“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 a post called Harnessing the Power of the Subconscious Mind some time ago. I explored the distinction between the conscious mind (CM) and the subconscious mind (SM). Recapping some of the points mentioned:
- Your conscious mind is the logical mind that functions with logic.
- You think with the conscious mind and it is the programmer of the SM, which is the creative mind that carries out the program.
- You process anywhere between 60,000 – 90,000 thoughts a day.
- The SM is the automatic pilot of the mind. It does not question things that readily come into it.
- The SM also regulates all your vital functions.
With these points in mind (if you’ll pardon the pun), we’ll examine background information pertinent in understanding your SM mind.
Your brain does not compute the answers to problems; it retrieves the answers from your memory. Your mind is continually drawing on information from its hierarchical structure; recalling events from your past.
When you see a person you know, your mind retrieves information relating to your history with that person. It identifies the individual as either friend, enemy or unknown. In his book, The Mind’s Eye Oliver Sacks writes about his condition known as Prosopagnosia; the inability to recognise faces. In meeting people on numerous occasions, he was bereft in recognising them in later encounters. Being a qualified neurologist, he was courteous to acknowledge his impairment by asking the person if they had previously met.
Whilst this is a rare condition, it highlights the complexity of the mind. Even the slightest malfunction can cause impediment to the person’s life. A great deal of literature has been written about the SM. As we learn more via scientific research, we will discover the untapped potential of the inner workings of this mysterious organ. I urge you to read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy if this particular topic is of interest to you. The book is a classic, with recent revisions and updates.
So why all the fuss about the SM, you might be thinking? How can you use this power to your advantage? Most of your SM’s programming is formed from birth until the age of 6 years. During these formative years, your brain operates within specific brain waves conducive to your development. Those brain waves are: beta, alpha, theta, delta & gamma. The brain waves function at various frequencies known as Hertz. For example while you’re asleep, your brain wave functions within the theta and delta range; oscillating between 3.5 – 7 cycles per second.
This affords you the ability to relax, not contending with external stimuli in your wakeful state. It also permits the mind to regenerate itself; processing thoughts and emotions experienced over time. In order to fully explore and develop your mind’s capacity, it is worth investing time and patience knowing your SM.
Your SM works best receiving the desired stimuli in a relaxed state. During beta and theta brain waves, you create an environment conducive to learning, formulating new ideas, thoughts and creativity. You’re able to receive information and insights into events, processes and circumstances you never thought possible.
“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale
Benefits of Using Your Subconscious Mind
Your SM processes about 100 billion bits of information per second. In contrast, your CM processes 40 bits of information per second. Clearly many of the world’s past and present geniuses were aware of the potential of their SM’s. It takes time and practice in mastering this skill – much like most pursuits. Be patient, if you’re dedicated to making breakthroughs as they may be slow and arduous. Some of the key benefits include:
- Enhanced relationships.
- Weight loss.
- Improved health and wellbeing.
- Higher levels of creativity.
- Problem solving capabilities.
- 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 regularly use my SM in various problem solving capacities; having trained it over to time with some degree of success. I speak to my mind (yes, it may seem silly at first) as though it were a friend. I regularly use affirmations such as “My subconscious mind is my partner in success.” I allow the right type of stimuli to enter my mind. This includes the people I associate with, the music I listen to, the books I read and the news I listen to. It all makes a difference.
Have you noticed when hanging out with a group of friends, how you picked up some of the words they regularly use? It might include phrases or words used in a conversational tone, yet you still absorbed it into your vernacular. I’m certain you didn’t consciously programme it into your mind; it took place unconsciously via repetitive exposure. Similarly, you may have heard a song on the radio which you began singing without consciously knowing why. This is your SM working quietly in the background.
Most of your habits and actions as adults are influenced by your SM. Recall earlier I mentioned from birth to 6 years of age, you learned in a subconscious state. Most of your adult behaviour has been programmed via your SM during these impressionable years. I reasoned that the brain does not compute answers to problems; it simply retrieves them from your memory.
Given this information, it is reasonable to conclude why adults act out learned childhood behaviour of misery, low self-esteem, depressive states and abuse. I’m painting a grim picture I know, yet I’ve met people who fit this description. Some have created fulfilling lives for themselves, while others have remained trapped in their childhood behaviour.
In an upcoming post, I will discuss ways to harness the power of your SM. Many of these are simple, yet require diligent practice. In a similar manner to exercise; your mind will respond accordingly. You may not see tangible results for weeks, possibly months. Trust and have faith it is working in the background for you.
I have practiced many of these principles for years. I use them whenever I feel the need to do so; having little attachment to the outcome. I trust once I’ve done the work (workout), I sit back and wait for the results to show up (rest). The analogy as you see is very much akin to exercise.
Stay tuned for more…