2: Memory and Forgetting
4: Relaxation and Hypnosis
internal and external factors affect how we think, feel, and behave.
Although alcohol and drugs have been studied in great detail and have been
shown to have both positive and negative effects on our state of mind, they
will not be discussed in this section. For more information about
these, follow the link above.
this section, we are going to focus primarily on the internal factors that
influence our state of mind, particularly relaxation and hypnosis.
These two terms are not foreign to most of us, but they can be highly
misunderstood. Let's explore the concept of relaxation first.
studied in psychology, relaxation refers to a focusing on the mind and a
relaxing of the body's muscles. Research has shown that being too
tense and/or living with too much stress has a significant negative impact
on our lives. It can lead to physical illnesses such as high blood
pressure, ulcers, fatigue, and headaches and many psychological issues,
including inappropriate or misdirected emotions, confusion, difficulty
concentrating, and burn-out. People utilize relaxation, in combination
with stress management, to improve their quality of life, reduce the
physical components of stress, and improve their psychological functioning.
are different forms of relaxation, including breathing exercises, deep
muscle relaxation, progressive muscle relaxation, imagery, meditation, and
yoga. Although each of these has different components, the main goal
in each is to relax the body's muscles and focus the mind. Since the
body and the mind cannot be separated, most agree that both of these
components must be present for any relaxation technique to work.
is very similar to relaxation in that the same two components of physical
and mental must be addressed together. Most professionals agree that
hypnosis is a very deep state of relaxation where your mind is more focused
and the connection between your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are more
clear. Hypnosis is not magical; it can not cause you to do anything
against your judgment or ethical beliefs; it can not make you 'cluck like a
chicken.' What it can do it help you to focus on specific areas of
your life with more clarity and teach you how to do this in a positive
is typically a licensed professional who
uses hypnosis as part of a treatment regimen for certain psychological
disorders. It is rarely used as the primary treatment, but instead is
most beneficial when used with relaxation and talk-therapy for a more
rounded therapeutic approach. A
is a non-clinical term usually referring
to an unlicensed individual who perform various forms of hypnosis for
entertainment purposes. The two are quite different, the former is
therapeutic and the latter is not designed to be so.
people are able to be hypnotized, although many factors play a role in your
individual susceptibility. These factors include your belief in
hypnosis, your trust for the therapist, your sense of safety, ability to
concentrate and focus your mind, and the absence of external factors such as
noise, uncomfortable temperature, and physical comfort. The key to
successful hypnosis is your ability to focus on your body and mind and to
trust and believe in your therapist. Without these hypnosis will not
work, at least not to the fullest therapeutic value.
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