As we all know, the most difficult part about quitting a bad habit or facing our biggest fear is actually going through with it. But while most of us attribute our newfound love for morning workouts or being a non-smoker to persistence and determination, celebrities like Olivia Munn have a secret to staying motivated that we’ve never even considered: hypnotism.
When the subject of hypnotism (considered by some as brainwashing) comes up, we often think of a self-professed magician swinging a pocket watch across the face of a volunteer, who loses control and makes a variety of obnoxious animal sounds. What we didn’t know is that every one of us enters a state of hypnotism pretty much every day—while we’re reading, watching TV, falling asleep, waking up or daydreaming.
Similar to meditation, which uses a focused state of relaxation to clear thoughts, hypnosis uses the power of a similar, dream-like state for therapeutic purposes by eliminating the activity of the conscious mind, and calming the nervous system. According to Andrew Gentile, hypnotherapist, “the conscious mind is where we experience our self-talk, doubts, and our sense of limitations,” whereas the subconscious mind is the place where all of our memories and beliefs are stored, emotions are generated, and, our imagination lies.
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, works to open up the subconscious mind and identify core, limiting beliefs or fears that often date back to childhood. Once a negative experience in the subconscious mind is targeted, hypnosis has the power to reframe how we perceive the experience and completely change the associated emotional context and belief by separating mental pictures and their associated feelings. In other words, we can alter a belief simply by changing the way we perceive it. As a result, it no longer triggers the unnecessary activation of the “fight or flight” reaction, greatly reducing the stress it places on our nervous system. Have an irrational fear of mice? Instead of imagining a large and dirty rat, hypnotism will minimize the creature in your mind so that you’ll now picture it as the cute little mouse portrayed in your favourite childhood cartoons.
In Good Housekeeping’s latest cover story, actress Olivia Munn tells the mag that while she was seeing a hypnotist for OCD and other issues, she mentioned that she didn’t work out. “He said, ‘You have to! It’s good for your anxiety and depression…. So during one of our sessions, he hypnotized me. I’m not exaggerating: That was on a Friday, and by Monday I was working out every day at 6 a.m. If I missed a session, I double up and do it the next day,” she adds.
But Munn isn’t the only celeb who has credited hypnotism for positive life changes. From Ellen Degeneres to Winona Ryder toOrlando Bloom, these celebrities used hypnotism to bring about positive change in their lives. Would you try it?