Hypnosis vs Meditation: What’s the Difference?

written by: Adreanna Santos     |     August 14, 2023

Woman meditating with a text overlay that says Hypnosis vs Meditation

If you’ve been curious about the differences between hypnosis and meditation, you’re not alone.

While both practices are popular for relaxation, stress relief, and self-exploration, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. To help make an informed decision when considering hypnosis vs meditation, let’s take a closer look at what each one has to offer.

Gif of DJ Kalid maditating

Definition of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Meditation is like the OG of mindfulness practices, dating back thousands of years. Meditation is an ancient practice that aims to quiet the mind and achieve inner peace and harmony through mindfulness, breathing techniques, and focus on the present moment.

It’s a form of self-care that helps us to become more mindful and aware of the present moment. Through meditation, we can learn to become more aware of our thoughts and feelings, and gain insight into ourselves.

At its core, it's all about being present, centered, and fostering a deep connection with your inner self.

Picture this: you're laying on the couch after a long day at work, your mind racing like a caffeinated squirrel, and you gently nudge it back to focus on your breath. That's meditation.

A typical meditation session might involve spending time in silence or repeating a mantra. There are many different types of meditation, from Zen and Vipassana to Transcendental and Guided Meditation.

RELATED: Meditation 101: A Beginner’s Guide

History of Meditation

The roots of meditation can be traced back thousands of years ago to Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, Sufi, Taoist, Shamanic and Indigenous traditions.

From the ancient sages of India to the Zen masters of Japan, countless cultures have harnessed the power of meditation for enlightenment, self-discovery, and peace of mind.

Many adherents believe that meditating regularly can help heal the body and mind, while also helping to reduce stress, improve concentration, and deepen our understanding of ourselves.

How Does it Work?

The practice of meditation is based on the idea that focusing on the present moment can help us to tune out distracting thoughts and emotions.

When meditating, the goal is to reach a state of mindfulness, which is achieved by being aware of our breath and body as we focus on the present moment.

This can help us to let go of anxious or negative thoughts and feelings, and develop a greater sense of peace and clarity.

Meditation is the art of letting go.

It's like training a mischievous puppy—you've got to teach your mind to sit and stay put. By gently redirecting your thoughts and observing them without judgment, you start to untangle the web of inner chaos.

Gradually, you find yourself more aware of your surroundings, your emotions, and the magic of the present moment.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation isn't just for barefoot yogis on a mountain. It's a practice that can benefit anyone, and the perks are as enticing as a double-chocolate muffin.

Meditation can provide many benefits, such as:

  • Increased awareness of self & surroundings: When we meditate, we can become more aware of our bodies and our environment, which can help us to better understand ourselves and the world around us.
  • Improved mind-body connection: Meditation encourages a deeper connection between the mind and body, which can lead to increased self-awareness and improved physical health.
  • Enhanced creativity & problem solving skills: Regular meditation can help to sharpen the mind and boost our creativity and problem-solving skills.
Chart that lists the differences between hypnosis vs meditation

Definition of Hypnosis

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is often portrayed as some sort of mind control trick, but it's far from that.

It's a state of focused attention and heightened receptivity to suggestions.

It’s sometimes referred to as “trancelike states” because it can cause us to become deeply relaxed and focused on a single thought or suggestion.

Hypnosis is a form of guided meditation that can be used to help us relax and explore the inner thoughts and feelings in our subconscious mind. It’s sometimes referred to as “hypnotherapy,” because it can be used by professionals to treat issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

RELATED: What is Hypnotherapy and How Does It Work?

History of Hypnosis

The practice of hypnosis dates back all the way to the 1700s and has been used in many different cultures for healing, spiritual growth, and altered states of consciousness. Throughout history, it's efficacy as a healing tool has been debated, but modern studies have allowed us to better understand its therapeutic purposes and potential for accessing our subconscious mind.

RELATED: 50 Incredible Hypnotherapy Facts You Need To Know

How Does it Work?

