What is the difference between hypnosis and meditation?

Sometimes I use the words hypnosis and guided meditation interchangeably. If you go to my website, you’ll see that I have a Meditations page, where I have hypnosis downloads. I’ve had a couple people suggest that I just say meditation instead of hypnosis or hypnotherapy because it is a deterrent. Um, no. I will not change how I speak about a legitimate modality of therapy because you’re scared of the word. What I will do is set out to clear up misconceptions.


Meditation — Usually a general relaxation practice; not as specific to a goal you desire. Practicing meditation will result in an overall improvement of your life and reduce stress.

Hypnosis — Focuses on solving a specific problem. Hypnotherapy is very particular to a certain area you identify with your hypnotherapist, like a fear, anxiety, or habit. Hypnosis seeks to get to the root cause of a problem and dismantle it, therefore improving that specific area of your life. There is an end result in mind.


What you do in a guided meditation and a hypnosis session are pretty much the same, except that hypnosis is an INTERACTION.

Hypnosis — Uses specific suggestions to guide you to and through certain places in your mind.

Meditation — Is more about the power of your own imagination to place images in your subconscious.

Brain Activity:

Hypnosis — Lends itself more to Alpha waves.

Meditation — Lends itself more to Theta waves.

Depending on the hypnosis technique and type of meditation, both hypnotherapy and meditation will touch on BOTH of these brain waves.

However, meditation will be more relaxed = Theta (4–8 hz) , probably a bit of Delta too (dream state, 0.5–4hz).

Hypnosis will be more active and suggestible = Alpha (8–12hz). Alpha waves are more active, therefore more aware. The Alpha state bridges the gap between the conscious and the subconscious, and is the wavelength you are on when in a state of reflection and contemplation.

The Real Deal On Hypnosis:

The truth is we all go through hypnotic trances several times a day when we daydream, zone out, end up somewhere we don’t remember traveling to, etc. How many times have you said to someone, “Oh sorry, I was spaced out”? It’s not a weird or scary thing, it’s normal.

Truth be told, someone under hypnosis experiences the same brain activity that we experienced as children, making it easier to soak up information and use it in our everyday lives. We are skipping over the conscious mind that is rigid and may want to resist. Therefore, you’re able to make changes quickly, which is why most people tend to only need 3–7 hypnotherapy sessions for a particular issue.

If you’ve been working on Law of Attraction and manifesting things in your life, and haven’t seen results, you’d probably benefit from hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is the perfect precursor to manifesting.

You can use hypnosis to make changes to your beliefs and patterns of thinking. This is crucial because if you haven’t retrained your brain and dismantled unhelpful beliefs, you’re not going to successfully manifest anything, because underneath the “hope” of something better, you’ll still subconsciously think you don’t deserve it, it’s not going to happen, etc.

There you have it! Hopefully, now you can understand the differences and major similarities, and overlapping areas of hypnosis and meditation.

Listen to my Hypnosis for Peace in the free resources section of mellowvybes.com!

For more information on the subject, check out https://www.choosingtherapy.com/meditation-vs-self-hypnosis/

Tiffany is a certified practitioner of hypnotherapy, mindfulness, life coaching, and NLP at Mellow Vybes. She is also a singer/songwriter and traveler.

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