Those who hear about meditation for the first time may find many similar characteristics to hypnosis.
Because there are indeed similarities. For this occasion, we explore the discipline of meditation and hypnosis and put them side to side, and what you can do with the two practices. I often talk about meditation being the major helper in taking someone from point A to point B.
While meditation doesn’t tend to accomplish this directly, it can, and that’s why so many individuals resort to the practice in hopes of rewiring their minds to the point where they set themselves up to achieve a certain thing.
But that’s where the confusion would come in, because when you hear about how your mind changes with meditation, you may start to ask yourself if you’re actually meditating or just hypnotizing yourself.
Photo by MK Hamilton on Unsplash
The biggest similarity between meditation and hypnosis is that they both can rewire your subconscious mind, and can specifically be used to detach from a habit that’s hurtful.
One of the notable differences lies in the ease of practice. Practicing meditation can be done anywhere, while hypnosis often requires the help of someone else, and doesn’t give you the same level of awareness as meditation does.
Meditation Can Be Done Anytime
While the practice is often portrayed as sitting still with your palms up, meditation through its strict definition can be done while you are walking, exercising, doing work, or anything else for that matter.
With hypnosis, you’re often required to be under a hypnotic state by someone else, which thus can help alleviate symptoms like anxiety or pain, as well as relax you profoundly. But you never hear anyone say they do hypnosis as they train, or walk.
Meditation gives you a bit more flexibility, and while meditation can be done anytime and anywhere, it’s always optimal for most to do it in a calm position, where they sit down and observe their thoughts, as it’s one that reports the longest benefits. The longer you’re able to meditate, the more intensified what you meditate can be.
Hypnosis, on the other hand, isn’t as accessible. You can’t randomly wake up in the middle of the night and go to a therapy session unless there’s some sort of drop-in or you’ve booked a session.
Whereas meditation can be done from your bedroom and help you sleep better, even indirectly helping you in achieving lucid dreams, which is something naturally induced in the sense that you don’t rely on someone else but your own power to do so, through meditation.
There’s also the cost variable, meditation costs nothing to do, even if you can pay for meditation apps or benches, but in the purest, rawest form of meditation, you don’t have to, even if a bench would make it easier. From my experience, the best meditations are done in complete silence.
Different Levels of Awareness
Throughout meditation, you retain your awareness all the time, that is if you are meditating correctly. You are training your mind to sit through long sessions of focus, which at first is gonna be a hard experience for most, and it’s the stage where many give up. The benefits of meditation can be permanent, whereas the benefits of hypnosis are generally not.
However, one of the major differences is that with hypnotherapy, you enter a state where you’re less aware, as opposed to meditation, and while the goal of hypnosis can be to push you to, let’s say, tackle an addiction it may not always work for you, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t do it or replace it with meditation.
The key focus of meditation is being able to keep yourself in the present moment, thus, making you more aware, while hypnosis could help someone find relaxation through memories they’ve already experienced.
While it can be pleasant to go back into the past, where you used to feel happier, you’d be ignoring what you have in front of you, when what you have in front of you might have the potential to be just as good, if not better than what you’ve already experienced in the past.
It’s quite common to hold on to comfort, while meditation can be a way to break out of that comfort zone, to temporarily abandon something that’s good in the quest of finding something that’s better, but at the time was foreign to the mind because of our limited scope of happiness and fulfillment.
Hypnosis and Meditation Can Have The Same Goal
Both can influence your subconscious in ways that affect your quality of life in a better way, often through affirmations. Using different chants or affirmations are known ways people use affirmations to change themselves on a subliminal level.
However, with hypnosis, specifically hypnotherapy, someone else taps into your subconscious to make that change. However, the subconscious mind can be sensitive, so many for that reason don’t trust hypnosis.
That’s not to say that hypnotists have bad intentions, but the avenue for hypnosis to be used negatively is there, even if it never is.
With meditation, you can allow a third party to access your subconscious mind and influence it, but without them knowing it. I.e by doing meditations through guided meditations.
Now, that’s not to say meditation can’t be used for evil on your subconscious but the difference is that while meditating, you retain your awareness throughout the process.
Meditation gives you this deeper personal touch where you navigate yourself, whereas, with hypnosis, you externalize that control. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to be mindful of.
Meditation can have hypnotic characteristics, without necessarily having negative repercussions, but meditation can also make you less susceptible to visual hallucinations that often are done in conjunction with the hypnosis session, because of the fact that your awareness is always there.
Both are similar, however, in the same way that they require you to be in a calm state. It’s in a calm state where you let go of the worries that block your path for any change to be made whatsoever. For this reason, you never hear someone who regularly meditates for a prolonged time complain about how stressed they are.
While meditation and hypnosis can have the same goal, they don’t always have the same outcome.
There are so many meditations that one could bring you more results than the other, and while there probably are a wide range of different hypnosis, you may have to put money on the line to find which hypnotists work for you. With meditation, you have more possibilities to pivot without compromising much.