

Grayson, Jenna. “Jenna Grayson The Difference Between Hypnosis and Meditation.” YouTube. YouTube, 23 July 2012. Web. 02 Feb. 2015.

“James Braid (surgeon).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Dec. 2014. Web. 02 Feb. 2015.

“Meditation.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Feb. 2015. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.

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Three Simple Ways to Feel Better

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by Jocelin Higgins

Are you wanting to feel better than you currently do? It’s totally possible!

Here are the top three ways that I found work really well to improve your mood and emotional wellness.

1) Take a deep breath, close your eyes and focus on a memory of someone of something that makes you smile.

Find some photos that bring back this memory if you need to. Allow this memory to fully enter your mind and body. Meditate on it for as long as you need to. Keep breathing in and out at a relaxed pace.

The Importance of Meditation

In a study done by Killingsworth and Gilbert, these scientists found that when, “people’s minds were wandering, they tended to be less happy, presumably because our thoughts often tend towards negative rumination or stress. That’s why mindfulness meditation has become an increasingly important treatment of mental health difficulties like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even sexual dysfunction”.  As you focus on this incredible feeling of content and happiness, let go of whatever is stressing you out by actually feeling it disappear from your consciousness. You have the power to do this. You are a creator and outside forces no longer control you!

daisy

2) Get outside, however possible and Feel so Much Better!

Go for a walk down the street to move your body. Breath in some fresh air deeply into your lungs. Admire the trees, flowers, birds or any indications of nature that you see. Dwell on all that you find pleasing and beautiful around you. I live in the Pacific Northwest and we have so many gorgeous areas to explore so I enjoy hiking in the forest away from the noise of the city. But, if you can’t get outside, then get your body moving in whatever way that you are able to..play a favorite song and dance to it with wild abandon. Remember the saying..”dance like nobody is watching”? Well, here’s your chance!

Or, do some stretches or yoga poses. Have you noticed how calming Indian instrumental music is while doing yoga?You don’t have to participate in an hour-long session, just allow yourself to create some muscle flexibility and get your circulation going. It works wonders!

3) Get immersed in something that you love and enjoy doing!

You may have heard this before, but it really does work! By doing this, you are getting into a state of mind that is called, “flow”. The Hungarian psychology professor, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi introduced the term back in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. It’s a state of consciousness where you forget time and space and become absorbed in focusing and participating on this activity.

I find my flow when I am writing, reading, doing yoga, swimming or playing soccer. As you can see from my experience, it can be more than one thing. Sometimes, it takes an internal or external “nudge” for me to get started, but once I do, I find that the passing of time is as if it is standing still. Even if you are experiencing pain or loss or are feeling depressed just by going through the motions soon enough your mood will improve! Allow yourself to feel the joy in this activity. Embrace it! Live it! Let it  heal you inside and out!

So, here are a few of the best ways that I’ve learned how to improve my mood or to “get out of a funk”. Give them a try and let me know what you think by commenting below or feel free to share some methods that work for you! I’d love to hear more beneficial mood improvement activities.

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. May you be feeling better soon! Namaste.

*This post contains some affiliate links in which I will earn a commission but at no additional cost you. I only refer my readers to books or advice that I support and believe in.