Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Daydreaming Is Not Hypnosis

Daydreaming is not hypnosis. It’s like hypnosis. It’s a similar mind-frame, but it’s not the same thing.
It annoys me greatly when I find this used as an example because I think it’s misleading.
Oh, I know why it’s posed this way. There’s no legitimate reason to fear the hypnotic state and this is a way to ease that fear. We can thank the entertainment media for messing with our minds over this. Killer hypnozombies are more interesting than someone who is simply relaxed and aware.
Truth is we lapse into different states of brain wave activity naturally during the day. We get lost in thought. We zone in while painting or reading or fixing the lawn mower. It’s natural and normal.
Generally when this happens we’ve gone into the alpha state. That’s where our brain wave activity has slowed a bit from the normal waking level known as beta.
It happens when we’re concentrating intently on something, but it also happens when we’re doing something routine and we daydream our way through it.
Hypnosis is an induced state of focused relaxation coupled with suggestibility.
Daydreaming doesn’t have much of a focus and doesn't make us susceptible to suggestion. If I’m lost in thought while sweeping my kitchen floor and someone suggests I go screaming into the street, it won’t happen. I’d snap out of the reverie and back into the beta level of consciousness darn quickly. I’d also be annoyed.
After alpha comes theta. It’s an even slower level brain wave activity. That’s the level we're at in proper hypnosis and meditation.
The fourth level is delta. That’s the level of brain wave activity we have in deep sleep and in a coma.
No one would ever suggest that a coma is the very same thing as a deep sleep. And it’s my position that no one should suggest that being lost in thought while we do the dishes is the same as being hypnotized.


Talia said...

I think being lost in thought can at times be likened to a meditative state. Other times it might be confusion or overload!!! Sometimes when you're lost in thought it makes you absent-minded at other times when you shut out externals it allows a focused concentration. Hmmm that sounds contradictory doesn't it?

Leah J. Utas said...
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Leah J. Utas said...

Good point. Lost in thought is like a meditative state. I just wanted to clarify that it shouldn't be deemed the same as proper hypnosis.