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Stumbling Into a Hypnosis Conference Changed My Mind (literally)

Bryan Liu
Bryan Liu
5 min read
Stumbling Into a Hypnosis Conference Changed My Mind (literally)
Photo by MK Hamilton / Unsplash

I had no idea what I signed up for, and sure as hell I had no clue what I’ve just gone through.

HypnoThoughtsLive is a conference where all the hypnotists around the globe congregate once a year in Las Vegas to share their experiences and trade magic. Before I attended the conference, I didn’t know much about hypnosis other than seeing a few staged demonstrations at my high school (I’m pretty sure everyone’s just acting) and on TV.

“What would these hypnotists do at the conference? Putting each other to sleep?” I thought to myself.

I was skeptical but curious at the same time – if I can learn hypnosis and drop people to sleep just with the snap of my finger, I’d get through lines at clubs much faster. Without a second thought, I went into the conference ready to immerse myself in this community. And after a weekend and a few classes here and there, I emerged as a certified hypnotist, ready to put people to sleep (jk, I’m ready to put myself to sleep)

What I experienced was nothing short of mind-opening, and here are the 5 key takeaways from what I’ve learned:

1) Hypnosis Happens Every Day, Not Just On Stage

Simply put, we all had been under hypnosis in our normal daily lives. Whether we are watching an engaging movie or being mesmerized by our dates, we are constantly dropping into the state of hypnosis whenever we are “in the moment”. When we tune down our hyper-active analytical mind, we set free our subconscious and heart and we are in the “zone”, “flow”, or “trance”. This is hypnosis, and in this state we become highly suggestible or programmable. Meditation is also another form of hypnosis. Thus we are constantly getting into and out of hypnosis on regular basis, we just didn’t know it.

2) Hypnosis to Clean up and Rewrite Your History

As we grow up, we carry with us our personal histories stored as memories. But oftentimes these memories can haunt us and traumatize us, as the brain has the tendency towards playing negative narratives in your heads. We bring the emotions, often less than positive, associated with these memories to the present and they become our personalities and our reality. Breaking free from these patterns would seem impossible.

Hypnosis can do the impossible. As we tune down our analytical mind and drop into hypnosis,  the subconscious becomes suggestible and thus can be reprogrammed. We can rewrite the narratives associated with the memories, release repressed emotions, and install positive narratives and emotions so that these memories become constructive instead of destructive. Essentially, in hypnosis, we have the power to reshape our past and reconstruct our identity.

3) Hack Your Body, Hack Your Emotion, Hack Your Future

A typical spiral looks like this:

  • Emotion forms Mood
  • Mood impresses Personality.
  • Personality influences Mindset
  • Mindset translates into Behavior and Action
  • Action gets the results it deserves.
  • Results influence Emotion.

Our emotion is the starting part of this entire spiral and has a direct impact on our future, and we can see how a negative emotion eventually gets less desirable results which thus feeds back to the emotion. This is how downward spiral forms and becomes seemingly impossible to break.

How can we break out of this spiral? Hacking your emotion is the key, and I’ve just learned one high-tech trick to do so – changing your body posture. That’s right, this high-tech (jk) trick can instantly change the way we feel, and thus hijacking and hacking our emotions to a positive state. Feeling down and depressed? Stand in the pose of Superman or a victorious champion and feel all the positive feelings. Add to it by blasting your mind with a chain of positive self-talks. Immediately the depressed state becomes a positive one. By changing our posture, we can hijack our emotions and break the downward spiral. Hacking our future becomes a possibility.

4) Changing Awareness of Our “Resources” Can Change Our Emotions

Feeling depressed often arises from the mindset of scarcity, or the lack of resources at our disposal. This, however, is a problem of perception and not of what we actually possess. A glass can be half filled up, but it can be perceived as half full or half empty. Seeing the glass as half empty implies a diminishing resource, thus a scarcity. Seeing the glass as half full implies that the resource is still available for you and of utility. Both perceptions are rooted from the same reality, but won’t you be happier when you suddenly realize you gain resources by simply shifting your perception?

How many resources have gone under-utilized like this?

5) Every 1 Negative Thought Requires 5 Positive Ones to Cancel It

This is an eye-opening lesson for me. It takes 5 positive thoughts to counteract 1 negative thought. That’s how powerful negativity is, and it takes a whole lot of effort to balance it out. And worst, this is our default biological survival model – law of self-preservation. As slightly evolved monkeys, we are still acting like any other creatures on this earth. We want to protect our own well-being, thus we engage in fight-or-flight behaviors. That negative self-talk is the normal byproduct of our survival instincts.

Even though in modern civilization we don’t actually face life threatening events, our survival instincts are still on overdrive. Harmless things, like a butterfly or a person coughing, can kick off a train of thoughts attempting to protect ourselves. Oftentimes those trains of thoughts are negative, and they affect our emotions and ultimately our actions and behaviors.

Just remember that it takes 5 positives to cancel 1 negative, so be careful of how you are thinking, because it can easily take you into a downward spiral without you realizing it.

Learning about hypnosis and how our minds and behaviors work is an eye opening experience. No longer am I bound by my instinctive behaviors because now I understand the operating models of “me” and I have the tools to re-engineer me. I hope you learned a few things here and began exploring the tools to reshape your own minds.