What Is Hypnosis? Hint: It’s More Familiar Than You May Think

Hypnosis definition

Whether the word inspires images of ancient shamans and sages, mysterious men with long cloaks and vintage pocket watches, or laying on long couches in a therapist office, we’ve all heard of hypnosis.

But exactly, what is hypnosis?

What is this mystical concept that’s been so revered all across the world and all throughout history?

What Is Hypnosis?


Our good friends over at Merriam-Webster dictionary answer the question of what is hypnosis? with the following ways to define hypnosis:

Hypnosis definition — A trancelike state that resembles sleep but is induced by a person whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject.

Hypnotic definition — Tending to produce sleep: of or relating to hypnosis.

Hypnotize definition — To induce hypnosis in: to dazzle or overcome by or as if by suggestion

But what these hypnosis definitions fail to mention is the fact that we don’t need a hypnotist to enter a state of hypnosis — actually, we enter hypnosis all the time.

When Do We Experience Hypnosis?


define trance

To be conservative, we enter a state of hypnosis at least twice a day.

Simply put, hypnosis is the trance-like state of heightened concentration between normal waking consciousness and sleep.

So, not only do we enter a state of hypnosis right before we wake up, but we also slip into this hypnotic state every night as we fall asleep.

You know, those pulsating shapes and colors that form behind your eyelids as you fade away from normal waking conscious… The visual haze that slowly morphs into defined objects, people, and landscapes… The way your thoughts begin speaking a language of sounds, images, smells, emotions, and feelings…

It’s like a dream, yet you feel a subtle awareness — perhaps you giggle out loud because of it’s seemingly complete randomness.

As you let go of your awareness, you are engulfed into the cycle of unconscious sleep.

Sound familiar?

Well, how about when you get so caught up in a book that the rest of the world ceases to exist and you almost burn the house down?

Or, how about when you get so sucked into a movie that you completely lose track of time?

Or, how about when you get completely “zoned out” while driving home from work that you don’t even remember details of the drive?

How about when you space out completely, get lost in a day dream, and stare wide-eyed at nothing?

These are all states of hypnosis.

Our conscious and subconscious minds seemingly vibrate at once, and we become so focused on our inner world that the outer world temporarily ceases to exist.

And we often don’t recognize it happens.

For this, we experience no control over how long we stay in hypnosis or how deep we go. And we rarely influence or direct the experience as it becomes more dream-like.

What Happens If We Add Awareness?


What is hypnosis?

What is hypnosis when combined with intention?

Incredibly powerful.

This all-too-common hypnotic state is a gateway to your subconscious — a door to the inner workings of your mind. And by bringing your awareness to this state, you can transform your entire being.

Once you have access to your subconscious mind, you have access to the database of the stored information that shapes your belief systems, thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors.

Ground-breaking scientist, Dr. Bruce Lipton, briefly describes the immense power of our subconscious mind by stating:

The major problem is that people are aware of their conscious beliefs and behaviors, but not of subconscious beliefs and behaviors. Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is that the subconscious mind is a million times more powerful than the conscious mind and that we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs.

And, once we are able to become more aware of our subconscious mind (via hypnosis), we can begin reprogramming these hidden programs and redesigning ourselves —and our lives— to be the best that they can be.

As world-class hypnotherapist, Marisa Peer (author of Mindvalley’s incredible Uncompromised Life program), states:

When you use transformational hypnotherapy with the right understanding, you are literally rewiring your brain. Even science has proven this fact.

To find out more about the science behind hypnosis, read How Does Hypnosis Work? A Scientific Understanding.

And if you want to learn more about how to leverage the power of hypnosis to create the best possible version of yourself, check out our post, A Guide To Hypnotherapy And How It Can Transform The World.


Are you ready to transform self-doubt into self-confidence? Try Marisa Peer's FREE Transformational Hypnotherapy session and free yourself from limiting beliefs that are holding you back.


What is hypnosis to you? A trippy time before you fall asleep? A way to define trance? A tool for self healing? Share with us in a comment below!

Natasha Wanderly

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

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