Hypnosis has been practiced for hundreds of years, and has fascinated the public for nearly as long. Hypnosis involves a state of enhanced inner focus and can be a valuable tool for modulating pain, nausea, and other physical symptoms, decreasing anxiety, and influencing performance on cognitive task. Hypnosis is also frequently used to facilitate weight loss, improve confidence, and help break bad habits. But what makes a person hypnotizable?

Hypnotizability is the ability to experience hypnotic trance, via self-hypnosis or under the instruction of a hypnotherapist. Hypnotizability varies from person to person, just as other naturally-occurring traits, such as intelligence and height. Certain psychological, social and physiological factors relate to hypnotizability and may also contribute towards it.

These factors include:

The ability to follow instructions

People who follow instructions willingly are more easily hypnotizable than people who don’t like to follow instructions or who don’t like being told what to do and these people tend to disobey or ignore instructions.

Capacity for daydreaming and deep concentration

If you slip into daydreaming easily and get absorbed into a book or movie, then you have a higher level of hypnotizablity. If you are distractible and find it hard to sit still, you will be less hypnotizable.


If you have a big imagination and a good ability to visualize and imagine new possibilities, then you are a good hypnotic candidate.

An open mind

You will succeed with hypnosis when you maintain an open mind about the process.

Ability to think non-analytical

People with high hypnotizability can easily shift between analytical thinking and intuitive, creative, imaginative thinking. A person who thinks only in a logical, analytical manner will not have high hypnotizability.


It is a common misconception that hypnotizability is linked to mental weakness, actually the opposite is true. Those with high intelligence are good candidates for hypnosis.

Hypnosis is not only used as entertainment, but also to help with weight loss, improve self-confidence, help break bad habits and any underlying health condition. If you think you have little hypnotizability or think you are a poor candidate, don’t give up! Find and work with a skilled hypnotherapist with whom you feel comfortable. You may require a few sessions of practice before you can access trance.