Utilising the Natural Trances We Enter Daily
A blog on natural body rhythms and Hypnosis
Written by Michael Carroll - 7 February 2022
Hypnosis has been around as long as humans have been able to think cognitively, it creates a breakaway state from everyday thinking. We access breakaway states spontaneously in our daily lives, they are usually internally oriented, and have a different brainwave than the everyday state. In the breakaway states, we become less aware, and sometimes have no awareness of our immediate environment on the basis our conscious brain processing is absorbed with internal focus.
We refer to these states as day dreaming, mind wandering, or loss of attention. Classic examples are, when sitting in a lecture, or watching a movie, we go inside our mind, lose track of time, and lose track of what is going on in our immediate environment. Another example is driving on an open road, arriving at the destination with parts of the journey missing from consciousness and on occasions arriving somewhere, as if by magic, and having no or low recall of the journey despite managing the complex behaviours of driving.
The above examples of breakaway states, are biologically similar to hypnotic trance. The difference in hypnotic trance and a natural breakaway state is the purpose. With Hypnosis, a person deliberately seeks to create a breakaway state, and with spontaneous breakaways, the unconscious mind is organising the sensory information absorbed in the period before the breakaway into long term memory or to file in the mental equivalent of the trash can
There are also negative breakaway states. The self-criticism we bombard ourselves with has a hypnotising effect and leads us to a negative breakaway state which is a trance in itself. In this type of trance, we become immersed in our thoughts about everything which is wrong in our lives, or everything that can go wrong. How often do you get lost in a deep state of internal negativity? In this breakaway state, you will be accessing the habits and behaviours that do not support you. Rarely, do we think of these states as a form of ‘self-hypnosis’ but they are.
The human mind and body follows daily rhythms to ensure health of the mental and physical wellbeing. These are called Ultradian Rhythms which are the body and brain shifts that occur naturally through the night and day. So when you sleep, you will experience between 4 - 6 sleep cycles in a night, punctuated by an ultradian rhythm shift, with each cycle progressing through the night containing lighter sleep and thus less deep sleep than the previous cycle.
During the day, the Ultradian Rhythm shifts work in the opposite direction, and every 90 - 120 minutes, the mind and body seeks to naturally access a resting state, and this is what I referred to as a breakaway state, we begin to day dream and find it difficult to focus. Many people deal with the reduced physical and mental energy with a caffeine fix to artificially boost energy or nicotine hit to mentally reduce irritability, which is occurring due to loss of mental focus and tiredness that comes with resisting the body’s and mind’s need for down time.
Hypnosis researcher Ernest Rossi conducted research which demonstrated the natural biological state in an Ultradian Rhythm shift to have similar properties to hypnotic trance, and hypothesised that tiredness and anxiety occurs when we resist the natural daily trances/breakaway states. It’s far more productive and healthy to allow ourselves to relax and enjoy the trance the body and mind needs to rejuvenate.
This where self-hypnosis is a useful tool, for re-energising the mind and body throughout the day. So when you feel the energy dip associated with an Ultradian Rhythm shift, rather than fighting or trying to fix it with caffeine take a break, go somewhere quiet, take some deep and slow breaths to oxygenate your system. Let your eyes focus on a spot ahead of you, then defocus your eyes, until they naturally close. When your eyes are closed, notice your breathing change, usually to a shallower rhythm and then let your mind wander to a very pleasant place. If you know a formal Self-Hypnosis process, use that to bring on the trance.
The value of taking down time as referenced above is enormous. You will for sure have more energy throughout the 90 minute alert states which comes after the breakaway state, so you will be more productive in your daily activities, as well as sleep better at night. Your overall health and wellbeing is likely to improve, as you will not be putting excess stress on your body and mind.
Self-Hypnosis is the ultimate mind hack, and the great thing is the more you do it the easier it becomes, and eventually you will be able to open a really nice self-induced trance in less than a minute, how long you stay in the trance is of course up to you.
© Michael Carroll, Founder and Course Director, London Hypnosis Academy
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