Throughout history, humans have found different ways to achieve altered states of consciousness and open doors into other realities, or “the spirit realm”.
From shamans to other indigenous traditions worldwide, trance states are bridges that allow us to step into the subconscious mind, the hidden realms of our souls.
For some, it’s a spiritual belief. For others, it’s science.
Let’s dive into the different techniques to reach this state and discover 5 ways to achieve hypnosis trance and what to expect from the experience overall.
1) Try visualization while meditating
In a nutshell, visualizing is thinking about a mental image.
If your imagination is strong, you won’t have issues achieving trance through this technique.
You can create your own visualization or use a pre-recorded one.
One of the common visualizations is imagining light covering our entire head and body. It can either be a bright golden light or a colorful one.
You can also visualize yourself flying, traveling, and even talking to your spiritual guide. Most importantly–you can visualize having things or being with someone you’d like to be with.
This technique isn’t something magical. You might be practicing some sort of visualization every day, consciously or not. Images that flash through your mind are a form of visualization.
When practiced regularly, visualizing can change your life if you master it.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between visualizations and reality. This means that you have real experiences while you visualize.
The more you do it, the better it will go once you attempt the skill you want to master.
Visualization can help with your career, relationships, health, or even returning material possessions.
Of course, like every other mental technique we’ll talk about here, it will take time for the change to happen. So, be prepared to wait for a bit before you see the effects.
The main three pros of using visualization to get into a trance are these:
- You create your desired reality: Your brain reacts to visualization by sending electrical impulses to the muscles associated with your mental images. For example, when you visualize yourself running around or playing basketball, the appropriate muscles in your body will react. This will help you when you start practicing in real life.
- The possibilities are endless: Visualizing implies getting out of the comfort zone most of the time. You can visualize anything you want, from scenarios with friends and family to a new relationship. This will give you a renewed perspective on your life and help you achieve your goals.
- Your intuition is ready to help you: When visualizing, your mind will bring all the resources and data it has stored to make good, intuitive decisions. These resources will activate after you’re done visualizing. You will notice the changes pretty soon!
2) Use a pendulum to calm your mind
Pendulums are the cliche of every movie where they portray hypnosis.
However, the movies don’t get it all wrong. Focusing on a repetitive pattern can help you get into a trance easier. Plus, they’re cheap and easy to find in new-age stores.
If you’re on a tight budget, though, you can make your own. Simply use a necklace you already have and one that brings on positive feelings.
Try this technique: you have to sit comfortably in a peaceful spot and focus on your pendulum. If you want it to move, it will: the ideomotor effect will make it happen.
You can also swing it to get it to move. Try this for five or ten minutes at first to induce a trance.
These are the steps to follow:
- Find a comfortable position to sit in. Hold the pendulum between your fingers, but don’t cramp up your hand.
- Make sure your elbow is not touching any surface or locked in place. Stay relaxed and start familiarizing yourself with the pendulum and its movements.
- Instruct the pendulum to move, or just think about the movement you want it to do. For example, you can focus so it moves in circles or back and forth.
- Make sure to keep your mind as quiet as possible, but don’t get anxious if you can’t do it at first. Your conscious mind is strong, and it will probably get in the way.
- Stay as relaxed as you can.
- When it starts moving, close your eyes and drop the pendulum. Then, you can start using affirmations or visualizing as you normally do.
This technique will help you to reach a state of hypnosis faster and, therefore–continue with your spiritual practices more effectively.
3) Introduce breathing exercises to your routine
This is one of the best techniques to achieve a trance state and the most known as well.
Changing your breathing pattern is super effective. Many yogic practices start with breathwork to relax the mind and body.
Yogis work with different rhythms, such as pranayama, which removes mental and emotional obstacles aside from inducing trance.
To start with this technique, practice counting your breaths and keeping your eyes closed. To work on your focus, you can count until different thoughts cross your mind and stop there.
Don’t fret! Many people just starting with self-hypnosis can only count 2 or 3 breaths in the beginning. That’s just fine.
Repeat the count several times until you can focus and feel calmer. Then, just sit and let your mind wander. Try not to focus on anything in particular, and don’t censor any thoughts either.
Refrain from putting words to your feelings or making up a narrative for every thought you have.
Sit with what you’re experiencing without judging anything that comes up. When you’re satisfied, open your eyes.
Each time you do this, you’ll be able to count more breaths, and you won’t get as distracted.
This is a great sign that you’re improving your hypnosis skills!
