“The conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.” — Sigmund Freud
I wrote an article some time ago in which I explored the distinction between the conscious mind (CM) and the subconscious mind (SM). Recapping some points:
Our conscious mind is the logical mind that functions using reason.
We think with the conscious mind and it is the programmer of the SM, the creative mind that carries out the program.
We process anywhere between 60,000–80,000 thoughts a day.
The SM is the automatic pilot of the mind.
The SM regulates our vital body functions.
Let’s examine the background information relevant in understanding the SM mind a little better. Our brain does not compute answers to problems, it retrieves them from our memory. Our mind draws on information from its hierarchical structure, recalling events from the past. When we see a person we know, our mind retrieves information relating to our history with that person. It identifies the individual as either a friend, enemy or unknown. For example, in his book The Mind’s Eye Oliver Sacks writes about a condition known as Prosopagnosia; the inability to recognise faces. When meeting people on many occasions, he cannot recognise them in later encounters. As a qualified neurologist, he was courteous to acknowledge his impairment by asking the person if they had met before. Whilst this is a rare condition, it highlights the complexity of the mind. Even the slightest malfunction can cause an impairment. As we learn more via scientific research, we discover the untapped potential of the inner workings of this mysterious organ. If this topic interests you, I urge you to read The Power of Your Subconscious Mindby Dr Joseph Murphy which is a wonderful read on learning to harness the power of the SM.
So why all the fuss about the SM, you ask? How can we use this power to our advantage? Most of our SM’s programming is formed from birth until the age of 6 years. During these formative years, our brain operates within specific brain waves conducive to our development. Those brain waves are: beta, alpha, theta, delta & gamma. The brain waves act at various frequencies known as Hertz. For example while we’re asleep, our brain wave functions within the theta and delta range, oscillating between 3.5–7 cycles per second. This allows us to relax and not contemplate external stimuli in our wakeful state. It permits the mind to regenerate itself, processing thoughts and emotions. To explore and develop our mind’s capacity, it is worth investing time and patience to know how our SM functions and processes information. Our SM works best receiving the desired stimuli in a relaxed state. During beta and theta brain waves, we create an environment conducive to learning, formulating new ideas, thoughts and creativity. We’re able to receive information and insights into events, processes and circumstances never thought possible.
Benefits of Harnessing Your Subconscious Mind
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” — Earl Nightingale
Our SM processes approximately 100 billion bits of information per second which is staggering given everything that competes for our attention. In contrast, the CM processes 40 bits of information per second which is a great deal less. Many geniuses knew of the potential of their SM and that is why it takes time to master this skill, so be patient if you’re dedicated to making breakthroughs as it may be slow and arduous. The key benefits include:
Improved health and well-being.
Higher levels of creativity.
More relaxed and composed.
Ability to transcend limiting beliefs.
Creating a sense of happiness and purpose in your life.
Sense of control and empowerment.
I use my SM in various problem-solving capacities on a regularly basis, having trained it with some success over the years. I speak to my mind (yes, it may seem silly at first) as though it were a friend. I use affirmations such as “My subconscious mind is my partner in success.” I am mindful of the information that enters my mind. This includes the people I associate with, the music I listen to, the books I read and the news I listen to. Have you noticed when associating with a group of friends, you pick up words they use? It might include phrases used in a conversational tone, yet you use it regularly. I’m certain you did not consciously programme it into your mind, it took place unconsciously via repetitive exposure. Similarly, you may have heard a song on the radio you began singing without your conscious awareness. This is your SM working in the background. Most of our habits and actions as adults are influenced by our SM. Recall earlier I mentioned from birth to 6 years of age, we learn in a subconscious state. Most of our adult behaviour is attributed to programmes via our SM during these impressionable years. That is why the brain does not compute answers to problems, it simply retrieves them from our memory.
Given this, we can conclude why adults act out learned childhood behaviour of: misery, low self-esteem, depressive states and abuse. I’m painting a grim picture, yet I’ve met people who fit this description. Some have created fulfilling lives while others remain trapped in their childhood behaviour. In a similar manner to exercise, our mind responds to the stimuli it is repeatedly exposed to. We may not see tangible results for weeks, possibly months when we’re trying to change a pattern or habit. However, we must have faith it is working in the background. I have practised these principles for years and use them regularly while having little attachment to the outcome. I trust once I’ve done the work (workout), I wait for the results to show up (rest). So make it your mission to master your subconscious mind in an easy and effortless way.
Call To Action
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