How Do I Know I Have Been Hypnotized?
If you’re curious about doing hypnosis to improve your life (whether that’s losing weight, getting over a fear), or if you want to be a volunteer in a stage show, you might be wondering: “How do I know I have been hypnotized?”
People tend to have different ideas of what hypnosis is, and what it means to be in hypnosis.
Whenever I’m going to work with someone for the first time – like when it’s a client sitting down for a paid session or out entertaining volunteers with street hypnosis – some of the things I ask them are “Have you ever been hypnotized?” and “What do you know about hypnosis?” (or: “What do you think hypnosis is?”)
Sometimes the answer I get back is, “Someone tried to hypnotize me but it didn’t work,” and I’ll ask why.
“I couldn’t get hypnotized because I couldn’t relax.”
“I knew I wasn’t hypnotized because I could hear the hypnotist.”
“I didn’t go to sleep when you said sleep.”
None of these things mean a person isn’t hypnotized or can’t be hypnotized. Even people who say they’re analytical or that their “mind is too strong” can still be hypnotized, and in fact those things can help.
Misconceptions about Hypnosis
All those things that I’ve heard from people are hypnosis misconceptions.
I couldn’t relax
You don’t have to actually relax to go into hypnosis. It tends to be a side-effect of it, and most hypnotists suggest that. But it’s absolutely not required.
This past weekend, I was hypnotizing people on a busy street where musicians with amps and African drummers were playing. It wasn’t even close to a calming environment, and yet nearly everyone I worked with still easily went into a hypnotic trance.
I could hear the hypnotist
Good! If you couldn’t hear me, how could I give suggestions to help you? During hypnosis, you’re completely aware of the sound of my voice and what’s going on around you. You might just not care, though.
I didn’t go to sleep when you said sleep
This is also good! It wouldn’t be a very effective session (or an entertaining show!) if you actually went to sleep when the hypnotist shouted, “Sleep!”
When I tell someone to sleep, I’m just telling them to close their eyes and to go inside of themselves.
With all that, how do you actually know you are hypnotized?
Signs You’re Hypnotized
When I hypnotize someone, there are external signs I’m looking for. But what are the signs that will tell you that you are hypnotized?
There are a few things you can look for.
1. Are you doing what the hypnotist is telling you to do?
This is a simple one. Are you doing what I’m suggesting? If I suggest that your arm begins to float up, does it? If I suggest that your hand is stuck to something, is it?
Sticking your hand to something and you can’t remove it like it’s been superglued can be pretty entertaining, but it can also be what’s called a “convincer.”
When I’m a hypnotizing someone for the first time, I want them to know they’re doing a good job and show them they are in a trance – convincers are one way to do that.
And going with that, one of the other signs is…
2. A sense of involuntariness
When I suggest your hand is lifting, stuck to something, or something similar, there’s often a sense of involuntariness that occurs.
It doesn’t feel like you’re the one lifting your hand. It doesn’t feel like you’re the one keeping your hand stuck to the table.
Or it can be feeling like you’re the one doing it, but why would you want to do anything else?
One time when I was hypnotized by a friend and fellow hypnotist, he suggested, “When your eyes open the first thing you’ll say is zip-a-dee-doo-dah.
He had me open my eyes and asked, “What’s your zip code?”
I wanted to say my zip code. I didn’t want to say what he had told me. But I couldn’t. It was like my tongue stopped working until I said it.
3. Physical signs you’re going into hypnosis
There are a lot of physical signs of hypnosis that I’m looking for when hypnotizing someone. If you’re the hypnotee though, you’re not going to notice most of them because you can’t see yourself with your eyes closed and without a mirror.
There’s a few you can though. While relaxation isn’t required to go into hypnosis, you almost always start relaxing as part of the process. Because of that, you might notice your breath and heart rate slow down, and you might even start breathing from a deeper place in your lungs.
Outside of that, you might notice your eyes fluttering. When someone goes into hypnosis, often their eyelids will flutter or their eyes will start darting around under those eyelids like they’re dancing.
Those are just a few of the things you might notice when being hypnotized. With all of that though, you might be wondering how hypnosis actually feels.
What does hypnosis feel like?
If you’re curious about trying out hypnosis, you might wonder what does hypnosis feel like. You might especially be curious if you’ve seen hypnosis in a TV show or a movie like Get Out:
Compared to some hypnosis portrayals, this one isn’t actually too bad! (even though it’s set up to be scary).
Usually hypnosis will feel like I suggest it to: good and relaxing.
Besides that though, it depends on the person. For some people it feels like they’re floating. For one person who I saw talking about it online, he said to him it felt like looking through a small window – so just like the Get Out scene, just without the sinking part.
And for some people, it feels like nothing. Just as if you closed your eyes for a few moments.
Experience Hypnosis in Denver For Yourself
If you want to experience hypnosis in Denver for yourself, you have a few options. If there’s something you want to do for yourself, like relieve stress, lose weight, stop smoking, you can schedule sessions with me.
If you’re looking for a free option, I’m out doing street hypnosis a few times a month and you can come up and volunteer. One of the events I’m almost always at with a few other hypnotists is the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe.
If you’re there, come up and say hi!