Hypnosis or Meditation? What’s the Difference?

Are hypnosis and meditation just different terms for the same phenomena? Hypnosis and meditation both produce remarkable results when applied appropriately and consistently. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Hypnosis has been around as long as people have roamed the Earth. However, the idea of hypnotism wasn’t prevalent until much more recently.

hypnosis or meditation

While they may appear similar, hypnosis and meditation differ in several important ways. One isn’t a good substitute for the other, but both are powerful tools.

Understand the differences between hypnosis and meditation:

1. You are hypnotized many times each day. Each time you’re more involved with your thoughts than you are with the outside world, you’re hypnotized. You have experienced this while watching a movie or reading a book. Have you ever driven in the car, only to wonder where the time went after arriving at your destination? You were hypnotized.

  • It has been suggested that people are technically hypnotized after watching only 7 seconds of television!

2. Meditation strives to be free of thought. In most types of meditation, the objective is to concentrate on an object, such as the breath, and create a mental state with minimal thought activity.

3. Hypnosis is dissociative. In a highly hypnotized state, the subject is unaware of her immediate surroundings. It’s kinda like being in a dream that’s directed by herself or another person.

  • Meditation is the opposite. The goal of meditation is complete presence.

4. Both techniques can be useful tools for managing stress or anxiety. Both can be equally effective for dealing with mental distress:

  • Meditation can help by revealing the reality that stress and anxiety are self-induced.
  • Hypnosis often uses visualization techniques to experience new ways of reacting to the same stimuli in the future.

5. Hypnosis could be viewed as experiencing something with your senses that is not really there. When you close your eyes and imagine something, you are hypnotized. When you relive a conversation in your head, you are hypnotized. How much time do you think you spend hypnotized each day?

6. Hypnosis is more outcome oriented. Hypnosis is often undertaken to solve a challenge or to enhance performance. Hypnosis is used to get over a trauma, increase self-esteem, lose weight, or quit smoking. It’s directed at a specific outcome. Meditation is not normally directed in this way.

7. Hypnosis is aimed at the subconscious. It is believed that hypnosis works around the conscious mind and influences the subconscious. It’s easier to address the subconscious while the conscious mind is otherwise occupied.

8. Hypnosis is considered to be an altered state. Your perception of reality is flawed because your mind is in another place.

  • On the other hand, meditation seeks to eliminate everything except the truth. All opinions, beliefs, and preconceptions are dropped. Nothing remains but mental stillness.

In spite of these basic differences, there are actually many kinds of meditation, some of which could be considered similar to hypnosis.

If you’re interested in learning more about either, both techniques can be learned on your own. There are many books, audio programs and video programs available. As with anything else, a teacher or mentor can be helpful.

You already spend a portion of your day in a hypnotic state. Put it to work! Take control of the trances you enter each day.

Consider adding meditation and hypnosis to your self-improvement activities. Meditation and hypnosis are simple but require practice. There’s no better time than the present to get started.


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