Hypnosis is defined as; an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by a heightened susceptibility to suggestion.
Hypnosis then is one way to go into trance. It is good to be clear on the fact that hypnosis is not trance but just one way to attain trance. Why this is important is because, in personal change, trance is very important while hypnosis is just one method of attaining this most important state.
Hypnosis essentially requires a hypnotist. The hypnotist basically becomes a guiding force for the patient and becomes an authoritative figure that leads to patient’s consciousness into a desired state. This is a very powerful way to achieve a trance state but it does have some flaws.
First of all, hypnosis takes it for granted that in order to hypnotize someone you need to have them go into a lethargic sleep like state. Now if the ultimate outcome of hypnosis is attaining a trance state, then you must realize that you do not need to going to a sleep like state to get there. a trance state can also be achieved through great excitation, this can be seen when you witness an athlete performing a difficult physical task or when you see people achieve ecstatic states while dancing.
Hypnosis also tends to function much better with a hypnotist. It is possible to get yourself into a self hypnosis state, but these states are usually weaker than anything that can be achieved with the hypnotist. Now this is the case because you are following hypnotic procedure in order to try and achieve a trance. You can though achieve a trance by yourself that is far stronger than anything that you can achieve through self hypnosis. Trance states therefore are far easier to achieve than self hypnosis.
There is great contention as to who can be hypnotized. Many experts believe that only highly suggestible people can become hypnotized, that there is a large number of people out there that cannot be hypnotized or that some people cannot be put into a hypnotic trance that is very strong. While this might or might not be true, it is fact that anyone can go into a trance state. A trance state can best be defined as a complete focus of the consciousness on one object or subject. So any time that you are completely focused on one thing, and you are ignoring or not aware of everything else around you, you are any trance state.
Why are trance states so important? They are important because they are the best way possible to implant a belief into your subconscious. In order to do this you focus your mind completely on your desired belief or thought. The trance is achieved when you are able to focus your mind completely on this thought or belief to the exclusion of everything else. Another way to say this is that any thought or belief that you are able to maintain in your mind while in a state of complete mental silence, becomes a command to your subconscious. In this way you are able to consciously program yourself by correctly affecting your subconscious beliefs and actions.
There are two major ways to achieve trance. The first that we have mentioned is the one taken by the hypnotist; this is achieved by getting yourself into a very relaxed, almost sleep like state, where through complete body relaxation you are able to focus your conscious mind on a single goal. The other method which I briefly mentioned is through excitation; this trance state is achieved by getting yourself in an incredibly excited state. A trance state achieved through excitation can be achieved through great physical stress for example. Native people of the world can be seen attaining these types of trances through drumming, dancing, and wild agitation.
The fact of the matter is though that there is no need to go into either extremes to create a trance like state that is most useful. You can for example create the perfect trance state while being completely awake and not gyrating to the drumbeats of jungle rhythms. In order to do this all you have to do is train yourself to focus completely on one thought or desire. In order to develop the kind of concentration that you need, I suggest you read the article Learn The Power of Concentration.
By knowing that the active ingredient of hypnosis is trance, and by knowing that a trance can be achieved through many varied methods, which do not need to involve hypnosis, you can begin to create your own methods to achieve trance states that are far simpler and far more powerful. Remember that a trance state is your full and complete mental concentration on one object or idea. As such then you are constantly in different states of trance as you go about your day. Personal trance states are natural to all of us and they can be used by us at any time to help us achieve our goals.