October - 2019
Are you an Aphantasiac?
As hypnotists, we frequently tap into a person’s ability to visualize or imagine things. But what if you are one of those rare people who just can’t visualize things.
Are you basically “blind” in your mind’s eye? Researchers say that you’re not alone. This condition, dubbed “aphantasia,” affects about two-percent of people. It was first noted by a neurologist in the UK in 2003. Researchers have only begun to explore the ramifications of the condition.
Aphantasiacs are still able to imagine things in hypnosis, their brain just goes about it differently. In fact, we’ve worked with quite a few people with aphantasia without really having a name for what they were experiencing. As hypnotists, we work with these clients using processes that rely more on memory than on creation of novel imagery. This emerging area of brain science offers some interesting ways in which hypnosis may be useful to help people bring some sight back to the mind’s eye.
If you’re interested in reading more about aphantasia, here’s a link to an article in Scientific American.
Building Trust Through Mirroring
Whether you’re in a sales job or just indirectly wanting to influence others, you’ve got to be able to project a trustworthy image. Creating value requires trust. But how can we be more trustworthy when we may only have a moment with a potential customer or client?
Here is one of the many tricks that hypnotists use to build rapport with volunteers in a stage show so that those volunteers will do wacky things such as clucking like a chicken or dancing like Beyonce:
One quick way to develop rapport with a person is to engage in both physical and verbal mirroring. This means matching their physical position and movements. Stand like they are standing. Subtly move your hands in the way that they do. You can also artfully match their words. By verbally mirroring their speech mannerisms and the words that they use, they are more likely to subtly trust you. In simple terms, because you are mirroring them, their brain will view you as someone who is just like them. Because everyone trusts themselves, if you’re just like them, then they’ll trust you. See how that works?
There is an even more powerful form of mirroring. Emotional mirroring may be the most powerful brain trick available. If you match someone’s emotions, you can guide those emotions toward the emotions that you want them to feel. If you’re feeling nervous and I act nervous to emotionally mirror you, then we’re both nervous. I feel your nervousness and you feel mine. Why is that? Research shows the presence of something called mirror neurons in the human brain. These neurons help us sense what other people are feeling and they’re the key to human empathy. So when we’re both nervous, we’re both feeding each others nervousness through mirror neurons. Have you ever noticed how you feel a bit nervous when someone is nervously giving a presentation? But if I begin to let myself feel confident and trusting, those emotions are mirrored in minds of people around us. In this way, we have the ability to help others feel trusting of us.
That’s a complex mental manipulation and it takes some real practice to use. How about an easier trick based on the same principle? Mirror neurons play another important part in building trust. Because a potential customer’s mirror neurons have the ability to “sense” if we’re a good person, what if we just are a truly good person? If we are happy, kind, and honest, people around us will be feeling happier, kinder, and more honest. So, the best sales “trick” you can learn is to practice being a great person. People can’t help but trust you because they get a sense of you.
There’s a lot more to these concepts but we’ll keep this short by leaving with two important points:
1. If you’re in sales, mirror your customers and be a good person - you’ll sell more.
2. If you want to set up a training for sales professionals to learn a bunch more amazing brain tricks, give us a call at Hawaii Hypnosis Center and we’d be happy to get you a training seminar quote.
Stuck? Work Harder or Take a Break
Imagine this: Two graphic designers are up against a big deadline. They’ve been hired to design a logo for a well-financed, tech startup that could turn into a massive contract for years to come. The pressure is on for who can produce the best design. As the deadline approaches, both designers are “burning the midnight oil” and hunched over their computers trying to craft the perfect submission, but they are both stuck. Their creativity has stalled. The first designer plugs ahead, head down, and fully committed to the project. The second designer goes for a walk and grabs a coffee at the cafe up the street. Who wins? Who comes up with the better design?
Scientists studying creativity have found that taking a break is actually an important brain activity. According to researchers from USC and MIT, the neurotransmitters required for creativity are depleted when the brain is stressed. Overwork generally makes people less creative. By taking breaks - even for short meditation, mindfulness, or daydream sessions - the brain’s creativity chemistry is renewed.
One interesting side note of the research is that taking a break isn’t just required from work projects. The researchers found that intense focus on social and emotional activities - such as social media - may keep the brain from developing proper creative functioning. The scientists are calling for more research into how heavy social media activity may impair creativity and learning in young people.
So if you’re trying to be more creative, or just make sure your brain can still be creative, take a break! Dream a little, it’s good for the brain and the soul.