What is the Difference Between Hypnosis vs Meditation?
Hypnosis is a mind-state involving focused attention and reduced peripheral awareness and an increased level of suggestibility. Meditation, on the other hand, is the practice of training the mind in order to achieve a heightened state of awareness, through which one can be completely present in their life. In meditation, thoughts are invited to pass through the mind without attachment.
If you are inquiring about the difference between hypnosis and meditation, then you may want to know more about both of these practices. They seem very similar on the surface but if one were to dig deeper, that is where some stark differences become apparent.
Hypnosis is a term used when an individual enters an altered state of mind in which they become more relaxed and focused. During this time, their critical thinking skills are diminished somewhat, allowing for increased suggestibility.
Hypnosis usually occurs with the aid of another person who has been trained in hypnosis to guide you into this heightened state of awareness. It has been said to be a very safe and effective form of therapy in many cases, allowing an individual to make positive changes in their life.
The American Psychological Association (APA) published the following definition for hypnosis: "Hypnosis is a procedure during which a health professional or researcher suggests while treating someone, that he or she experiences changes in sensations, perceptions, cognition, mood or behavior.
Hypnosis usually involves a therapist suggesting that the patient’s eyes become heavy and tired, touching someone on different parts of their body to induce "deep relaxation," telling them to imagine something pleasant (such as flying over a landscape) or giving them positive suggestions intended to help them reduce or eliminate pain."
Hypnosis is the most commonly used term for performing therapy via indirect suggestions that influence the patient to experience changes in his or her mental state. These changes can include temporary modification of perception, thought, emotion or behavior. Hypnosis is also often used for therapy and pain management before and after surgery, although some forms of alternative therapy find wider use.
The practice of meditation is more generally defined as the purposeful effort to train attention and awareness, through which one learns how to be completely present in the moment.
Meditation aims to focus concentration on something (such as an object, sound or sensation), inducing a state of relaxation while maintaining a constant awareness of reality in the present moment.
- Overall Awareness: The mind is very focused and aware, but without concentration on any one thing in particular.
- Emotional and mental clarity: Meditation is associated with an increase in creativity, intuition and insight.
- Detachment : The detachment of meditation (from the thoughts that cross our mind) contributes to greater emotional maturity and enhances one's ability to maintain their composure under pressure, boosts confidence levels and reduces anxiety .
- Self-control: Meditation enables us to manage our emotions and impulses, such as anger and frustration. This contributes towards self-awareness and self-confidence, enabling us to become more at peace with who we are and gain an acceptance of the past.
- Self-esteem: In a state of meditation, we realize that we don't need to depend on substances such as alcohol and drugs, or other people in order to feel good about ourselves.
- Health: Meditation has been proved to exert a positive effect on many diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and depression.\
- Relaxation: Meditation can be very effective in reducing stress and anxiety .
- Spiritual growth: It provides a space for reflection, boosting self-awareness and introspection.
- Self control: Meditation helps to manage our impulses, which can lead to increased self esteem . As we learn to let go of negative emotions such as anger , frustration, anxiety etc., we become more emotionally healthy .
- Healing: Meditation has been found to have a significant impact on the immune system. Studies show that meditation can affect our genetic material (DNA) and strengthen it, preventing disease .
From the point of view of neuroscience, meditation is more than a mental exercise - it also involves stimulation of certain areas in the brain. It's important to remember that the more you practice meditation, the easier it will be to achieve these states.
While they do share some similarities, one of the primary differences between these two practices centers around control. During hypnosis, you are guided into a deeply relaxed state of mind, then suggestions are given that you automatically respond to according to your hypnotist's instructions.
In meditation, you can be guided by another person but can also learn how to guide yourself into a calm and aware mental state. In this way you gain control over your own mental experience.
A big reason hypnosis and meditation have become associated together more frequently in recent years is the rise of popularity of guided meditations. Guided meditations allow people to experience the benefits of meditation practice without having to have any prior experience with meditation. There are now guided meditations for every aspect of life you could think of: from improving focus and concentration, to calming anxiety and improving sleep.