How long does a hypnotic suggestion last?


Hypnosis can help you change yourself for the better. And it’s been a valuable tool for centuries. You could even make the argument that hypnosis has been benefiting people for the last millennia.

The hypnotic suggestion is one of the most potent (non-drug) mind-altering tools you and I have freely available.

But how long can a hypnotic suggestion last?

A Hypnotic suggestion will last as long as the person’s subconscious mind allows it.

Although the hypnotic suggestion (exact words used) is usually forgotten within a few minutes, the effect it has on you can last for weeks or even years. You may not be fully aware of all the changes that the subconscious is making for you.

However, you are still benefiting as part of your life continues to improve. So over time the suggestion that was all but forgotten about by you consciously becomes more and more ingrained in your subconscious mind.

But it’s also very important to realize that those changes very large changes can take time to establish themselves in your life. So although a suggestion could last for weeks or years, or even close to a lifetime, the outward effects may still require some time.

Why don’t Hypnotic suggestions last forever?

There are a few reasons for this. However, these are probably the three most crucial…

  1. The skill of the hypnotist.
  2. The Suggestibility of the subject.
  3. Conflicting suggestions (This is the important one!)

Many Hypnotists will agree that the skill of the hypnotherapist can have a serious impact on how long a suggestion lasts in your subconscious. 

That’s because all hypnosis is really just communication. You’re speaking with the subconscious mind just like if you were speaking to someone else you know well. 

This is where having a rapport with the person you’re working with is so valuable. If you can create a good relationship with the person you’re working with (or even better a good relationship created before the hypnotic session starts) then you’re giving them more to work with.

But this type of rapport isn’t necessary for every situation…

For example, if you’re working with a difficult person or someone who does not want to be hypnotized then it can be good to have someone else present (sometimes even in the room but not participating) to help. This could be a friend, a family member, or a fellow hypnotherapist.

And there are other options depending on the situation but what’s important is that you’re not going to do any harm by experimenting with your hypnotic communication skills. Because the more you practice, the better you’ll become.

But the fact remains that if your rapport with the hypnotherapist is poor your results will be poor as well. 

Another issue that will affect the effectiveness of hypnotic suggestions is the suggestibility of a person. This means how easily are you willing to accept the suggestions made to you during hypnosis.

There are two different factors that influence this. 

The first is the person’s natural ability or inability to think and reason. A person who is highly suggestible will be very easy to influence. But a highly responsive person will not always allow the suggestions to be fully accepted. 

The second factor is that of their belief system and or inner self-image. What are you able to believe you can do? What do you think is possible?   

You may be highly responsive but you will still not be open to suggestions that clash with your personal beliefs.  And it’s not likely that someone will be able to make you believe that you have the ability to do or be something unless you are willing to at least consider the possibility.

Hypnotic Suggestions that conflict with each other

On average, people spend about half of the day in some form of trance. So achieving the hypnotic state is easy enough. This means we are more times than not in a suggestible state already.

Makes you wonder about the timing of commercials on you-tube and such. But we digress.

The point is with our minds so open to suggestions as much as they are. There is a good chance that a hypnotic suggestion you are trying to install is conflicting with another post-hypnotic suggestion.

It happens all the time.

The only difference is, you’re usually not aware of the conflict. And as you can imagine when there’s a conflict with a new suggestion. That suggestion is dead on arrival.

But it doesn’t have to end there, because we can change a mental program (suggestion). A suggestion accepted by the subconscious mind even if it’s put there by another hypnotherapist can still be changed.

You don’t even need hypnosis to change a suggestion. You just need a strong enough realization or even an epiphany.

But no matter how you handle the prior suggestion, it must be managed and deflated of its influence before the new suggestion can take hold.

Can hypnotic suggestions wear off?

Yes, hypnotic suggestions can wear off.

Communicating with your subconscious mind is like any other skill. Practice will make you better, but no practice will lead to you losing whatever skill you learned.

During hypnosis, experiences are repeated in the imagination and this repetition stores up new patterns of behavior that can eventually become the change you are wanting.

So a hypnotic suggestion can be a lot like a habit. It requires repetition to establish it. These are learned behaviors that can be unlearned.

Also if you don’t embed the suggestion deep enough to override competing behaviors, your new suggestions may not last long at all. So what can be done to make hypnotic suggestions last longer?

The information below will make it easier for the suggestions you want to stick inside your mind.

Note: This list of best practices are assuming that you are using Self-hypnosis either fully or in conjunction with other therapies.

If you’re working with a clinical Hypnotherapist they should have their own protocols for you to follow.

#1. Give suggestions that are easy to follow.

Suggestions need to be very clear and easy to understand. Words like “stop” or “quit” can be confusing to the subconscious mind. For instance, “I’m now free enough to become a non-smoker” is much clearer than “I will stop smoking cigarettes.”

#2. Give suggestions that are very simple and short.

Along with being clear you also want to be direct and to the point. Your subconscious mind doesn’t need a speech, nor does it need to be won over. All it needs to know is that you are serious about the change (no conflicting suggestions)

#3. Avoid using words like “should” or “must.”

Words that ask the subconscious mind to do something can be very unappealing. This is a habit you may have picked up believing that compulsions and cravings are bad things. But this is not true at all. The subconscious mind is always doing the best it can and habits are just tools of the mind. 

A habit is neither good nor bad they are just a tool. And if you can use your tools to your benefit, that is a great thing. 

#4. Refrain from making a big deal out of the suggestion.

The last thing you want to do is invest your ego in this process.  Making a big deal out of a suggestion like (“This is the best decision you have ever made!!”) will make the subconscious mind more difficult to influence. You want to avoid any type of conflict with your inner self-image. If you know you’re embellishing to cover up your doubts, you lost before you have begun. 

#5. Give suggestions that are specific to your environment.

The suggestions you give should be very specific to the situation. This is not the time to be timid, go for what you want or want to change.  

#6. Give suggestions that are in harmony with your values and beliefs.

It is important to give yourself suggestions that are in harmony with your values and beliefs. This creates a “bridge” between the conscious and subconscious minds. Which makes it easier to let go of old patterns of behavior and accept new ones. Because you are swimming with the current of your inner self-image. 

Of course, there is a good chance that the change you want to make with your hypnotic suggestion will go against some well-established patterns already embedded in your mind. 

And hypnosis is perfect for turning your life’s ship around, but it will take repetition. 

jayson quote

It’s been our experience that it takes about 90 days of consistent Self-hypnosis programming to make life changes.

Some hypnotherapists may disagree with the 90 days protocol. 

Still, no matter how skilled the therapist is, every hypnotherapist will send you home with a recording to listen to for a month or so. And this is after your session with them.

And most protocols with hypnotherapy require three separate visits with take-home recordings.  This usually stretches out to about 3 months or a little less. 

So how is that any different from the recommendations we’re making in this article? 

It’s not different at all.  

However, if you’re looking to make long-lasting life-changing suggestions in a trance state may we suggest you look into the Free Learn Hypnosis in 5 days course.  

The free course is one of the best ways to learn hypnosis. You learn the anatomy of a hypnotic suggestion and how to do self-hypnosis so you can start working on yourself. 

Because the best way to make a suggestion stick is for you to consistently do the sticking yourself.  

Recent Posts