Media Coverage, Politics & Negative Hypnosis

Politics and current events are usually big news and each of us have opinions about how events should play out. Many people feel obliged to follow every event worldwide, providing their undivided attention. Although it’s important to keep abreast of things, it’s also important to keep free of the hypnotic affects of media. Yes, media can be hypnotic, but what does this mean exactly? First, let me explain what hypnosis is and is not. Very simply stated, hypnosis is nothing more then deep relaxation to release the ego mind, the left side of the brain where judgment lies, and connect to the right side, the subconscious or the creative, mental mind. There are both positive and negative sides of hypnosis. For example, harmless types of hypnosis occur when driving down the road and an exit is missed, easily done, because the focus is on the highway. That said, there are many different naturally occurring hypnotic states in life. Professionally guided, positive types of hypnosis heal. However, what if you can mesmerize yourself into a negative hypnosis, a kind of hallucination, vision or illusion? Here is one of my favorite examples of naturally occurring hypnosis.

This is a story about a time when my friend’s husband was making dinner. He thought that some capers would be nice in his recipe. So, he looked around, but didn’t see any capers. He then started talking to himself, "There are no capers." He went to the refrigerator and looked at the top shelf, and again said to himself; "There are no capers." he looked at the next shelf, and again said, "There are no capers." Then he looked at the next shelf and saw that "There are no capers." Focused on his search for capers, he turned to the door of the refrigerator and looked at each shelf, not finding any capers he told himself again, and again, "There are no capers."

He then turned to Jane and said, "There are no capers." Jane assured him that there was and that it was in the refrigerator. This time he focused and looked at each shelf once again saying to him self, "There are no capers." Then in exasperation, he asked her for help. This is when she pointed her "magic finger." As he moved closer to the door of the refrigerator, suddenly the bottle of capers seemed to magically materialize.

Most people can relate to this kind of thing happening. It might have been their keys or purse. What happened here is that as he looked briefly around and saw that there were no capers, he began to repeat to himself, "There are no capers." He kept repeating this statement over and over as he did, he kept looking for the jar, his subconscious mind, because of his focused state, he accepted the statement as true. Only when Jane pointed to the capers did his negative hallucination that there were no capers end—he could finally see the capers! It is very easy to go into this deep level of hypnosis and not even know it. It feels quite normal because it is.

Spontaneous hypnosis connects you to an altered state similar to other states of consciousness that we all have access to in our ordinary everyday lives. It’s the same as when you are totally absorbed in some activity, perhaps a long, boring drive where you lose all track of time as we discussed above. Of course, there are planned, positive hypnotic trance that is a joint healing exercise between you and the hypnotherapist. The work that you do together is productive, beneficial and above board.

What does this have to do with politics and other civic activities? A lot! Many professionals use hypnotic technique to sway opinion. Marketers are notorious, and some attorneys train to use a form of hypnosis while they speak to juries. Ever witness them punctuating their words with a tap of their hand on banister, illustrating each syllable? Media uses many similar tactics to divert public attention to theories that support their agenda. They sensationalize their message, and hammer it in with repetition. Over and over they state the same message until the public believes what the corporate media moguls want its consumers to believe. What comes next is a public with anger, doom and gloom, and later depression. The world gets darker, because it sells “media time.”

Breaking the media addiction is hard work. Many people think it means not being informed, but that’s not true. You can be informed about the world through selective “reading,” not watching the tube. Weigh what you read, sort through past patterns across our history, especially our presidential history and make decisions from there. Listen carefully to coverage of video clips of political or current events. Conversely, listening to what others say about people filters what you take in. Why? Because it is reinterpreting events and you don’t need the media, experts or anyone else to tell you how to think. Not only are their statements of others interpretations, they are sensationalized and taken out of context, turning messages and video clips into sound bites of half truths. The responsibility for thinking and decisions belong to you. Get your ideas first hand, your thoughts from your own experiences, your feelings from a compassionate and open heart, using your own interpretation of events.

Shirley Ryan, Ph.D., CCHt is a clinical hypnotherapist and spiritual counselor practicing in Sacramento, CA. Contact her at

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