How Do I Know I Have Been Hypnotized?

Mark ReaganHypnosis6 Comments

how do I know I've been hypnotized blog post

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!

6 Comments on “How Do I Know I Have Been Hypnotized?”

  1. Hello Mark,
    My name is Juan Reyes, and I recently experienced something that I can’t explain. I had a fellow co- worker attempt to hypnotize me without my consent. First of all, is that possible? I’m not so sure what it was, I’m hoping you can help me. This experience sounds crazy, but I want to make sure what I experienced was hypnosis and not something else.
    This coworker walked into my office and began staring into my eyes without saying anything. I briefly looked away and when I made eye contact again he said something that I don’t remember what it was. I instantly felt as if something had grabbed a hold of my body, I was unable to move yet I was completely aware of my surroundings. I felt a tingly sensation from my head down to my toes. At the time a was standing up, I noticed my heart rate elevate as if I was in the middle of a workout yet I was still unable to move. I could hear him say “oh shit” he then touched my arm at the same time he said “wake up”.
    At this time I was finally able to move and talk. It freaked me out, I asked him “what the hell was that?” he told me he was trying to hypnotize me. He began to ramble something’s, but I was still in a state of shock. I was having a hard time comprehending what had actually occurred. He told me I would be fine and I would be back to normal in a few minutes. He continued to tell me I was fine and not to worry. After a few minutes my heart rate went back to normal.
    I asked my co worker why he did that, he stated he wanted to gauge me. I told him I did not feel comfortable him doing that to me since there was no warning or prior conversation of him being able to hypnotize.
    The whole experience from the moment he walked into the room, to when he touched my arm and said wake up lasted about 15 seconds. My girlfriend fears this might be something sinister, I usually don’t believe in that kind of stuff.
    So yeah, in your experience was this hypnosis or something else?
    I hope to hear back from you soon
    Thank you

    1. Hi Juan,

      You can’t be hypnotized against your will, but it’s not impossible to hypnotize someone without them knowing.

      Here though it’s hard to say what actually happened though – sometimes hypnosis does use a moment of confusion (which you experienced here) to get a suggestion into the unconscious. That could’ve been what happened, but still, hard to say one way or the other. It depends on what he actually said, how susceptible you are personally, etc.

      If you don’t want to be hypnotized, don’t do what the hypnotist tells you to do, and you might focus on pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth.

  2. I had a similar thing happen as Juan Reyes. I was hypnotized, no doubt, by a man in a public place with his eyes. I went into a trance and when someone else walked up and interrupted the trance, I saw the man’s head moving in a circle. He just walked away and there were suggestions placed in my mind that were not there before.

  3. does the person who did it to you leave suddenly after they wake you up?
    and can they indirectly send u something to help u finish waking up threw your phone ?

  4. I was told that I was hypnotized and has sex is this possible because now I am being totally harassed and I do not know if it occurred and they won’t show me the video

  5. Hi, Mark,
    I have been trying to hypnotize myself for a while and dont know if what im experiencing is actually hypnosis. I lay on my bed, cover my eyes and listen to an audio file on my phone. I have quite a few.
    A couple times ive seen weird squiggly shapes, like most people do with their eyes closed then I had a couple instances of REM, where I started dreaming for two or three seconds and snapped out of it.
    Dreaming is associated with sleep so I dont know if I was going into a trance or crossing over into good old fashioned sleep.
    Ive been going to an online forum about hypnosis to learn more and have had people try hypnotizing me on skype. According to what youre saying, if im just laying there with my eyes closed and am aware of everything around, even hear traffic outside, I could still be hypnotized. But you may not be either. It could be that you are in a fully concious awake state with your eyes closed.
    I dont want to get too caught up in trance logic that might interfere with going under, but you have to apply a certain amount of logic to know its working. Thats hard when youre by yourself and theres noone to observe physical signs.
    I know ive had control issues that make it hard for my subconscious mind to let go, but ive been working through them and as Ive tried hypnosis over and over it has started to get easier. I think building trust helps.
    I want to experience hypnosis but dont want to become so succeptible that someone on the bus could silently hypnotize me or a hypnotist could snap his fingers or touch my forehead and I collapse on the floor. Maybe subconscious fear of this happening is blocking me.
    At this point im very frustrated and im not in Denver so I cant just swing by your office to problem solve. Im starting to think I need to get a big rubber mallet to hit myself in the head. It could be thats the only way ill ever experience hypnosis.

    David L.

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