Hypnosis happens in daily life. yes, it’s true. You don’t need a hypnotist to experience hypnosis, but it’s essential to receive expert guidance when you want to target a problem, change your experience or your behaviour. Otherwise, it’s just a nice sojourn from the daily grind. So, how does hypnosis in daily life happen? Well, it depends on how you define hypnosis.

Hypnosis has been defined as focused attention (on one thing), to the exclusion of all else. But a quick Wiki search will reveal many other definitions. Essentially there is no consensus. The definition falls into two basic categories – one group contains the element of becoming suggestible, either through someone else (a hypnotist) or simply solo; and the other group does not mandate suggestibility, but rather, relaxation and focus of attention.

So if we focus on the second group and take out the element of suggestibility, we can find hypnosis in daily life through yoga, reading, fishing, art, music or many other activities which some people find literally, all consuming. The suggestibility part becomes important when we need specific suggestions to steer us away from old habits. Other times, reinforcing the pure state of relaxation is enough to reshape our neuro pathways and create more positive connections in our minds. This approach is great for anxiety and depression. Mostly in therapy, I use both with clients.

But if you simply want to amp up your positive pathways, you only need to engage in a healthy passion that focuses your attention to the exclusion of all else.

Engage, Learn, Grow, Be

I knew a man who loved to fish. Estuaries were his favourite environment. He wasn’t so keen on deep sea fishing with the thrill of the chase, accompanied by alcohol and a cohort of fishing buddies, and all the testosterone that accompanies it. He wanted to hone in on the connection he experienced with nature. He usually fished alone. He was alert to every nuance – the still of the water, its level of clarity, the time of day, the movement of the line, the activity of the seagulls nearby. All the while he was reading the environment, tuning in, and then hooking the fish. In most cases he would let the fish go because it wasn’t about the kill, it was about getting lost in the moment, which would inevitably extend out to a full day. It was an 8 hour meditation, and he did this several times a week. This was hypnosis in daily life.

Some years ago I went to art school. I had a distinctive style and won a few scholarships. I stopped making art when I focused my attention on work, to earn money, to buy a house. Somewhere in that transition my talent seemed to wane. I have created a few gems over recent years but there are lengthy gaps in between. Momentum had gone. But I recently I found myself picking up some paints. The technique I’m working on is new for me. Watercolour. It is notoriously the hardest painting medium to learn and certainly a challenge for my usual heavy handed approach. But I am ready to learn. I am ready to fail and I am ready to overcome my challenges. And all through this, when I am just out of the early stages, no longer practicing the basics but rather, enjoying the creation, I will again be experiencing hypnosis in daily life:)

What’s your passion? Where can you lose time, and gain a state of hypnosis?