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Hypnosis 101: How to learn

March 1, 2024
5 min 30 sec
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Hypnosis is a fascinating technique that has fueled the imagination of mankind for centuries. And yet, contrary to popular beliefs, it is not about controlling another person's mind or making you cluck like a chicken. 

Hypnosis is actually a scientifically supported tool that makes you enter an altered state of consciousness, allowing you to reach an exceptional level of concentration and suggestibility. 

This unique state, the hypnotic state, makes it possible to implement positive and lasting changes in our habits, perceptions and behaviors.

Learning hypnosis is useful when on a path of self-discovery and personal improvement. Through hypnosis, you can overcome mental barriers that limit your growth, improve your emotional and physical well-being, and enhance skills such as concentration and relaxation.

Check out our guide on Learning Hypnosis.

Read more on how to feel better with self-hypnosis.

Is self-hypnosis safe? Discover more in our detailed analysis.  

This guide is designed to get you started in the use of hypnosis, by showing you how to learn hypnosis effectively and safely. We will provide you with the theoretical foundations, practical techniques, and tips for applying hypnosis in your daily life. With dedication and practice, you will discover the potential of hypnosis to transform your life in ways you can hardly imagine.

But what exactly is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a state of intense concentration, accompanied by high suggestibility. Unlike what many people think, it is not a state of unconsciousness and you are not asleep. Instead, you are in a state of extreme alertness, where the conscious mind relaxes, allowing the subconscious mind to be more receptive to positive suggestions.

What is and what is not hypnosis?

  • What is it? 

Hypnosis is a technique that facilitates access to the subconscious, allowing you to implement changes in behavior and thinking more directly and efficiently. It is used both for therapeutic purposes and for personal development, helping people overcome phobias, addictions, stress, and much more.

  • What is it not? 

Contrary to popular beliefs, hypnosis is not a method of mind control. The hypnotized person always has control over his behavior and will not perform actions that contradict his values or moral principles. Hypnosis is not magic either; it is a technique based on well-established psychological and neurological principles.

Demystification: Common myths versus realities.

There are several myths surrounding hypnosis, fueled by exaggerated portrayals in movies and the media. Let’s debunk some of the most common ones:

  • Myth: Hypnosis can make you do things against your will.
  • Reality: During hypnosis, people are in control of their actions and decisions. Suggestibility does not equate to loss of will.
  • Myth: Only weak-minded people can be hypnotized.
  • Reality: The ability to enter hypnosis is not related to mental strength. In fact, studies suggest that people with greater ability to concentrate and creativity are more susceptible to hypnosis.
  • Myth: Hypnosis is a state of deep sleep.
  • Fact: Although hypnotized people may appear to be asleep, they are in a state of intense focus and attention.

Hypnosis is a powerful tool for change and personal growth. Understanding what it really is and getting rid of the myths is the first step in learning how to use it effectively.

Fundamental Principles of Hypnosis

Before we begin learning hypnosis, it’s important to understand how it works in the brain. 

How hypnosis works on the brain

Hypnosis profoundly impacts the central nervous system, seamlessly orchestrating a shift that reduces the sympathetic nervous system's activity while enhancing that of the parasympathetic. This transition ushers in a state of profound relaxation, akin to the tranquil moments preceding sleep. Within this serene state, the conscious mind eases into relaxation, paving the way for the subconscious to emerge as more accessible and open to positive suggestions. Such a shift not only facilitates a deeper connection with the subconscious—a repository of our ingrained habits and behaviors—but also sets the stage for impactful modifications in our behavior and perception.

Crucially, hypnosis extends its influence to the cortex, the brain's outer layer responsible for higher-order brain functions such as thought, perception, and decision-making. By modulating cortical activity, hypnosis can enhance cognitive processes, improving focus, and increasing receptivity to therapeutic suggestions. This nuanced modulation of both cortical and subconscious activities underscores hypnosis's efficacy as a transformative tool for personal growth and therapeutic intervention, enabling individuals to effectuate significant life changes and overcome psychological barriers with unprecedented ease.

