This is a weird thought I had at the traffic lights this morning as I contemplated my journey to Wolverhampton. I had just driven quite a way down the Stafford Road, through about six roundabouts, managed to survive without accident or trauma, yet I suddenly realised that I had no conscious memory of that part of the journey.
Why didn’t I remember it and why didn’t I crash the car? This wasn’t the first time I’d had forgotten part of a journey.
I’ve just learnt that it is a ‘thing’. The ‘thing’ is called Highway Hypnosis.
The idea of Highway Hypnosis was first introduced in 1921, google tells me, and it was then called ‘road hypnotism’. So its not a new thing. And it is a thing that lots of people do. It only seems worrying because we associate control with complete consciousness. It’s the same distrust we might have of those clever cars that have cruise control and all the random automatic features that can go wrong. But actually, we are just as much in control and able to observe when we are under hypnosis as we are when we feel fully conscious and remembering every move. If anything, perhaps we are safer under hypnosis. There are no nerves, no hesitation, no feelings of anger, no bad reactions. There is a lot of mystery around the hypnotic state but only because we don’t fully understand the power of it.
I have experienced being under hypnosis and it is a very powerful tool for influencing the mind. So if my hypnotic mind is a safer driver than my fully conscious mind then I will embrace those moments when I don’t remember the journey. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.