Alternatively, you can try guided breathing exercises from experienced practitioners, such as a world-famous shaman Rudá Iandé.
The Power of Your Breath masterclass is one that taught me just the right techniques to introduce breathing therapy to my life so that I could get into the trance state more easily and faster.
Rudá shares some shamanic breathwork secrets that I had never heard of but that proved to be very effective for getting into a more spiritual state and programming your brain for what you want to achieve.
He teaches how to turn stress and anxiety into your personal power and get the best results from your spiritual practices.
4) Add some rhythmic beats and sounds
You’ve probably seen an image of a shaman or a spiritual leader from indigenous communities who’re beating the drums. This is because rhythmic beats can induce trance states.
You can buy yourself a drum (like a djembe, bongo, or hand drum), or you can find primal beats online.
Personally, I like to listen to Mongolian throat singing. It has a very earthy quality to it that helps me focus on my meditation.
Furthermore, you can research and find sounds from indigenous cultures or music from instruments that help you relax.
Chinese meditation music is very nice, too.
Try to find rhythmic sounds without voices, but if someone is singing, the best would be not to understand the language. If you focus on what they’re saying, your rational mind will interfere with the trance.
The whole point of inducing a trance is to put the rational mind “to sleep” for a little bit.
Nowadays, there are also binaural beats to consider. These frequencies can put you into an altered state of consciousness pretty quickly.
5) Try self-hypnosis
Self-hypnosis is pretty much ignored in spiritual circles, and I am bewildered by that.
Perhaps I am not seeing the whole picture, but self-hypnosis is a trance tool like any other, and it can help a lot when we want to change the way our minds work.
You can try self-hypnosis by delving into a technique that will help you pay attention to different movements and bodily sensations instead of your thoughts.
It’s an effective induction method when you want to achieve a trance state quickly. Here’s what you need to do:
- Start lifting your right arm up and down, getting used to the physical sensation and the movement.
- Pay attention to every muscle that works for you to perform this action.
- Once you’ve done this a couple of times, repeat this affirmation: “I want to lift my right arm. I feel my arm getting light, lifting, lifting, and lifting.” At the same time, don’t lift your arm consciously; just let it kind or move itself.
- The speed at which it will happen will probably surprise you. It works, no matter the range of movement you’ve managed to do.
- Continue this process, allowing your arm to come up and touch your face. Focus on every movement; this is important.
- You can also focus on your fingers, your wrist, the muscles inside these parts of your body, and even the connection between your fingers, your hands, and your arms.
While this may feel like a completely out-of-the-body experience, it’s safe, and it won’t harm you. You can always stop the self-hypnosis if you start to feel uncomfortable.
What to expect from getting into a hypnosis trance?
Theoretically, hypnosis and trance are common phenomena present in every culture. Some people say that it has been with humans since the first moment of consciousness.
The likelihood of having this experience, though, is based on our spiritual experiences and willingness to seek out these techniques and practice them.
So, let’s look at what can happen when you get into a trance, what are the most common experiences, and what can you learn from them.
Many people feel as if they’re disconnected from their bodies.
You might float away in your imagination, untethered from your body’s needs. Although dissociation might be a trauma response in some cases, it might also happen when in a trance.
Usually, you can learn to relax in this state and access parts of your mind that you’ve repressed or forgotten somehow.
Of course, if dissociation is happening because of a traumatic event, it’s necessary to reconnect with ourselves.
2) Different sensory experiences
Trance might bring on sensory distortion.
Your body might feel heavy or light as if floating. You can enter a state of catalepsy, where the body will remain in one position while your mind is entranced.
In this state, you can work on problems like pain in your body. You can diminish it and even eliminate it through meditation.
It’s also a very popular state of trance in hypnosis shows because people might experience things that aren’t happening. We’ve all seen it when, in a hypnosis show, someone believes they’re eating an apple while, in fact, it’s an onion. This is exactly that.
3) Enhanced suggestibility
As the word says, when someone is in a suggestible state, they’re likely to get along with what they’re told. This doesn’t mean they’re “gullible” but rather that they’re more agreeable to things.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will do things against your will: remember that you’re always in control of your experience. Suggestibility indicates that you will be a bit more sensitive to cues in the environment.
It calls back to our instincts as humans to behave as one group and be able to read and adapt our behaviors according to our surroundings.
Humans are naturally gregarious, and they follow each other’s body cues most of the time without even knowing.
4) A few changes in your mind
Some of the changes that hypnosis might bring on are super beneficial for people: your mind might slow down or quiet down that internal chatter.
