Laughter yoga? Done. Mukbang videos? You betcha. Screamed in Iceland? Virtually been there and got the t-shirt. Consider today’s new thing a new entry in the “Hannah does something weird” series as I tried to be hypnotised.
I was always very sceptical about hypnotism. I didn’t believe one person can magically make somebody cluck like a chicken through mere suggestion, and to be honest, I still don’t really, but after looking at a lot of Derren Brown videos when doing some mentalism magic for a new thing I was less certain. Brown isn’t strictly speaking a hypnotist, but he does use the power of suggestion to make people do some pretty bizarre things. Hypnotherapy, using hypnosis to help stop smoking and lose weight as well as all sorts of other issues, is become increasingly popular. I recommend this Time article if you’re intrigued to read further. I wasn’t a believer, but I was Hypno-curious.
If this had been a normal year, I would have taken myself to a hypnotist and seen if it worked in person. Instead, I settled for a video I’d stumbled across on YouTube, where a young man was confident that he could hypnotise me through the screen.
After seeing the cocky title, I was more determined to not like this – nobody tells me what I will do! I really wanted to give this a fair shot though, and I knew that wouldn’t happen if I was sceptical from the get-go. I tried to go in as open-minded as possible, but deep down I was definitely still sceptical.
There was no looking into his eyes, or following a watch, but I did seem to go in a sleep-like state for a little while. At first, I forced this deep relaxation, but as the video went on it felt completely natural. There were a lot of strange moments, such as where he told us to clasp our hands tightly together and then try and separate them – I just couldn’t do it. The same thing happened when he told us our eyelids were so heavy we couldn’t open them. I don’t have a clue what happened but I genuinely felt like I couldn’t open my eyelids. It was so strange. The weirdest part for me though was where he told us that we would forget out first name when he counted to three. Although I could remember it, it was definitely a lot harder to recall. I’d get the first letter and then the rest would follow, rather than that instant recall I normally have. What?! How can some random person in a recorded video make me stumble over my own first name!
If you’re thinking yeah, right, sure that happened, I totally get it. I would be the same. I don’t know if it’s because I went in open to it, and was, therefore, more suggestible, that it had some effect, or something else. It was deeply, deeply weird, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Happy to have satisfied my curiosity, but confused as to what it means. What a strange new thing this was.