The world’s most successful, accomplished people can draw on their brain’s almost unlimited power, seemingly any time they want. They all achieve higher, dream greater and learn quicker than the rest of us. Put simply, they get things done — big things. And they have a great time doing it, as well. This is, in essence, what real brain control is all about.
Is it possible for the rest of us to switch on boosted brain power as needed? Can any one of us unlock our inner genius? If we can improve our memory, heighten our creativity and attain true focus, then the answer is, yes, we can all our full possibilities. With hypnosis, the brain’s full potential can be reached.
Hypnosis Affects the Brain
Hypnosis is a trance-like state that’s characteristics that include enhanced imagination, elevated suggestibility, and extreme relaxation. When under hypnosis a person’s subconscious mind takes the lead over the conscious mind, allowing a hypnotherapist (or you, if practicing self-hypnosis) to work directly with the subconscious.
Under a hypnotic trance, your breathing slows down, your body completely relaxes, and you feel a sense of weightlessness. The activity of your brain shifts as well — as scientists learned in a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The researchers involved in the Standford University study scanned the brains of over 50 people who were in a hypnotic state, and the results revealed changes in connectivity and activity of a few specific areas, including areas directly associated with the mind-body connection (the principle that the mind, through attitudes, feelings, thoughts and beliefs, can positively or negatively affect biological functioning). The scans allowed researchers to actually see the neural changes that accomplanied hypnosis.
The researchers saw a decrease in activity in an area called the dorsal anterior cingulate portion of the brain’s salience network — a region that chooses which stimuli are deserving of a person’s attention. In short, during hypnosis a person becomes so absorbed in the moment that they don’t worry about anything else.
Of equal importance was the observation that there was reduced connections between a part of the prefrontal cortex and the default network. This translates to a disconnect between a person’s actions and their awareness of their actions. You may have noticed that often in life when you’re fully engaged in some activity, you don’t really think about doing it — you just do it. Under hypnosis, this disassociation between an action and thoughts of that same action enables the subject to participate in activities suggested by the therapist without dedicating mental resources to being self-conscious about this same activity.
The Stanford University study is important because it illustrates that hypnotic suggestions actually impact brain activity — not just behavior. It demonstrates that hypnotic effects are, in fact, quite real. Other studies confirm this conclusion. A study at the University College London compared the brain activity of hypnotized people who were given suggestions of leg paralysis with the brain activity of people who were instead just asked to fake hypnosis and paralysis — the brain activity of the two groups was markedly different.
Improving Memory Through Hypnosis
Hypnosis helps you access the depths of your mind, and in doing so it can aid in better recall. A trained hypnotist — or downloadable self-hypnosis audios — can guide your focus onto specific elements of the material to be retrieved, thus assisting in recall.
Typically, a hypnotist brings on a gentle hypnotic state in which a person can speak. By asking questions related to the circumstances of a situation, and the associations created at the time of memory storing, the therapist can aid an individual in remembering clear details about a particular event.
Most people have experienced brief moments of amnesia in their everyday life. Similarly, most people have experienced the opposite — moments of abrupt, unexpected memory recall. The loss of memory is called amnesia. The opposite — the recovery of memory — is referred to as hypermnesia. Hypnosis can be used to bring on hypermnesia in various forms. The most common type of hypermnesia is regression. In regression the person being hypnotized is normally aware that they are reviewing the past, but from the current perspective. Regression can be used on a subject wishing to stop a bad, unwanted habit. In such a case the therapist might have the patient go back to a time in life when the behavior was acquired, and offer alternative behaviors. People probably best know hypnotic regression from hearing about the witness to a crime or accident being hypnotised to remember additionial details of the witnessed event.
When you are hypnotized, you aren’t asleep (contrary to the beliefs of many). Instead, you are very relaxed and in a state of mind where focus heightens. In this relaxed state you can better concentrate on a particular matter. You may have noticed that outside of hypnosis, in everyday life, there are times when try desparately to remember something, but can’t. You realize it’s pointless to try, and you move on — only to remember it a little later when you are thinking of something entirely different. This occurs because the brain is very bad at remembering when stressed, but pretty good at remembering when relaxed. By thinking of something unrelated and less important than the topic you were struggling with, you give your mind a chance to relax, which in turn brings up the memory.
