Tapping into the power of the Subconscious mind to change our lives
Influences of the Subconscious on Daily Living
According to Sigmund Freud, the human mind contains a three-tiered level of awareness. The three levels are broken down into the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious, which work together to create the reality that we experience. The conscious mind affects our ability to focus and our ability to imagine what is not real, while our subconscious is a storage point for recent memories ("Freud’s Model Of The Human Mind | Journal Psyche"). The subconscious mind holds information that is used on a daily basis such as habits, feelings/mood, belief and value filters, sensations from our senses and thoughts that reoccur. It makes up approximately fifty to sixty percent of our mind, is the quickest of the three in terms of processing power and holds short-term daily functions. The unconscious mind holds past experiences and memories that have either been consciously forgotten or repressed due to trauma. Our behaviours are formed from these unconscious memories and dictate the habits that we retain in our subconscious.
What makes the subconscious mind unique is that it is perpetually working. In addition to controlling vital processes like our heartbeat and blood circulation (The Unbounded Spirit), the subconscious mind is constantly drawing on previous memories and emotions from our unconscious to fuel our daily habits or interpret our daily choices. It does this solely because the conscious mind tells it to (Unleashed). For instance, an individual who has the habit of avoiding dogs that they see on the street probably does so because they have had a negative experience with a dog in their past. This negative experience is stored in the unconscious mind and when an individual consciously sees a dog, their subconscious mind then remembers the incident and pulls the emotions from their unconscious mind. This will then dictate how the individual would respond on a day-to-day basis– in this case with fear and avoidance. However, one does not always have to recall a negative experience. This is where understanding how our subconscious works becomes a powerful tool in our daily lives as we can choose to influence what thoughts, emotions and habits live in our subconscious.
How You Can Change Your Subconscious Mind to Live a Better Life
Since we understand that our conscious mind directs and instructs the subconscious mind, which obeys in a literal fashion (Unleashed), we can reprogram our subconscious to carry out positive thoughts, actions and ideas. Rather than allowing the negative thought cycles to perpetuate fear, stress and anxiety, we can use techniques to override them, resulting in a positive and happier life.
One way of doing this is through visualization. Since our brain takes in data as imagery but communicates back through emotions, we can use visualization to depict us achieving the desired outcome. Our subconscious cannot distinguish between what is real and what we are imagining (Unleashed), so we can reinforce positive emotions and outcomes through visual repetition. This is similar to the repetition used in positive affirmations, another technique used to override negative beliefs or values. When you consciously tell yourself that you are “healthy,” “happy,” or “successful” your subconscious mind will work to reflect that belief as it will try to connect you to what you desire even if it currently looks vastly different.
Another way of doing this is through auto-suggestion or self-suggestion, where you consciously tell yourself what you would like to see happen but attribute an important emotion to it. For instance, you have a year-end presentation to make at school, which means you need to catch the bus for 8:00 am, you can convince your subconscious mind to make it happen with or without an alarm clock by associating a strong feeling of urgency with the event. This goes the same for phrases like: “I will have a good day,” or “I am happy today,” or, “I feel beautiful today”. The key idea here is to be fully present and aware of how you are consciously directing your mind. When you purely focus on this, you can begin to see how you can divert away from the negative programs you may be operating from (Richards).
If you are having trouble making the necessary changes, doing guided meditation or partaking in hypnosis can help open up the subconscious. Both states will help you become relaxed, help you clear away any clutter and be mindful of your present moment. Once you are able to accomplish this, you can begin to make shifts in your emotional subconscious patterns ultimately leading to a more aware and possibly better life.
"Freud’s Model Of The Human Mind | Journal Psyche". Journalpsyche.org. N.p., 2015. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
Richards, Chip. "Four Ways To Reprogram Your Subconscious Mind". UPLIFT. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
"Understanding How The Subconscious Mind Works: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life | The Unbounded Spirit". The Unbounded Spirit. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
Unleashed, The. "The Conscious, Subconscious, And Unconscious Mind – How Does It All Work?". The Mind Unleashed. N.p., 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.