Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Getting Caught Up In the Action

(This blog was originally posted on June 29, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

According to John G. Kappas, Ph.D., founder of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, “hypnosis is created by an overload of message units, disorganizing our inhibitory process, triggering our fight-flight mechanism and ultimately resulting in a hyper-suggestible state, providing access to the subconscious mind.” In other words, when the mind is overloaded by multiple, multi-faceted physical and emotional stimuli, we actually “escape” into hypnosis to avoid the anxiety produced by this over-stimulation. In today’s blog I will share some common examples of emotional responses/reactions people make when they are in hypnosis.

  • Have you ever been in love? During the peak of infatuation, it is common to adopt the preferences (e.g., musical, film, books, etc.), behaviors or even habits you have observed in your beloved. This tendency is actually a product of suggestibility, whereby we become “suggestible” to a romantic partner’s beliefs/attitudes/behaviors during the relationship.
  • Did you cry when Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, died at the end of Titanic? Deep down, you knew that the actor was alive and well somewhere. However, the message units that flooded your mind during this scene—sounds and images of this character perishing in the icy North Atlantic Ocean—overwhelmed your conscious mind so you slipped into a light trance. DiCaprio’s on-screen charm and acting prowess sealed the deal in terms of your “buying into” the story that Jack Dawson died. Did you do on-line research after the movie let out to see if he was a real person and died on the R.M.S. Titanic? If so, the cast and Titanic writer/director James Cameron accomplished their goal of creating for the audience a realistic experience of sailing on and witnessing the demise of this historic ship.
  • Do you curse Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin every time he “kills off” one of your favorite characters but cheer when a true villain meets a particularly gruesome/unusual demise? Your conscious mind knows that the individuals who populate Martin’s exciting, horrifying, creative, fantastical kingdoms do not really exist. Nonetheless, when you have a visceral (physiological/emotional) response to the words on the pages of these books, you can be sure you were sucked into this alternate reality. Yes, you were hypnotized.
  • Consider the last time you went to the grocery store. Did you buy any item(s) that were not on your original shopping list? Did you take one or any of the free food samples you were offered? If so, there is a good chance that you were in a light state of trance during your shopping trip: i.e. Hypnotized by the Grocery Store.

Next time you find yourself completely engrossed in what is going on when you are watching a movie or television program or reading novel, or after you leave the grocery store laden with various item(s) you never intended to purchase, look in the mirror. If your eyes look glassy/glazed over, that is a sure sign you were in a state of trance. I also invite you to check out my blog titled, Are You Sure I Was Hypnotized? to learn about other physiological responses that your body makes when you are in hypnosis.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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