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In Waking or Walking Hypnosis?

Author: Marc Gravelle, Certified Hypnotherapist and Instructor

Marc Gravelle

Date Published:
Publisher: Hypnosis Motivation Institute

The Great Escape

Have you ever had “one of those days” when you temporarily lost your car or house keys? Misplaced an item that you “just had in your hands”? Missed the freeway exit you’ve been taking for years?

You may have experienced a condition known as hypersuggestibility, a state of waking hypnosis, or increased suggestibility to environmental factors. In other words, you are easily distracted, or diverted from concentrating.

Hypnosis can be described as an escape mechanism that we all experience when “over-loaded, stressed, fatigued, starved, over-heated, or freezing.” It’s our natural fight-or-flight mechanism at work. The flight (or hypnosis) is “The Great Escape.”

In it’s more extreme form, the waking hypnosis experience can be described as (in the spirit of “redneck comedian” Jeff Foxworthy):

  • If you’ve ever found yourself looking for your cell phone, while talking on your cell phone… you might be in hypnosis.
  • If you’ve been looking for your reading glasses, while wearing your reading glasses… you might be in hypnosis.
  • If you’ve been looking for your sunglasses, or reading glasses, while holding them in your hand or they’re on top of your head… you might be in hypnosis.

One of the most common experiences of people in “waking hypnosis” is when they fall in love. Certainly the condition of being in love is a supremely strong emotion. So intense it can be overwhelming (or overloading). Even though it is a positive experience, the persons in this emotional state become intensely “suggestible” to each other, sometimes finding themselves doing things they otherwise would have never considered. This super-suggestibility is the same as hypersuggestibility.

Think about how people describe “being in love:”

I’m out of my mind, I’m head-over-heels, and love is blind. One of my mentors, Dr. Alex Kappas used to describe love as the interruption of normal brain function.

Other factors that can create this hypersuggestible state of mind are depression, extreme environmental conditions (very hot or cold weather), chronic pain or other physical discomfort, blood-sugar level drops, and extreme stress or anxiety.

Consequences of Hypersuggestibility

  • Inability to maintain concentration or focus on one task or activity – we can be easily distracted.
  • In hypnosis there is some amnesia – we lose or misplace our car keys, or wallets.
  • We experience time distortion – our perception of time can speed up or slow down.
  • We experience an impaired ability to make decisions.
  • We feel a sluggishness or heaviness in the body.

Solutions: 5-4-3-2-1-0 – Stretch! – 0-1-2-3-4-5

The simplest immediate solution is to do some concentrated stretching of various muscle groups. Stretching always assists greater conscious presence awareness, or exiting hypnosis.

In the clinical setting, the hypnotherapist guides the client into a much deeper state of hypnosis using a mechanism (usually 5-4-3-2-1-0) and other deepening techniques. Suggestions are given to block the client from negatives. After experiencing this deeper-than-normal state, the client becomes more consciously aware when “counted out” of hypnosis (0-1-2-3-4-5, eyes open, wide-awake).

The client is then encouraged to “count themselves out,” with stretching, often during their waking hours sometimes as often as every hour.

When you exit hypnosis, you escape “The Great Escape.”