A big part of hypnosis is getting to a very relaxed state. In doing so the above situation that can occur naturally happens under hypnosis — the stress of doggedly trying to remember one particular thing is removed. Interestingly, hypnosis increases relaxation and it also increases focus. Though relaxed, your in focus and your mind doesn’t wander aimlessly in several directions to all sorts of memories.
This “relaxed but focused” state means hypnosis can be, and is, used to improve memory for a variety of situations — from seeking a mental advantage professionally to memorizing a speech to taking a test. The process here typically consists of both posthypnotic suggestions from the therapist and stress reduction — as stress hormones negatively affect both memory and critical thinking. Whether a person is being hypnotized by a therapist or using self-hypnosis audios for memory improvement, both posthypnotic suggestion and stress reduction will be incorporated into a session.
Gaining Better Focus and Concentration Using Hypnosis
The previously-mentioned Stanford University study showed that hypnosis literally alters blood flow to different areas of the brain. The accompanying variations in brain activation reveal that patients who are hypnotized become better at focusing on a single task, without being sidetracked by their surroundings.
Hypnosis is a state of relaxed focus that results in a sense of living in the moment without being self-conscious of behavior. This makes it possible to focus your attention — you’re not considering other things, and you gain more control of what’s going on in your body.
People who struggle with concentration often assume that concentration, or focus, is a characteristic a person is or isn’t born with. This isn’t the case &mash; a large part of the ability to concentrate on an activity comes down to the level of enjoyment while engaged in that activity.
Think of watching a much-anticipated movie, or reading a best-selling novel. You’ll recall in those cases concentration just comes naturally — you’re really into it, without ever thinking about just what you’re doing. Contrast that with being in a class and assigned to read a long paper on a topic you have little interest in — concentration here becomes very difficult and your mind wanders. Hypnosis can be used in such a way that you’ll be able to have the ability to focus and concentrate on many different areas of your life, including areas that you aren’t naturally enthusiastic about.
The goal of a hypnotherapist, or a self-hypnosis audio, is to get into your subconscious mind to modify your attitudes and belief systems regarding focus. This enables you to later, out of hypnois, draw on your now positive state of mind regarding concentration so you can focus on any situation as if it was an activity you greatly enjoy.
Hypnosis Releases and Enhances Your Creativity
Creativity is not restricted to the realm of musicians, sulptures, painters and writers. Anyone can be creative — contrary to popular belief. All it requires is the proper frame of mind. There are unlimited ways to display limitless creativity. If you feel you haven’t come across your creative side, hypnosis may be the catalyst for releasing it.
Hypnosis can help to uncover various aspects of your untapped creativity. A study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis determined that a group of female volunteers consistently attained higher scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT), and their performance was considered “superior” on a combined index of overall creativity.
Hypnosis enhances creativity by boosting self-confidence, eliminating negativity, liberating the creative energy of the subconscious, supplying inspiration to stop procrastinating, and reducing anxiety. Genuine inspiration and creativity can only take place when the mind is in a state of clarity, which is exactly what hypnosis endeavors to accomplish. Following a hypnosis session you will feel much more relaxed and be more capable to communicate and express your thoughts, feelings, ideas and viewpoints, whether through visual art, music, spoken or written words, or any other method.
Hypnosis Boosts Brain Power
When it comes to mental performance and brain power, one of the major strengths of hypnosis is that it can bring forth and unleash the potential that you aren’t make use of — potential you may never even have known you possessed. Being in aypnotic state will enable you to discover a powerful mental focus unlike anything you’ve experienced. With practice and repetition you’ll be able to recreate this profound focus outside of the hypnotic state, allowing you to apply it to any area of your life that requires concentration.
Hypnosis can be used reduce anxiety and stress, remove mental blocks, and improve creativity. An elevated state of awareness coupled with powerful visualizations and imagery will help you imagine and devise new solutions to problems you would not have thought of during your previous, normal state of consciousness.