Updated: May 3
How does hypnosis work with the mind?
We can look at the mind as a collection of a few different parts. Each of these parts has its own qualities, characteristics, and functions.
Let's start with our unconscious mind. This is the mind that regulates and governs all of our basic life processes: breathing, circulation, heart, digestion, etc.
When you stop and think about it, when was the last time you ever had to consciously make the decision to breathe? It's automatic and continuous. From the moment of your birth all the way through your life. Every minute of every day, your unconscious mind is working for your benefit. Keeping you alive in this incredibly loving and caring way. Take a moment to just appreciate that-the most basic part of who you are is ALWAYS taking care of you, wanting you to be happy, healthy, and in balance.
The next part is the subconscious. Now this is a very interesting part of your mind. This is the mind that is like a computer hard drive except it has unlimited space and is very powerful. This part of your mind collects and stores all of your learning and experience.
The subconscious mind governs things like language, motor skills, tying your shoelaces, and riding a bike.
Once it learns and masters something, it gets kind of written in stone. And the thing is, the subconscious mind doesn't like to change things once it's learned them.
There's a good reason for that. What would life be like if you had to learn the ABC's every morning? Or your name, how to ride that bike, etc. So it's very efficient and functional. Which is great. It's very useful to be that way.
The problem is that the subconscious is non-judgmental. It's quite gullible actually. It takes everything both literally and personally. As a result, it's possible for the subconscious mind to internalize habits, behaviors, and beliefs that are either flawed from the beginning or become outmoded later in life. And because the subconscious doesn't like to change, outmoded patterns of behavior can stick with us long after they've stopped benefiting us in the way they originally did.
Let's taking smoking cigarettes as an example.
At some point, you learned that using nicotine did something for you. At the time, you may or may not have known consciously how dangerous tobacco was. Your subconscious mind wasn't concerned with the ill effects on your health, the disgusting smell on your breath, the concerns of your wife and kids or whoever. It just knew nicotine was fulfilling a need.
Now we come to the conscious mind. Your conscious mind is like a laser pointer. It is able to focus really well on a few bits of information at once. Cognitive brain scientists estimate that we can focus on about 7 bits at any given time.
It's also the part of our brain that, along with the critical faculty, makes conscious decisions. But it's power is limited. Especially in relationship to the more powerful subconscious mind. If the conscious and subconscious minds don't agree on something, the subconscious mind is going to win by default.
So what we do in hypnosis is give your conscious mind and critical faculties a little break. In the state of relaxation of hypnosis work directly with the subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind can learn new things. In fact it is very good at learning and as we've seen.
Once it learns something, it does a great job at just taking over the new behavior and doing it on its own. What you are able to do in hypnosis is show your subconscious mind that using nicotine no longer serves you and that a new, healthier way of life is the way to go to meet your needs.
Are you ready?