Clients often ask me “What is the differewnce between hypnosis and meditation?” Simply put:
Meditation and hypnosis can be similar in terms of the process utilized to achieve a relaxed state. For example both may use breathing, progressive muscle relation or a visualization of a calm, beautiful place to relax the mind and body. Both can recharge and rejuvinate, release stress and anxiety and quiet the mind’s incessant chatter. Both can be taught or practiced in a class/group format or done alone (self-hypnosis). From here, similarities begin to disappear.
Meditation and hypnosis differ in terms of outcome. Meditation is a practice of “mindfullness,” or nonjudgemental awareness of sensations, feelings, thoughts without “trying” to do anything but observe. Just letting such come and go and being at peace with it all IS the practice of meditation. In other words, the process is the practice. Hypnosis, in contrast, utilizes the relaxed state to suggest specific therapeutic change to the subconscious mind. This could be weight loss, release of fears, stop smoking, improvement in sleep, etc. In other words, hypnosis involves directing the awareness toward specific goals and outcomes, reprogramming the subconscious mind. Most often, a trained hypnotherapist works with a client to determine specific goals and suggestions and guides the process to give the subconscious mind the pre-agreed therapeutic suggestions.