How Hypnosis Works
When you’re in a theta brain frequency state (hypnosis).
Through practice & repetition.
From birth to 7 years old, your brain is only operating in a theta frequency.
The prefrontal cortex has not been developed yet, so you have no ability to rationalize or choose the meaning you’ve unconsciously associated to people or circumstances. Your brain was like a sponge, absorbing all the beliefs, habits, fears & perspectives of your parents, authority figures and peers–linking the situations to either pleasure or pain, and then creating a subconscious program to motivate you either to move away from the pain or towards relief–much like cells in a petri dish.
You might even be consciously aware of these initial events that created the program (like a fear of flying after a crash), but the neural pathway in your brain has already been built and strengthened through repetition. So chances are, when you encounter stress and the brain flips over to fight-or-flight mode; your prefrontal cortex shuts down, and you will revert back to that subconscious program.
Hypnosis is that learning state, that theta frequency that your brain operated in as a child. It’s a natural frequency that you pass through daily as you go to sleep (delta) and as your brain comes consciously back online (alpha & beta).
In a theta state, the pictures you make in your mind get melded with your reality–which is why it’s so easy & enjoyable for kids to ‘play pretend’. It’s also why you may jump or cry during a movie even though you know it’s just a movie.
When you narrow your attention and push aside the critical faculty of your mind, you are in a hypnotic trance.
Experiencing a movie, being captivated by a book, that 5min after you wake up & before you fall asleep, are all theta trances. And during a trance, when your critical faculty is down, you’re highly receptive to suggestion and neural-associations in your brain can be easily created.
A hypnotist’s job is to guide you into a trance & rewire and reinforce neural associations and emotional responses.
E.g. you fell off your bike and your mom gave you ice cream. Your brain created a new neural-pathway linking:
Negative emotion + sugar = relief.
Now every time you were given or reached for snacks for comfort, that neural-pathway has grown stronger and the pattern becomes more unconscious.
The pictures you make in your brain.
Meanings you’ve associated to those pictures.
If your pictures and associations are: “Yummy, delicious cookies I love and can’t live without”, then you will find it near impossible to resist cookies.
If your picture and association of men is: “They’re all selfish assholes, but I still want one”, your brain is going to now sift and sort through your everyday experience for validation on that belief.
If your picture and association of yourself is: “fat failure who can’t do anything right and has no control over my life”, then your brain can only ever sort for resources and present you with thoughts and actions that will create and sustain this belief.
If you put a single cell in a petri dish with a toxin on one side and nourishment on the other, the cell will always move away from the toxin and towards nourishment. Your body works like this on a microscopic level as well as on a mental and holistic level.
As long as you believe that chocolate, candy, burgers, fries and pizza makes you happy and helps you to cope as a reward, you are linking pleasure to them and will crave them during toxic, stressful times.
If you link pleasure to looking good on the beach, feeling desirable in front of a partner or being around longer for your kids, then making the right choices becomes effortless.
If your parents unintentionally taught you that love is: being chastised to be better or being emotionally abandoned, then it will always feel safe around that energy. Even though it may appear as pain, you’ve link survival and pleasure to seeking love from these types of people while also tainting your own personal brand of “self-love”.
Your brain loves simplicity, so once a belief, action or response is done or thought of enough, it will save it and run it as a default program on a subconscious level. This happens very quickly as a child because from birth to about 7 years of age, you are only operating on a subconscious brain level.
Once your brain sets a default, it will continue to respond with that default until you’ve repeated an unfamiliar reaction enough that your brain encodes a new default.
So for achieving any real and lasting success at change, you must make the unfamiliar, familiar.
If you change your morning coffee from 2 cream/2 sugar to milk/1 sugar, it will feel unfamiliar, but if you stick with it, eventually it will be so familiar that if you go back to your old coffee, it will taste horrible!
If you constantly gravitate back to the same toxic relationship(s), their energy and demonstrations of love–or lack there of–feels familiar. They almost feel like ‘home’. The real question is: what is the original subconscious program of ‘home’? What did ‘home’ feel like as a child?
In a hypnotic state, we can not only rewire, old negative neural pathways, but we can solidify & strengthen unfamiliar neural pathways to make those new habits and beliefs almost effortless. You have the power to change your brain.