What is the difference between meditation and hypnosis?

While both meditation and hypnosis involve altered states of consciousness characterized by deep relaxation and focused attention, there are some key differences between the two:

Goal and Purpose:

  • Meditation: Aims to cultivate self-awareness, non-judgmental observation, and present moment awareness. It’s not goal-oriented in the traditional sense, but rather a practice for personal growth and well-being.
  • Hypnosis: Aims to achieve specific goals like managing pain, overcoming anxieties, or improving habits. A hypnotherapist guides the individual through a process which involves using suggestions and other techniques that can help them achieve these goals.

Induction and Control:

  • Meditation: Primarily practised with self-directed techniques like focusing on the breath, using mantras, or guided visualizations. Requires consistent practice and effort to develop and maintain focus.
  • Hypnosis: While it is possible to learn and use self-hypnosis, it usually requires an external guide like a hypnotherapist who uses techniques to induce the hypnotic state.

Focus and Awareness:

  • Meditation: Cultivates non-judgmental observation of thoughts and feelings without getting attached to them. The focus is on being present in the moment and observing the mind’s activity without judgment.
  • Hypnosis: May involve a narrower focus on specific suggestions or visualizations given by the guide. The individual often experiences a dream-like state and increased suggestibility to the therapist’s suggestions.


  • Meditation: Improved self-awareness, reduced stress and anxiety, increased emotional regulation, and enhanced focus and attention.
  • Hypnosis: Changing limiting beliefs and unwanted habits, anxiety reduction, improving performance and addressing phobias or other specific issues such as depression, grief and addiction.

Overall, meditation and hypnosis are distinct practices with different goals and approaches, even though they share some similarities in their experience.