The Stages of the Mind

To help you to understand Hypnosis, we must first break down the different stages in which the brain functions so that you can see the state of mind that you are functioning in most often.

Every person goes through the state of “hypnosis” naturally several times a day including right before falling asleep at night and awakening in the morning.

When you are wide awake your brain waves function at “beta” waves. You are fully conscious and awake, while your subconscious mind handles all automatic activity, including all body, emotional, and mental functioning, without your awareness.

In the “beta” state of mind, your mind is constantly working in different directions, it is bouncing from one thought to the next and stimuli from all over the place are coming to the brain.  When something new stimulates you mind, it moves from its previous thought to the new one,  although you feel like you are completely in control of yourself during this type of brain function, you likely are not, not only your thoughts move from one thing to the next quickly, but your physical being is doing the same thing too. 

As you begin to relax, your brain waves slow to “alpha” waves. Slightly relaxed, you are more focused and aware. Somewhat suggestible, this is the brain state you are in while watching TV, listening to music, or driving a car.

An example of this type of brain activity can be as simple as seeing a child playing.  If you see that child while you are driving, your mind goes from control of the vehicle to the child.  She’s cute, playing and riding her bike.  Then, your mind moves to thoughts from your own childhood.  You feel good and smile at the happy memories or you can go through these same thought and emotional processes with negative images.

Consider if that child was a teenager, doing something that they shouldn’t be.  Now, you are wondering about your own children, what they are doing that you don’t know about.  And, your emotions follow you too with thoughts that are fearful and tense. 

In a negative situation, you are likely to become distracted by the thoughts playing through your mind which then directly impacts the way you drive your vehicle; perhaps you run a red light or, narrowly miss a car accident. 

Often, stresses build up during this process and since it is our “normal” state of mind, they pile on over time.  You can find yourself unable to concentrate on anything and eventually you can have trouble balancing all that you have to do in your everyday life. 

As you relax deeper, your brain waves slow to “theta” waves. Your conscious awareness drifts to different thoughts and you become less aware of your body, which may feel either very heavy or light, somewhat like you are floating. You are still aware, although you may not remember some of what you hear or think, and your subconscious mind is highly suggestible.

Now sleep comes, and as your brain waves slow to “delta” waves, you have no conscious awareness at all and will not remember sleeping. Your subconscious mind is fully in control, and there is some question as to whether you are suggestible or not.