What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration, the kind many of us experience on a daily basis. When you are relaxed and your concentration is so strong that you do not hear outside noises or notice other stimuli, you are in a light hypnotic state. Most of us enter hypnotic states every day, when we are so absorbed in a book or movie that we don’t notice someone calling our name, when we get so lost in thought while driving until we “snap out of it” a few minutes later, or any other time we have been on “autopilot.”
William J. Bryan, the founder of the American Institute of Hypnosis, writes that the hypnotic state produces 3 things, “(1) an increased concentration of the mind, and (2) and increased relaxation of the body, and (3) an increased susceptibility to suggestion.”
Because the subconscious mind becomes open and suggestible during this state of relaxed and focused concentration, we are able to help the mind discard longstanding but unproductive thought patterns and bring in new, more productive thoughts and behaviors in their place.