The short answer is: YES! Of course… There are a lot of misconceptions around hypnotisability and the supposed varying “receptiveness” of people to the hypnotic “sleep”. That’s because people often don’t know clearly what is really going on. This ignorance is often fuelled by stage shows and the “surreal” hypnotic phenomena witnessed by emotionally hyped audiences.
Everybody can experience hypnosis, not just the people on stage. The first thing to understand about the “trance state”, which seems to be some kind of sleep or unconsciously-driven behaviour state, is that everybody has experienced a trance-like state many times over in their lives; what we call an altered state of consciousness. Have you ever arrived somewhere and realised you had no idea of what happened along the way? You drove automatically while your thoughts wandered elsewhere, and you don’t have clear memories of what you were thinking about or anything you saw along the way. Where was your mind? Just as well, when you are immersed reading a book you love, or watching a thrilling movie and you are feeling the anxiety and excitement just like the main characters… All these are natural trances occuring in our everyday reality, driven by unconscious activity. You would not question whether you experience those, would you?
Now hypnosis is slightly different, but it builds on the same principle. In hypnosis, there is an INTENTION to VOLUNTARILY enter an altered state. The hypnotist guides the subject, and the subject WANTS to alter their perception of reality and experience some different level of consciousness. There must be compliance on behalf of the subject for the hypnotist to “perform” anything. And technically, there is no performance. The hypnotist is offering suggestions, and the subject takes these suggestions on board if he/she wants to. The subject creates what is commonly referred to as “hypnosis”, but it simply is a process taking place outside of their awareness!
When you see a stage or TV show, people are volunteers. They WANT to be on stage, they WANT to be hypnotised, and so they play the part. After a while, they forget they are playing the part and their subconscious mind takes over, which is why they can follow suggestions so well and seemingly totally without control. The critical faculty is bypassed. It is worth noting that the subject can still consciously notice the experience unfolding, only there is no conscious interference with the unconscious processes at play.
Imagine you are in your car and you want to get to a new destination while thinking about how you can make positive changes in your life. When you try and drive around, your attention gets highjacked by many external things as you try to make plans and arrange your thoughts towards a more fulfilling life. If you want to control every aspect of the ride, outside AND inside your mind, it is not going to be an enjoyable experience for you. Plus you may forget things along the way. So not only may you not achieve the positive changes you want to make in your life, because you are distracted by the traffic, but you may also cause an accident because you’re in your head!
With hypnosis, you are STILL in the driving seat, only you make a conscious decision to open your mind up and let the auto-pilot system that you have had installed recently (the hypnotist) do the driving for you, just for a time. After you notice how pleasant the experience is, you can simply enjoy the ride and let yourself be surprised by all the things you can change and improve in your life at the same time. You can take over whenever you want, of course, and override the auto-pilot’s instructions. But as long as things run smoothly and you want to experience a more fulfilling reality, you can keep going and make these beneficial changes.
You can be hypnotised easily. You only need two ingredients.
A true desire to improve your life and an open mind.