Hypnosis And Meditation

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Hypnosis and meditation are quite similar. Both are altered states of consciousness, different from both day to day wakefulness and from sleep. Many people confuse both hypnosis and meditation with sleeping. In fact, the word hypnosis comes from the Greek word hupnos, which means sleep. Although hypnosis, meditation and sleep are all usually relaxing states in which stress melts away, hypnosis and meditation are not sleep.

Rather, they are more akin to daydreaming. Scientists have studied the brain waves of people in all three conditions and found them to be similar. During hypnosis, a few unique things seem to happen to the brain. For one, left brain activity slows and right brain activity increases. For another, EEGs show that higher frequency brain waves diminish while lower frequency waves increase--a sign that the conscious mind is taking a back seat to the oft-ignored subconscious mind.

Hypnosis and Meditation for Stress Reduction

Both techniques are excellent for battling stress. By learning to consciously engage the subconscious, and by practicing simple relaxation exercises, people are able to greatly reduce stress and tension. Exercises often include visualization and breathing techniques.

For instance, you may be asked to imagine a green, peaceful forest, while slowing and deepening each inhalation and exhalation. It may seem nonsensical or silly to some people, but it works. Not only do techniques like these lower blood pressure and reduce muscular tension, they simply feel great. Like a massage or a warm bath, relaxation through hypnosis and meditation feels terrific.

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