The purpose of this article is not to eliminate what is happening to you but rather to create awareness so you may be able to take control of it for positive means rather that allowing it to control you.
The most commonly used definition of hypnosis is being opened to suggestion. Throughout your day you are either open to suggestion or resisting suggestion. There is no halfway. Suggestion is defined as the process by which a physical or mental state is influenced by a thought or idea (the power of suggestion). Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.
Here is the listing of only 13 of the ways most people are being hypnotized each day. While reading them see how many resonate with you.
1. Signs, advertising and logos are everywhere.
You are continually being bombarded with suggestions to act now and purchase products from television, radio, junk mail, newspapers, store window ads, magazines, department stores and supermarkets just to name a few. There is virtually no place you can go where you are not in contact with some form of advertising suggestion.
2. Shopping at the groceries store.
This can be a battle of resisting suggestibility. There are demonstrators trying to tempt you with free samples. The scent of freshly baked goods being prepared in the bakery. Attractive signage and inviting music in the background. Sales displays of easy to prepare meals right at eye level and the list goes on. It seems like many times you go in to buy only two item but come out with fifteen.
3. Everything happening at once.
Known as the confusional method of hypnosis. Similar to doing your taxes while someone is having a conversation with you at the same time. If you are focusing on your taxes, everything in the conversation is being absorbed by the subconscious mind like a sponge. This is why it is detrimental to have the television or radio on while working, eating or sleeping.
4. Day dreaming in classrooms or work.
Daydreaming is a hypnotic state that is much deeper than most people would realize. It is actually the same level of hypnosis that you would be in for painless childbirth or to have dental work done without anesthesia. The daydreaming state is dominated by your imagination and is accompanied by a state of amnesia. This is why when you daydreaming in class you do not remember what was being said during the period of time that you were daydreaming.
5. Fear of deadlines or loss.
You may have heard the slogan before that fear is a great motivator. Fear is also a powerful tool utilized in the acceptance of suggestion. It is successfully used in virtually every walk of life such as sales, government, religion, family, school, work and countless other areas.
Call now, we only have two left on hand or the sale ends tomorrow.
Keep the noise down in your room or you’ll be punished.
Meet the 12:00 deadline or you’re fired!
Buy the best security system or your house will be broken into.
6. Music controls the mood.
Music is extremely hypnotic. The effect of music can cause you to become extremely relaxed, agitated, belligerent, excited, patriotic, board and even romantic.
7. Placebo, the sugar pill effect.
A placebo is a non effective substance or object given to someone by a person who is in authority (doctor, minister, parent, boss, supervisor) leading the person to believe that it will cure or solve their situation. Any effect that this placebo has is based on the power of suggestion.
An example would be if you were given a sugar pill by your doctor thinking that it was an asthma cure and within a few moments your asthma improves.
8. Nocebo, the sugar pill side effect.
A Nocebo is also based upon the power of suggestion. Going back to the example with the placebo, a nocebo would be experience the same reaction of side effects from the placebo as if it were the actual pill.
9. Propaganda, mine is better than yours.
Propaganda is a strong form of hypnotic suggestion that is used continually in the areas of religion, employment, sales, government, education, sports and even sexual preference. Often times these suggestions cause rivalry, fierce competition and even wars.
Your company develops the best Widgets available on the market.
Your football team is superior to any other team.
Everyone in your country is wonderful, everyone in that country are terrorist.
This company will save me hundreds of dollars over that company. After all, I heard it on television!
10. Relax and have a cup of coffee.
This is probably the most well known form of suggestibility today. It is used quite extensively in the mental health and medical fields to increase suggestibility. It is the basis of meditation and guided imagery. Even parents use these techniques with their children by telling them to take a deep breath to get them to calm down. Once you are relaxed, positive suggestions can easily be given and accepted.
Many companies have also associated their products so as to group them mentally with suggestions of relaxation to sell them such as coffee, cigarettes, luxury automobiles, furniture, chocolate and vacations. The added suggestion or conditioning of relaxation makes the item more appealing even if it is not so.
11. Tell me a Story.
Storytelling can be a very effective form of delivering suggestion by having embedded messages or metaphors included within them. This is most often seen in the writing of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, fables and parables.
Being told stories by your parents as a way of getting you to conform.
Reading bedtime stories that include a moral in them to your children.
Beginning a church sermon with a story or joke with a message in it.
Listening to a corporate speaker who began with a story that had an embedded message in it.
12. Repetition, how does it affect you?
Anything that is repeated continually, without missing a day, for a minimum period of 21 days becomes a permanent habit. Once it becomes a habit it seems to work on automatic pilot. This happens without even having to think about the process anymore. Here are some examples:
Reciting the alphabet
Typing on the keyboard
Answering the phone
Routine of going to work each day
Brushing your teeth
Each morning when you get up you have a brand new day in front of you. This day has not been written as of yet and you have the same opportunity as anyone else to attain greatness or do something utterly spectacular. Even with this new day in front of them, most people will do the very same thing with it that they did yesterday. They have created a routine, especially during the work days. Even something like changing the time of their coffee break or taking a different route to work seems like the biggest inconvenience.
13. Resisting suggestions.
If you become aware that you are being given suggestions and immediately resist by giving yourself counter suggestions, you are still in a state of hypnosis since you accepted the counter suggestions. When you reject or replace any suggestion, you are still accepting the new or opposing suggestion.
These are just thirteen of the many ways of hypnotic conditioning being used today. How many affect you in the course of a day and how many times are each being used? It is staggering to see how much our lives are actually being controlled or on automatic pilot.
As mentioned earlier, awareness that is it happening is the first step but knowledge is required in order to be in control of your own conditioning.
“If it is happening on a daily basis, why not be in control of it rather than having it control you by default.”
What other ways are you being hypnotized on a regular basis? Let’s add to the list!