What is Mindfulness and How Does it Relate to Hypnosis?
You’ve probably come across the word mindfulness many times before, whether on another blog or article online. At first glance it seems to be a pretty straightforward concept, suggesting that your mind pays full attention to what’s happening, what you’re doing, to the Universe you are moving through, right now. Peel back some layers, however, and the idea of mindfulness becomes complex.
Have you ever felt like your mind decides to wander away? Has it felt like you’re now absorbed in obsessive thoughts about something that just happened, or you’re now worrying about the future, causing you to become anxious?
No matter how far our mind floats away on such tangents and thoughts, mindfulness will be waiting to bring us back to our centre.
And this relates to hypnosis, because it too has very similar concepts—in hypnosis’s case, it’s a different way of approaching the subconscious.
Let’s take a closer look at mindfulness together, and really see how it further relates to hypnosis.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the simple human capability to be in the moment, present, fully aware of where we are and what we are doing.
Did you know that you already possess the quality of mindfulness? Though it isn’t something you have to summon, the practice of mindfulness is something you can learn to access with ease.
Types of Mindfulness Practice:
- Seated, walking, standing, and moving meditation (laying down, which can lead to falling asleep).
- Short pauses inserted into everyday life.
- Integrating meditation practices with other activities, like yoga or sports.
Benefits of Mindfulness Practice:
Being mindful helps to reduce our stress, enhances performance, obtain insight and awareness through examining our own mind, and expanding our attention to one another’s well-being.
Mindfulness meditation allows us to push back judgment and let loose our natural curiosity about the mechanisms of the mind, approaching our experience by giving ourselves and others warmth and kindness.
Did you know?
- Mindfulness isn’t exotic or ambiguous. We’re already familiar with it, because it takes many forms, goes by many names, and even sometimes we may not realize we are within it.
- Mindfulness is not an extra special thing. We already have the power within ourselves to be present, not requiring changing who we are. However, we can enrich these instinctive qualities with simple practices to benefit ourselves, loved ones, friends, neighbours, those we work with, and institutions and organizations in which we take part.
- You can accept who you are. Trying to become something we’re not and failing leads to disappointment in ourselves time and time again. Mindfulness recognizes and nurtures the best of who we are as humans.
- It inspires innovation. Dealing with the world’s complex and uncertain things it throws our way, mindfulness can guide toward useful, flexible, low-cost responses to superficially stubborn problems.
- Anyone can practice mindfulness. It does not require a change in beliefs, it encourages universal human qualities, it’s easy to learn and everyone can benefit.
How Does Mindfulness Relate to Hypnosis?
Similarities: Hypnosis and mindfulness (using meditation) can stimulate deeply relaxing states of mind helping to promote a sense of calm and reduce stress levels. Both require a certain kind of focus of mind, often (not always) purposefully directed. Both use specific promptings and words to stimulate a trance-like state.
Differences: The major difference is that hypnosis is used for a variety of ailments, physical and mental, mainly helping those struggling with destructive emotions to replace the negativity with more positive suggestion working toward a healthier and happier outcome.
Promoting positive change is the key to dealing with anything hypnosis helps with, from quitting smoking to weight loss to dealing with the triggers of anxiety. Hypnosis uses the subconscious to input suggestion to change your behaviour. That being said, you also have to want the change and be ready for it, or it will do you no good, like any issue, or habit you’re trying to bring change to.
Guided mindful meditation uses the power of your own imagination to imbed the images within your subconscious mind to bring about change (if that is your goal), with soothing guidance of a narrator.
Another big difference between the two is the underlying philosophy of mindfulness aiming to discourage meditators from being goal-oriented. While hypnosis is explicitly a goal-focused process, using particular forms of imagery, self-suggestion and cognitive processes to create and effect change to conquer challenges and issues and help to advance abilities.
Therapeutic hypnosis focuses on helping release negative emotions caused by memories from the past or prepare feelings and actions for the future. Mindfulness meditation is often used to be absolutely focused on the present.
Emotions are hypnotic. Hypnosis is not only a “state of relaxation”; we are most focused when experiencing heightened emotions. A good example of this is anger, focusing our attention and making us suggestable. Because our emotions are so hypnotic, we can be so responsive to hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
Anyone who can cause you to become more emotional has the capability to make you more suggestible. Counsellors and therapists use some of these elements in practice. For example, if they ask you to direct your attention toward a specific past event or moment, they encourage disassociation from the present (a feature of hypnotic trance).
Mindfulness is a helpful tool to tap into when needing to bring back to the present moment. Having an anxiety attack, for example, a mindfulness exercise can help calm the mind and bring you out of the attack and back to present.
Hypnosis is a helpful tool in helping to deal with the underlying causes and triggers of anxiety, for example, using the subconscious mind to replace negativity with positive suggestions.
Mindfulness and hypnosis while both have their main differences, their similarities help to bind them in the subconscious toolbox. Both are good to have access to and everyone can benefit from both.
So, now you know how the two relate. If you’re feeling that hypnosis can help you guide your mind toward healing, this is where I can help you.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Healing Soul Hypnosis and a clickable link back to this page.