Hypnosis or Meditation -- Which Works Better?
By Michael Salerno / USA Today
Quite often I am asked, “What’s the difference between meditation and hypnosis?” While meditation and hypnosis can be similar in terms of the process utilized to achieve a relaxed state of mind and body, they differ in terms of the outcome.
Meditation is used to quiet the mind while hypnosis is used to program the mind.
Meditation seeks to quiet the mind and helps create a blank slate where you can release all of your cares and concerns. Meditation helps you recharge and rejuvenate, and it helps you ease stress. Hypnosis does all of those things and it has an even greater purpose: To reprogram the subconscious mind.
Hypnosis is a very common state of mind
Hypnosis is a very common state of mind that you achieve every time you get lost in a thought or allow your mind to wander. You can also achieve a hypnotic-like state while driving, which is called highway hypnosis. Anyone who has ever missed an exit on the highway because their mind was lost in a thought will be familiar with this concept. Hypnosis works by helping you reprogram your self-sabotaging, self-defeating behaviors and thoughts that keep you from achieving your goals. Hypnosis is typically used to help people stop smoking or lose weight, but it can be utilized for virtually anything you want to either eliminate or improve upon.
Hypnosis helps you move beyond your conscious mind by helping you access the subconscious mind, which doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination. Most thought processes and patterns can be overcome and changed, when given enough time and patience because most habits take around 21 to 30 days to overcome. Your subconscious mind is like a giant sponge that absorbs everything around it. These thoughts and images then become part of your belief system where they are sent out to the universe to become your new reality. In other words your thoughts create your reality.
Meditation offers a powerful reprieve from the world around us
Meditation on the other hand is a very powerful tool because it helps you turn your mind off and quiet your thoughts. Creativity and other kinds of processes flow much better in a relaxed state of mind. Meditation offers you a very powerful reprieve from the busy lives that we lead as well.
Perhaps at this point you’re wondering why you might choose one over another. There are some general rules of thumb you can use. If your goal is to simply relax and turn your mind off, meditation offers the perfect escape, similar to that of a mini-vacation for your mind. Hypnosis, on the other hand, is very useful if you are trying to overcome something you have been struggling with, such as smoking, weight loss or a fear.
Hypnosis and meditation use similar techniques to achieve the relaxation response
Both hypnosis and meditation use similar techniques to help you achieve a state of relaxation, but in a process like hypnosis, the hypnotist uses creative stories, metaphors and hypnotic suggestions to help you overcome your problems. Meditation, of course, is used to simply help you relax and ease off stress and tension. Most of us live in a world that is never silent; it is always moving, ebbing and flowing. We tend to use noise such as music or the radio to fill in the gaps of silence because silence somehow seems uncomfortable and unwanted. As a result, we are stressed out and feel pressure every moment of the day.
Both meditation and hypnosis can help you take control of your life
Meditation is an incredible tool that can help you in many ways. Just spending a few precious moments a day in silence while watching your breath can be a life-altering experience because it gives you time to reflect.
Hypnosis is an equally miraculous tool that will allow you to take control of those parts of your life that may appear to be beyond your control. This includes your habits and behaviors as well as the emotions, beliefs and feelings that are triggering those unwanted thoughts and actions. From quitting smoking, to losing weight, to managing situational stress, to overcoming fears, to setting goals for yourself, to improving academic and athletic performance, hypnosis can be used to improve virtually any aspect of your life.
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