Nearly everyone has experienced a trance-like state many times, though they might not have called it hypnosis. Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming and not noticed routine things happening around you? Have you ever been absorbed reading a book or engrossed in an intricate project and not heard someone speak to you or not noticed how much time had passed?.
Perhaps you have had the experience of being so engrossed in a movie that you realized that it was almost over and yet it did not seem like an hour and a half had passed. Or, you may have been driving on the freeway, absorbed in your thoughts, and the noticed that you had missed your exit.
These are hypnotic-like trances. The main differences between these sorts of trance and self-hypnosis are specific motivation and suggestions toward a goal. Hypnosis channels the trance to achieve some desired result, like relaxation or relief from pain. It is common for people to disbelieve that they have been hypnotized the first time or two that it occurs. The reason is that the hypnotic trance is not a completely unique feeling. The absorption you may feel is familiar.
Hypnosis is not a form of sleep, though a person in a trance often appears to be asleep. Actually, the opposite is true. The brain-wave patterns of people in hypnosis show alert wakefulness. .
Hypnosis has been given various definitions. Since no one has discovered exactly how it works, we can only describe its effects. The descriptions differ depending on our unique perspectives and perceptions. Each person experiences the hypnotic phenomenon in his or her own way. .
Hypnosis is a state of mind in which suggestions are acted upon much more powerfully than is possible under normal conditions. While in hypnosis, one suppresses the power of conscious criticism. One's focus of attention is narrower and one's level of awareness on a focal point is much higher than if one were awake.