Hypnosis works by tapping into your subconscious mind—the deep, mysterious waters where your beliefs, memories, and emotions reside. In this trance-like state, you can explore our thoughts and feelings more deeply.

When you're in hypnosis, you're more receptive to positive suggestions. So by working with a professional hypnotherapist, you can rewrite bad habits, fears, and negative thought patterns, wit positive ones that will serve you better.

By using relaxation techniques and guided imagery, a professional hypnotherapist can help us to better understand ourselves and address any issues that may be causing us distress.

Benefits of Hypnosis

Hypnosis can be a powerful tool for self-exploration and personal development. Its potential benefits include:

  • Access to your subconscious mind: Through hypnosis, you can gain access to the deeper layers of your subconscious mind, which can help you to uncover hidden insights and gain new perspectives.
  • Increased control over thoughts & emotions: With the help of a hypnotherapist, you can learn to better control your thoughts and emotions, allowing you to stay calm and focused in stressful situations.
  • Improved self-esteem & confidence: Hypnosis can help to boost feelings of self-worth and confidence, enabling you to take on life’s challenges with a newfound sense of optimism and purpose.

RELATED: 19 Surprising Ways Hypnotherapy Can Improve Your Daily Life

Woman meditating with a text overlay that says Hypnosis vs Meditation
Quote about hypnotherapy

Is Hypnosis or Meditation Right For You?

Now, the million-dollar question—meditation or hypnosis? Or perhaps both?

When considering hypnosis vs meditation, know that both techniques can promote relaxation and improved mental focus, however, they differ in several ways:


  • Hypnosis is a state of focused attention and heightened suggestibility, often used for specific purposes such as behavior modification or therapy.
  • It is typically guided by a therapist or a trained hypnotist who leads the person into a state of deep relaxation and then provides positive suggestions to the subconscious mind.
  • The aim of hypnosis is often to change some behavior, feeling, sensation, or thought.
  • Hypnosis can be more goal-oriented, aiming to address a specific issue like smoking cessation, weight loss, or anxiety reduction.


  • Meditation, on the other hand, is a self-directed practice for relaxing the body and calming the mind.
  • It involves focusing one's attention and eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding the mind and causing stress.
  • The aim of meditation is to create a sense of calm and inner peace, which can aid in stress reduction and improve overall health.
  • Meditation is often used for general relaxation and mental clarity, rather than targeting a specific problem or behavior.

In summary, while both hypnosis and meditation involve a level of focused attention and can lead to a state of relaxation, they differ in their methods and goals. Hypnosis tends to be more solution and goal-oriented, while meditation is more about achieving a state of mental clarity and tranquility.

Think of it like this: Meditation is like a slow, scenic hike through nature, where you discover the beauty within and around you. On the other hand, hypnosis is like an adventurous spelunking expedition into the depths of your mind, where you unearth hidden treasures and transform limiting beliefs.

Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and your specific goals. Some may prefer the simplicity of meditation, while others find the targeted approach of hypnosis more appealing.


Now that you have an understanding of the history, definitions, and potential benefits of hypnosis vs meditation, hopefully you can decide which one is right for you.

If you’re looking for a practice to change some behavior, feeling, sensation, or thought, why not try hypnosis? With the help of a professional hypnotherapist, you can explore your subconscious mind and uncover hidden insights to help you make positive changes in your life.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a practice to bring more peace and harmony into your daily life, why not try meditation? There are many different forms of meditation available, so it’s worth exploring to find the right one for you.

Whichever practice you choose, regular practice can help you gain a greater understanding of yourself and achieve inner peace.

If you're ready to take a plunge into the enchanting world of hypnosis, I've got a little treat for you.

Enter your email below to download the Magnetic Desires audio recording and see if hypnosis is the right path for you.

Stay curious, stay open, and keep exploring the beautiful universe within you! 🌌

I’m an expert at subconscious reprogramming, a nerd when it comes to human behavior, and my obsession is teaching others how to be their best selves (without all of the resistance and self-sabotage).

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I'm Adreanna.

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