You are in waking hypnosis when you are in hypnosis, but your eyes are open. Waking self-hypnosis is a very useful skill and can be applicable in many situations. Waking self- hypnosis is an amazing tool and performance booster when we need to be alert, need to register visual signals and use the power of the subconscious mind at the same time.
The very brief definition of the hypnotic state is the special focus or alertness that allows us to access the enormous resources of the subconscious mind. We can learn different levels and different ways of accessing our subconscious mind. The classical hypnotic trance uses the voice of a hypnotherapist as the centre of the focus allowing this access. In self-hypnosis, we learn to maintain the hypnotic state in another way. It is natural for eyes to close when entering the hypnotic state, because when the focus is on the voice the other signals are not needed. It is easier for the mind to focus on the internal resources when other signals are excluded, so the hypnotherapist usually gives a suggestion to close the eyes. The same with self-hypnosis – it is easier to learn when the eyes are closed.
I teach waking self-hypnosis when students are in the hypnotic trance, so they can quickly grasp the idea and can practice instantly. However, usually some practice in self-hypnosis is needed at first, because it is a more advanced technique. Students are taught different levels of waking self-hypnosis:
Deep waking self-hypnosis - a very deep hypnotic state, it works almost like a good, relaxing sleep. Very useful in situations where we need to appear to be awake and respond to some visual/verbal stimulus, but we prefer to be in our own world and relax or we have some mental tasks to do. Great for boring meetings, doctor's waiting rooms etc.
Medium waking self-hypnosis - useful when we need to maintain a medium level of alertness, applicable for rhythmical physical exercise like running or swimming. Some clients use it also for conversations with their spouse, so they can say "aha" or repeat a phrase when required (perhaps not the best way to maintain a good relationship).
Light waking self-hypnosis - this is the most amazing state, because it allows us to use the resources of the subconscious mind while fully alert, or in fact to use the resources of the subconscious mind to be even more alert. Exceptionally useful for maintaining deep concentration and focus when studying. Other practical applications include sport performance, especially golf, tennis and martial arts. I also teach this for public speaking or other public performance activities like singing or acting.