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I've been recently reading about hypnosis and I'm asking this question because I've had certain personal experiences that makes me confuse the term Trance with just simple sleep.

I'm not a fan of Heavy Metal music, but I sometimes listen to it because it somehow calms me down and I usually listen to music while wearing my big uncomfortable headphone, sitting in my chair which is also very uncomfortable and having my legs resting on my desk. When I listen to music, I almost always start to imagine things, for example I sometimes try to imagine a trip to a certain place, or I try to make up a music video for that tune in my mind. The reason why I mentioned Heavy Metal is that, when I listen to that kind of music in that uncomfortable position, I fell asleep in a way that I can still hear the music and this goes on until the whole album is finished and when I wake up I feel really really fresh like my brain has been fully reset. However, this feeling does not happen when I just go to bed or I just get some rest.

What I have read about hypnosis suggests a similar condition, which is when someone is between being conscious and unconscious (or I can't describe it well). However, the videos I have seen about it emphasis on comfort. Would this be (what's I'm experiencing) a kind of trance or hypnosis, or it is just a normal nap?

And would there be any reason why a music full of violence, yelling, and rough sounds would calm down the brain and put it into a semi-conscious state and then makes it very refreshed afterwards?

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  • $\begingroup$ Being between conscious and unconscious is termed as being "subconscious" $\endgroup$ – Xlam Oct 7 '17 at 17:16
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Wearing those big headphone is indirectly a way to isolate yourself from the surrounding sound. That is usually a prelude for relaxation, or meditation. (In people with audiotory disorder, or with authism, this is a way they can feel good as that remove a big source of stimulis)

On the other side for the heavy metal, study have found it can be a stress reliever, as stated in that study;

Extreme Metal Music and Anger Processing

The findings indicate that extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions. Listening to extreme music may represent a healthy way of processing anger for these listeners.

Other news site suggest the same;

One student said: "It helps me with stress. It's the general thrashiness of it. You can't really jump your anger into the floor and listen to your music at the same time with other types of music."

It's not a fact, but some smaller study clasify heavy metal fan at the same level than classical fan;

Classical music and heavy metal fans might not be different after all. New research by scientists at Heriot-Watt University has found that not only are peoples' personalities linked to their taste in music – classical and heavy metal listeners often have very similar dispositions.

With thoses study in head, I have no difficulty to understand why you can relax to such music. Is it hypnosis, trance or such ? who know, but something is sure is that those headphone and heavy metal is a good mix to deeply relax / meditate.

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It's highly plausible (judging from your description) that you induce some sort of hypnotized state. I highly doubt it's strongly related to heavy metal though. The state of mind you're hinting at is not really a state between the subconscious and conscious. It's your mind deceiving your body that you're asleep without losing awareness. The increased visual imagination indicates to me that you're approaching a dreamlike state.

What about your dreams? I suggest u start writing a dream journal. Also, try practicing meditation before you go to bed and see if you achieve similar results.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome to CogSci! Do you have any references to support your answers? $\endgroup$ – mfloren Oct 2 '17 at 4:18

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