Saturday, June 03, 2006

What If I Can't Be Hypnotized?

Fear #2: You can't hypnotize me. I'm too strong-willed, too reasonable, too determined; too fearful, smart, uncertain, etc.

You're right. I can't hypnotize you.

Three things are required to enter hypnosis: expectancy, an IQ of average or above, and the ability to follow instructions. That's it. But if any one of those things is lacking, you won't be hypnotized. If you go into it to resist, guess what? No one can be hypnotized against their will. You are in control.

A friend of mine wondered what hypnosis was like, but he was nervous about it. I explained to him that hypnosis was a natural state of mind that we enter into naturally, every single day, hundreds of times, without even noticing it. I offered to give him an experience of how his subconscious mind, which already controlled things like his breathing and heartbeat and habits, could affect other areas of his life. I asked if he'd like to try one of the of the pre-tests we use for hypnosis. Although it is not hypnosis, it will give you an idea of what to expect.

So we ran through the pre-test, where you hold out two hands level with each other, concentrate on a feeling of heaviness in one and a feeling of lightness in the other.

His hands started to vibrate and shake while remaining perfectly level. I brought the pre-test to a close and said, "Open your eyes. You can see your hands remain perfectly even with each other, although your hands did respond with some vibrating and shaking."

"Yes," he said. "I was fighting not to let you take control of my mind."

(See earlier post about how hypnosis isn't mind control any more than braking at a stop sign is mind control.)

So if you don't want to be hypnotized, you won't be. At the same time, nothing can keep you from being hypnotized if you do want the experience.

It's up to you. You're in control.

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