Many people want to meditate. They hear about the incredible benefits it brings – sharper focus, emotional balance, greater relaxation – and they decide that, yeah, they want some of that. But it's hard work. The techniques are difficult to use at first, especially the way that most people teach them.
If you want to enjoy a richer mental experience, you might wonder if there's an alternative to meditation.
I can assure you that there is.
Self-hypnosis generates the same mental states that meditation does. It does it in a very different way, though. The techniques and principles are easy to learn and just as effective. In many cases, they are easier and more powerful than meditation.
It even overcomes the main obstacle with meditation. What's seen as failure is actually raw fuel for self-hypnosis.
Some people say that meditation and self-hypnosis are the same thing. Others believe that they are completely different. I wouldn't disagree with either perspective. The way I see it, there is a lot of overlap between the two. I practice both and I use them in unique ways.
Does that make them the same or different? I choose to separate them. That's a choice though, a belief and perspective. You can take it or leave it.
If meditation is hard for you, then I encourage you to embrace this idea. Self-hypnosis is different enough to be exactly what you need.
Meditation involves clearing your mind and emptying your thoughts. This is tricky to do (at first). It's hard to know whether you're succeeding. Realising that it's working is a thought, which sets you back.
If that's a pain for you – if this is what you've always disliked about meditation – then I have great news:
Self-hypnosis uses your thinking.
You don't have to clear your mind. If you do, great. If not, also great. You can be in the present moment, fully aware, or not. You can have a quiet mind, or not. It's all good with self-hypnosis.
The reason is because it uses a different style of thinking. It's easier to think something new than to think nothing.
Both practices bring you into a trance state. Both require practice and discipline to master. But only one encourages you to do something unnatural. Self-hypnosis is cool with you doing what you need to.
And once you're in trance, it's so useful to be able to think. Sometimes you need to imagine, visualize or consciously process something. That's great, go ahead because that will only enrich the experience.
Struggling with meditation means that you can still experience trance. All you need is a different approach.