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Meditation & Mindfulness

Hypnosis vs. Meditation: Unwinding the Mystical Threads of the Mind

In our quest for wellness and self-improvement, hypnosis and meditation have remained popular since ancient times. They attract people who want peace and to better themselves.

These two practices, often seen as mysterious and closely related, have journeyed through history, significantly influencing both culture and therapy. Although they seem similar, a closer look shows the distinct qualities of each.

Related: Meditation vs Prayer: How to Connect with Your Higher Power

Hypnosis: The Guided Voyage into the Subconscious

a hypnotist is hypnotizing a woman laying down, the difference between hypnosis and meditation

Hypnosis is a psychological technique that has long fascinated humans, with its earliest recorded use stretching back to ancient Egypt and Greece. In general, hypnosis is about achieving a highly focused state of attention, often accompanied by deep relaxation and heightened suggestibility.

Think of it as the mind’s malleable playdough, easily shaped by the guidance of a skilled hypnotist (or sometimes even through self-hypnosis).

While Hollywood might paint hypnosis as a tool for outlandish control or comedy, scientific research shows it’s a legitimate therapeutic instrument. The process often begins with an induction phase—like a guided visualization leading you down a flight of stairs, sinking you into serene depths.

Current trends see clinical hypnotherapy gaining steam for its effectiveness in pain management, combating addictions, and addressing psychological disorders such as anxiety and PTSD. As an evidence-based practice, it’s finding a place alongside more conventional therapeutic frameworks.

Related: The Ultimate Guide: Hypnosis For Past Life Regression

Meditation: The Serene Journey Within

a woman meditating on a dock, hypnosis vs meditation

If hypnosis is a guided journey, then meditation is a solo exploration—a vessel for internal discovery and healing. With its origins tied to ancient religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, meditation serves as a means to foster inner peace, mindfulness, and spiritual connectivity.

A plethora of styles exists, from the focus-and-breath-centric practices of mindfulness meditation to the mantra-intoning transcendental meditation, each one an avenue towards achieving a sense of clear-mindedness and centeredness.

Meditation is more than just an escape from life’s noise; it’s a deliberate focus on the deeper workings of our own mind. It can even be used as a calling card to our higher self.

Scientifically speaking, meditation is shown to reduce stress, as well as improve concentration, memory, and emotional wellbeing. Moreover, neuroimaging studies have claimed real estate in academic journals, illustrating meditation’s effects on brain structure, such as the thickening of the prefrontal cortex.

Hypnosis vs. Meditation: Where Paths Diverge and Intersect

While both practices might seem like siblings, they’re perhaps better described as cousins—related yet distinct.

Hypnosis is inherently a more passive experience, with the participant following the lead of another (or their own guided script) and accepting suggestions into the subconscious. It’s akin to embedding a script into the mind’s operating system.

Meditation, contrarily, is an active endeavor, a quest for mental and emotional clarity without necessarily adhering to another’s guidance. It’s a mindfulness marathon, if you will, cultivating a state of being fully present.

Yet, they intersect. Both hypnosis and meditation induce states of relaxation and can open the door to improved mental health and cognitive functioning. They offer different paths to the same destination of a well-tuned psyche.

Your Journey into Hypnosis and Meditation: Practical Tips and Steps


Practical application of hypnosis generally requires assistance from a qualified hypnotist or reputable guided recordings. Seek out a certified hypnotherapy professional for an in-person session or locate online resources for self-hypnosis.

Personally, I haven’t found any self-hypnosis audios or videos that have worked as well as an actual session with a hypnotist.


For those who are just starting out:

  • Choose a form of meditation that resonates with you (mindfulness, loving-kindness, body scan, etc.).
  • Set aside dedicated, interruption-free time daily for your practice.
  • Start with short sessions (5-10 minutes) and gradually increase duration over time.
  • Keep your focus gentle; when the mind wanders, calmly return to your chosen point of focus (breath, mantra, etc.).
  • Be patient with yourself—it’s called a ‘practice’ for a reason.

Ready to Embark on Your Own Mindful Journey?

If you’re intrigued by the enticing dance of the subconscious that hypnosis and meditation beckon you towards, dive deeper. Research, experiment, and most importantly, listen to your intuition. They’re both waiting to take you on an unforgettable journey into the heart of your own mind. Whether you walk the path guided by another or carve your own route silently within, may it lead to that tranquil meadow of self-discovery and peace!

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