Self-hypnosis is fast becoming the new meditation

July 4, 2019

A nationwide survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has found that 32% of Americans are more anxious than they were last year, and 43% say they are “about as anxious” as they were 12 months ago.

What’s more, 22% say they are seeing a psychotherapist for treatment and 7% say they are using a mental health app on their smartphones.

Enter self-hypnosis—an increasingly popular technique that aims to create an inner state of self-awareness and relaxation.

According to a report by SheKnows, hypnotherapy is “the clinical use of hypnosis to achieve emotional and physical benefits, ranging from easing anxiety to losing weight.” In a state of self-hypnosis, an individual’s subconscious is open to suggestions, which can be used to bring about powerful lifestyle changes.

But what’s the difference between self-hypnosis and meditation?

Generally speaking, meditation is a form of relaxation that focuses on mindfulness surrounding your thoughts, or the act of “emptying your brain.” Like guided meditation, hypnosis is about being open to new ideas.

That being said, hypnotherapy typically focuses on a specific goal, such as improved self-confidence, cessation of smoking, or weight loss, Bernhard Tewes, a hypnotherapist from Berlin and the inventor of HypnoBox, a self-hypnosis app, told SheKnows.

“For me, meditation is about the quantity of thoughts, and hypnosis is about the quality of thoughts,” Tewes told the news outlet. “Self-hypnosis is like fine-tuning.”

And the evidence is clear. In a 2007 randomized trial of 286 smokers, 20% of people who received hypnosis quit smoking, compared to 14% of participants who received counseling, SheKnows reports.

The website also reports that, in a 2003 study, 204 people with irritable bowel syndrome received hypnotherapy, then completed questionnaires before, immediately after, and up to six years following the treatment. Seventy-one percent of patients experienced a positive impact from the treatment. Of those who saw a difference, 81% sustained their improvement, while the majority of the remaining 19% noted that their deterioration of symptoms were only slight.

So, how can self-hypnosis help you? The experts say that the trick is to believe in the science. Approximately 10% to 15% of the population is labeled as “highly hypnotizable.” On the other end of the spectrum, 10%  to 15% of the population is labeled as “low hypnotizable.”

In addition to the HynoBox app, there are many other apps online that will walk you through the self-hynosis process.

Research contact: @SheKnows

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