Entrain in Vain?
This is a sample chapter from my latest book More Hypnotic Storytelling. A link to purchase a physical or digital copy is provided below.
Assemble a group of those old-style mechanical grandfather clocks, the kind with a pendulum that swings below the clock face. Put them fairly close to each other in a room, wind them up, and get them running. Guess what will happen?
Within a half-hour, the pendulums will all be synchronized and swinging in unison. This phenomenon was discovered by 17th-century Dutch scientist and polymath Christiaan Huygens, who invented that type of clock.
This effect is due to what is known as entrainment; where the powerful vibrations of one object change the vibrations of another, causing them to synchr0nize with each other.
Entrainment happens frequently in nature. On a warm summer night, you may notice that the fireflies start to flash in sync with each other. Migrating birds fly in distinct and cooperative patterns during their seasonal journies. Two people who share a close emotional bond will unconsciously mimic each other’s bodily posture and breathing rate during a conversation.
It is known that we learn in large part by imitation. For example, it is most likely your parents did not give you formal English lessons, you learned to speak for the most part by mimicking what you heard around the house, which is a form of entrainment. The same holds true for a myriad of other activities we picked up from watching and listening to others.
The entrainment effect comes into use with the type of background music a professional hypnotist or meditation instructor may use during his or her sessions. Usually, this type of music for trance enhancement will have a steady tempo of around 60 beats per minute, the same as a peaceful, resting heartbeat. Many of our clients struggle with some form of anxiety and the right type of audio track will cause them to entrain with it, allowing them to access a state of greater calm.
However, the entrainment effect is not limited to old grandfather clocks, winged creatures, or hypnosis sessions and there is one you should be particularly mindful of. That is, the company you keep.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn is quoted as saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
I don’t know if Mr. Rohn has exact scientific proof of that, but it sounds about right. We will entrain with the attitudes, behaviors, and energy levels of our innermost circle. Which can be a good or bad thing depending on who those people are. We are social beings and for example, it can be harder to maintain healthy eating habits if no one around you is doing the same. Newly sober people are strongly encouraged to avoid others who continue to drink or drug. Or you may notice that wealthy people don’t usually spend much time with the impoverished. The rich get richer and what do the poor do…?
People can and do rise above their surroundings and change for the better, but having the right support network does make the process easier. One option is to intentionally seek out people who are goal-directed, actively striving to lead a positive life, and who can act as accountability partners and as a source of inspiration. You can also choose to positively entrain others, it is a two-way street.
You also want to be extremely, and I mean extremely, careful about your involvement with social media as well as mass media. The dominant content is largely negative and pessimistic. Why would this be? Because it increases the amount of time you spend engaged with a particular social media platform or network which enhances their profitability.
Long before the internet came into existence it was well-known that content that evokes fear or anger captures attention more effectively than material that is positive and uplifting in nature. Who can look away from a car wreck when driving on the highway? The more hours and minutes you spend on a given site or channel, the more opportunities there are for them to collect your information and/or target you with advertising. They want you to be obsessive and compulsive in your use.
To be fair, it is true that the internet does provide opportunities for social connection and information, but be mindful as there is a lot of content and interaction out there that you don’t want to entrain with. (I cover this topic more thoroughly in my ebook Breaking the Social Media TRANCE!)
Related to this, I recommend that you take what natural health advocate Dr. Andrew Weil has called a “news fast.” This is where you intentionally unplug from the negative chatter of mass and social media completely on certain days or hours of the day. You may actually feel a bit of initial withdrawal when you first do this, “OMG, what am I missing?” But eventually, you will probably notice how much better you feel by disconnecting for a while.
And at this moment, you are engaging in an act of intentional, positive entrainment by reading this book. If the company you keep isn’t helping you move forward, regularly consuming motivational and inspirational books, videos, and other materials can help elevate your vibrational level.
If you enjoyed this sample, you can access a full copy of the physical or digital book at this Amazon Link or wherever e-books are sold.