You can even work on soothing your inner critic and be more accepting of yourself. Going into a trance is communicating with ourselves and finding out what we need.
Oftentimes, the analytical and conscious mind needs help solving things like low self-esteem.
This is because feelings aren’t rational, and we might have to work things out during a hypnosis session.
5) A relaxed state
Hypnosis can help us calm down our nervous system, taking it away from the fight or flight mode and into a state of rest and digestion. This is why, oftentimes, hypnosis can help both our minds and bodies in a myriad of ways.
While it’s not necessary to be resting to enter a trance state, it’s better for a lot of folks since it allows them to feel peaceful and connect with themselves smoothly.
When you want to solve a problem or focus on something, hypnosis can help you find the answers that you’re looking for.
These are only some of the things that might happen when you enter a trance state. You can also experience things like lucid dreaming if you fall asleep while in a trance.
What do people normally use hypnosis for?
Hypnosis has several uses, depending on your needs and your problems. It’s not easy to create a list that comprehends everything you can use it for, but here are the main areas:
- Managing high stress levels.
- Stopping addictions like smoking.
- Managing your weight in healthy ways.
- Diminishing pain.
- Motivation for anything you want.
- Keeping a healthy sleep schedule.
- Enhancing your creative skills.
- Accomplishing different goals, both personal and professional.
- Recovering from grief and learning how to cope with it.
- Healing traumatic experiences.
- Eliminating or reducing different phobias.
- Increasing your capacity to focus.
- Improving your memory.
- Increasing your confidence and self-esteem.
- Working on repressed memories.
How does hypnosis work?
Hypnosis works because of three main reasons:
- First, it teaches you the skills you need to be aware of your body and how it responds to different stimuli. It also allows you to handle it healthily.
- Second, it’s a pathway to learning things about ourselves and our environment. The subconscious mind learns a lot and wants us to survive, but it stores absolutely everything. We can change negative behaviors and habits that we’ve built for years with the help of hypnosis.
- Third, hypnosis is a popular group activity, and some groups can help you develop your ability to enter a trance state by holding you accountable to your goals. Of course, it’s essential to find a qualified professional and a group that you feel comfortable in.
Is the other person controlling me when I am hypnotized?
Not at all!
As I said before, a hypnotherapist guides you into your mind, letting you experience it for yourself. They can also help you if you’re triggered by something from your past.
It’s similar to sitting in the driver’s seat of a car. The hypnotist (in the passenger seat) will give you directions, and you will drive to where you want to go. You can listen to these suggestions or ignore them; you’re in charge of this experience.
You can also wake up at any point you want, no questions asked.
The people who are afraid of hypnotists don’t understand how the mind works. Nobody has the power to control our minds more than we do. There are no magical powers involved in this kind of therapy.
Although the results might feel “miraculous,” you can pat yourself on the back for all your work.
Is it safe to be hypnotized?
The good news, it is.
Hypnosis is something that happens naturally and is a state in which our brain needs more than we realize to heal and change things around.
It’s not common for an individual to have a bad experience with hypnosis, although some people might not benefit from it but rather from other therapies.
It all comes down to choosing the right therapist and doing it at the right moment.
More about the state of hypnosis
Our brains have different levels of awareness or consciousness. We can go from fully alert to a tired or sleepy state. There are many variations between these states. Hypnosis can happen spontaneously.
Here are some examples that we might experience every day without even knowing:
- Daydreaming about different scenarios;
- Starting a pleasant task and losing track of time;
- Performing a daily activity while thinking of something else, to the degree that we might forget if we did the task or not;
- Being bored and falling into a light state of sleep. For example, if we’re listening to a boring speech.
The difference with clinical hypnosis is that the latter induces this relaxed state of awareness with a purpose.
When the mind is relaxed, therapeutic suggestions have better effects on our behaviors and perceptions.
We don’t fully understand how or why this happens.
Some researchers believe that our brains enter a wavelength that allows the mind to get into new ideas, and others think that we can access the unconscious mind, which is more open to new patterns and ideas than our rational mindsets.
Although we don’t know the entire mechanism, we know that it can help a lot of people heal faster and let go of things that aren’t good for them.
The bottom line
Hypnosis is a very powerful tool that can help you relax and understand your thoughts and emotions better.
From this understanding, you can improve anything you want. It’s also safe, despite the rumors, and can bring benefits like increased self-esteem, confidence, assertiveness, and relaxation.
You can also use it when you’re going through a hard time or dealing with sickness.
Try it out yourself and see!