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What is the difference between hypnosis and meditation?

What is the difference between hypnosis and meditation?

Is hypnosis like meditation? Is meditation like hypnosis - we reveal the difference

To answer this question, it is first important to understand the concept of meditation. The word comes from the Latin "meditatio", which means something like reflection, contemplation. And this is exactly where the misunderstandings begin. While in the Christian context "meditation" often has to do with prayer or inner contemplation, i.e. always with the word and the thought, meditation in the Far Eastern context always means letting go of thoughts. It is a method to strengthen the concentration and to expand the consciousness. In the following we will always refer to this definition of meditation.

Hypnosis and the hypnotic state

So hypnosis is a method in which you are specifically put into a state of trance. In the hypnotic trance you are in a relaxed awake state. You are not asleep and you are not completely absent. If the client is in the trance, positive suggestions are used, which are supposed to have a healing and supporting effect. This succeeds because the conscious mind moves into the background during hypnosis and the way to the subconscious mind becomes free. This allows the suggestions to be absorbed particularly effectively. Therapist and client can still talk to each other normally during hypnosis. The fixed suggestions serve the goal that the client wants to achieve. Such goals may include quitting smoking, pain relief, or freedom from anxiety. Hypnosis is also used for people who want to develop their personality, for example, to establish new habits or get rid of old ones. By the way, hypnosis is something quite common. You are in hypnotic states several times a day, for example, when you fall asleep, wake up or you are particularly absorbed in an activity.

Meditation is silence and switching off the thoughts

Meditation, on the other hand, has the goal of enlightening you. Here you learn to switch off your perception and unite your five senses. Meditation means silence and the elimination of thoughts and feelings. This is to achieve an absolutely peaceful state. Your consciousness is one with everything. Meditation is a millennium-old art that originated in Hinduism and Buddhism. There it is a kind of philosophy of life to which many people have devoted themselves. In the past, it was mainly used to develop the mind spiritually. Today it is mostly a method of relaxation.

Hypnosis usually has an intention

The difference between hypnosis and meditation is the intention behind it. Hypnosis focuses on a specific goal that the client wants to achieve. Here the thoughts may be given free space, they may also wander off sometimes. When you meditate, you should make yourself as free as possible from all your thoughts. Here you sink into a state of absolute unity and let your feelings and thoughts dissolve. Which of the two methods is better or more helpful cannot be said. You don't even have to weigh them against each other, because both hypnosis and mediation are profitable and valuable in their own way. Meditation you have to practice for a long time, it can be very tedious in some circumstances. To free yourself from everything and clear your mind is not so easy. But once you can, you are in a very beautiful state, which is absolutely effective against stress. Hypnosis is more specific, because here you work on a concrete thing. It relaxes your body, mind and spirit and you become receptive to receive positive suggestions. Hypnosis is also a beautiful, peaceful and quiet state. Emotionally, hypnosis can be enormously intense, because unlike mediation, feelings and thoughts are not clarified, but transmitted and visualized. In addition, hypnosis usually achieves faster results than mediation. While meditating must be properly learned, falling into a hypnotic trance is easy. As mentioned earlier, we already know the state of hypnosis from everyday life and so it is easier to induce it. In addition to relaxation, meditation is often interpreted quite differently, which makes it difficult to answer the question of the difference between hypnosis and meditation.

In fact, depending on the definition, meditation can also mean:.
  • focus mindfully on this moment
  • focus on images or phrases
  • consciously focus on simple movements in one's rhythm
  • certain breathing exercises and techniques
  • singing or quoting
  • repeating certain sentences, words or movements
  • Performing rituals, for example, with certain scents
  • letting thoughts go, not holding on to images
  • making oneself "empty" and quieting the mind and head or even "switching off
Hypnosis, like meditation, can also have different emphases, and the application is also different depending on the school of hypnosis. It can be said that there are many similarities between practices of meditation and hypnosis - physical and mental. There are spiritual origins in both camps. We also find similarities in the goals or motives. Therefore, the question is not easy to answer, but depends on which methods we want to compare from both camps.

And where is the difference between hypnosis and meditation?

Hypnosis and meditation are ways to find this peace and clarity. However, while the art of meditation must be practiced over years and decades, the state of hypnosis is easier for most people to achieve with a skilled and experienced hypnotherapist. Meditation is a spiritual method that in most cases also has a religious component. In the long run, meditation helps with self-discovery and physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

In contrast, hypnosis was already used in ancient times for medical reasons. Then as now, operations were performed under hypnosis, it helped against physical and mental suffering. Nevertheless,

Hypnosis is a wonderful method to experience fast healing or improvement of ailments, fears, pain.

Hypnosis aims at change processes and supports people in working with hypnosis to lead an easier life that feels coherent for the individual. Meditation is a long-term method to achieve inner growth. Hypnosis can also help you to deepen your meditation experience and help you in guidance to get closer to this desired inner state of meditation also beyond the hypnosis session for yourself and to benefit from it in the long term.

Trance and expansion of consciousness

Whoever thinks of trance and expansion of consciousness, thinks of hippies, drugs and colorful robes. But for all the hippie romanticism, behind the ancient practices of hypnosis and meditation lies thousands of years of knowledge about the nature of man and the power of consciousness more specifically the subconscious. In both meditation and hypnosis, the subject first achieves deep relaxation. This relaxation has nothing to do with tiredness or sleep, as a look at the EEG proves (see also: How does hypnosis affect the brainwaves during EEG?). Quite the opposite. As the body relaxes and discursive thinking subsides, the mind becomes more alert. A calm, clear concentration develops, which becomes deeper and deeper as the mind becomes quieter - and as thought activity diminishes. No longer distracted by the constantly chattering mind, the restlessly wriggling body, and the looming worries of everyday life, our consciousness has more space. It's not as if more is happening or anything suddenly appears that wasn't there before. No, with the calmness of the mind, we perceive reality more clearly and can take in new perspectives - and that includes everything that finds no place in everyday consciousness. In this state, insights can mature. Pain loses its dominion over the body, the mind, and images from times long past emerge and lose their horror.

Hypnosis and science

Here you will find an overview of the topics of hypnosis in science:

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