Basic principles for beginners:

  1. Relaxation and concentration: The first step for any hypnosis session is to induce a state of deep relaxation, followed by increased concentration. This is achieved through breathing techniques, visualization, and verbal suggestions.
  2. Suggestibility: Once a person is in a state of relaxation and concentration, he or she becomes more susceptible to suggestions. It is crucial that these suggestions be positive and formulated in a way that promotes the desired change.
  3. Visualization: The ability to visualize situations, objects, or desired outcomes plays an important role in the effectiveness of hypnosis. Visualization helps to strengthen the impact of suggestions on the subconscious.
  4. Regular practice: The effectiveness of hypnosis increases with regular practice. Repetition of sessions helps to reinforce the suggestions and consolidate the desired changes.

Like everything else, the more we practice the more experience we will have, making these techniques more intuitive and powerful.

Ready to get started? Read our guide on how to prepare for self-hypnosis.

Check out our step-by-step manual on how to make hypnosis a habit.

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Self hypnosis: how to do it step by step

Self-hypnosis is an excellent starting point for beginners. The secret is practice and dedication.


  • Find a suitable place: Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can sit or lie down without being interrupted. Make sure your environment promotes relaxation and is free of distractions.
  • Set a time: Choose a time of day when you can engage in this practice, every day. Many people prefer the early morning right after waking up or the evening before bedtime.


  • Deep breathing techniques: Begin by breathing deeply, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing, allowing each exhalation to relax you more deeply.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and relax each muscle group, starting with the feet and gradually moving up to the head. This helps release physical tension and prepares your body for self-hypnosis.


  • Mental focus: Close your eyes and direct your attention to a fixed point in your mind, such as a peaceful image or a word that symbolizes your goal. This facilitates concentration and the onset of the hypnotic state.
  • Visualization: Imagine that you are becoming more relaxed with each step you take on a staircase or down an elevator. With each number you count backwards, you feel your level of relaxation increase.


  • Specific goal or positive suggestion: Once in a state of deep relaxation, begin to repeat in your mind your goal or positive suggestion. Formulate it in the present tense and in a positive manner, for example, "I am full of confidence" instead of "I don't want to be nervous".
  • Visualize the desired outcome: Vividly imagine how you feel and what you are doing in achieving your goal. The more detailed the visualization, the more effective the suggestions will be for your subconscious.

Closing the session

  • Gradual return to mindfulness: At the end of the session, count slowly from five to one, telling yourself that with each number you feel more awake and alert.
  • Reflection time: Once you finish, take a moment to reflect on the experience and how you feel. This will help you integrate the session into your mindfulness.

Additional tips

  • Patience: Be patient with yourself as you learn and practice self-hypnosis. Like any other skill, it takes time and practice to improve. So practice, practice, practice!
  • Record your experiences: Consider keeping a journal of your self-hypnosis sessions to track your progress, challenges and successes.

By following these steps and tips, you will be well on your way to reaping the benefits of self-hypnosis, working toward your personal goals in an effective and positive way.

Okay, it's a valuable tool, but how can it improve my life?

Hypnosis offers a range of practical applications backed by scientific evidence, making it a versatile tool for personal wellness. Here are some of its most outstanding applications:

Oneleaf is the perfect app to get you started with the practice of hypnosis, as it is very simple and easy to use. Designed by the best experts in the field, this app guides you step by step, making it ideal for both beginners and those with experience in hypnosis.

In addition, Oneleaf offers a variety of programs focused on your goals:

  • Quitting smoking: Hypnosis helps to strengthen individual determination, facilitating smoking cessation through the establishment of aversions to the act of smoking.
  • Increase self-confidence: Through positive suggestions, self-esteem is strengthened and a positive self-image is promoted.
  • Lose weight: Suggestion techniques are used to modify eating habits and promote a healthy lifestyle.
  • Sleep better: Hypnosis can improve sleep quality, helping to combat insomnia through deep relaxation.
  • Manage stress: Through relaxation and suggestion, hypnosis teaches how to effectively manage stress.
  • Chronic pain: It offers tools to manage pain by altering the perception of pain.
  • Improve concentration and personal relationships: Hypnosis helps to focus the mind and improve communication and empathy in relationships.

Take advantage of the 7-day free trial. You have nothing to lose and so much to gain.

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