What is your subconscious mind and how does it work?

What is your subconscious mind and how does it work?

“Everything is within your power,
And your power is within you.” – Janice Trachtman

If you don’t understand what your subconscious mind is and how it works, you will be forever trapped in the cycles of suffering and trauma. You will be stuck in your concepts of safety, even if it means being lost in unhealthy patterns. Your mind likes familiarity, even if it is unhealthy for you.

Unless you change this inner programming of what is normal for you, you will be always trapped in the cycles of abuse, trauma and suffering and you will be wondering why you always make the same unhealthy decisions for yourself.

Without getting in touch with your subconscious mind, it is impossible to escape those cycles because the key to breaking them is in your subconscious.

If you don’t know how to use the power of your subconscious mind, you are like an owner of a beautiful sports car who has no idea how to drive. You can look around and admire its interiors. You can even try and drive it. The drive certainly won’t be smooth. You will be probably stalling a lot and the car will break down regularly on the way. It will certainly not be a very pleasant drive and you won’t experience the full capacity of what the car can do. Not until you learn how to use it properly.

I’ve seen the impact that working on the subconscious mind has had on my own clients when I’ve used the powerful techniques and strategies I’ve learnt from my NLP and hypnotherapy training.

No matter what kind of negative and harmful programming you might have under the surface, you can always change it by understanding how your subconscious mind works and how to use its power.

Your own mind has miraculous powers to not only heal your body but also to create everything your heart desires. It is extremely flexible and open to constantly learn new things and information, and understanding how to access this flexibility and openness is key to your personal transformation.

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.
As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

The above quote by Friedrich Nietzsche beautifully captures the nature of our mind’s need to shed its old useless programming in order for us to take advantage of its flexibility and adaptability.

Conscious vs subconscious mind

I’m sure you have heard that you have a conscious and subconscious mind. They aren’t actually separate minds, but two aspects of one mind. Your conscious mind is the thinking mind. It is the mind that makes decisions and choices and that always experiences the world through your senses.

Your conscious mind is responsible for being your guide and interpreter in the external world, and through observation, experience and education your conscious mind learns about the environment you live in and sends signals to the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind then gives meaning to these observations and experiences, which often get stored and fixed at an early age.
What is your subconscious mind?

Your subconscious mind is a huge hard drive that stores all the bits and pieces of programming you have ever created for yourself, including your memories, experiences, beliefs and values. Your subconscious mind is also responsible for all the vital functions of your body.

In neuroscience, there are various parts of the brain that are identified as being responsible for the function of storing memories and interpretations of what they mean and the automatic regulation of your body’s vital functions.

In psychology, we often use the concept of the unconscious or subconscious mind to refer to all of these parts of our brain and how they work together.

The memories and concepts of what things mean are stored in the depths of your subconscious. You might not remember everything that has ever happened to you but those memories and meanings attached to them are still there, and you can access them while you are in a state of hypnosis.

How does our subconscious mind influence our behaviour?

Let’s imagine, for example, you constantly get triggered when you hear words of constructive criticism from your spouse. Before you even realise what’s happening, the defensive reaction is already there.

Not only the reaction in terms of how you feel, but you then end up behaving in a way that’ll probably lead you into another fight with your spouse, who most probably just wanted to help you.

So, why did this happen?

It’s possible that the words that your spouse said triggered you (in literally half a second) to go back to some painful memories from your childhood where you were constantly criticised by your parents. Maybe they even emotionally abused you.

In this scenario, you constantly relive that past trauma through your husband, and most probably you have absolutely no idea how you’re feeling or behaving until it’s too late.

The conscious mind just hears the words and signals them to the subconscious and it is your subconscious that immediately perceives them as a danger as they trigger those painful childhood meanings. You’re automatically reacting in a negative way to something that isn’t actually a threat.

You do this enough times for long enough and it leads to chronic stress, self-sabotaging your relationships and self-worth, and all sorts of other problems.

To heal this situation you need to get in touch with your subconscious and “reprogram” those associations and patterns. There is no other way to heal in a sustainable way but to dive deeper into your subconscious and reach the essence of the problem and change how you respond to these triggers.

How to reprogram your subconscious mind to become more healthy?

First things first, there are no simple and easy answers to this question. It can take deep and timely work, often with a trained professional. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t start with yourself and take some simple steps to get you going.

Your subconscious mind doesn’t question the thoughts you think and the beliefs you create about yourself and your life. It takes everything at face value. It won’t argue with you when you think negative thoughts about yourself. Every time you call yourself stupid or fat, you plant a seed in the soil of your subconscious mind that you ARE stupid and fat.

The same with positive thoughts. If you think positive thoughts that strengthen your confidence, your subconscious will follow you and it will attract opportunities into your life that will reflect the positive thoughts that you created about yourself.

You can think of yourself as a gardener and your subconscious mind as your soil. It is very fertile and it supports and nourishes every thought that you decide to plant.

That’s why it is so important to discover what thoughts you mostly create about yourself and learn how to think more positive thoughts.

The power of your thoughts

Your thoughts are like seeds. You water them when you keep repeating them in your mind.

That’s how positive thoughts grow into positive beliefs. Whereas negative thoughts poison your mind and body with negativity and diseases.

Realising that every thought that you think might have a tangible consequence in your life (if you keep repeating it), will change your life forever.

In his book, “The Power of your Subconscious Mind”, Dr Joseph Murphy compared the subconscious to a darkroom. Here is a quote from his famous book.

“Your subconscious is your great darkroom. It’s the secret place where your outer life develops.

Therefore it isn’t your name, your manner of dress, your parents, your neighbourhood, or the automobile your drive that makes you what and who you are. You are the beliefs taking shape, image by image, light and shadow, there is your subterranean darkroom.

In a moral sense, your subconscious is totally neutral, willing to look on any habit as fitting, whether or not you or the world deems it good or bad.”

If you want to create a happy and fulfilling life, it is extremely important to remember this law. Whatever you think about has a potential consequence in your external reality.

For example, if you keep repeating that “You can’t afford this” and “I can’t afford that”, your mind will follow you and prove that you are right.

Whether you would like to create better health or more financial abundance, you need to start from your mind.

Therefore the first step you can take if you want to understand your subconscious better is developing more self-awareness about the thoughts you mostly think. Below I’m sharing two exercises that will help you do that.

1. Self-reflection exercise

Take a piece of paper and write down three categories: health, relationships and money. Then write down the thoughts about yourself regarding these three areas of your life that occupy your mind most often.

You will probably need to calm down your conscious mind so find a quiet place for yourself, maybe light a candle, meditate for a moment and focus on your inner self.

What thoughts do you tend to repeatedly think about your health, love and money?

Write them all down and see what thought patterns you have.

Then ask yourself:

Would I like this thought to turn into my reality?

If you reply that yes, then that’s fantastic.

If you realise that you wouldn’t like a given thought to turn into your reality, then ask yourself.

What thought can I think instead?

What thought would benefit me?

Write down your new positive thoughts and start repeating them until they become your new thought pattern. This part is not easy. I’d suggest you start doing this in front of a mirror. Every morning, schedule a few minutes just for yourself, stand in front of a mirror and say these new thoughts that you want to plant in your subconscious.

There is real power in looking into your own eyes and saying positive things to yourself. You might get emotional at first and that’s good. That’s a sign that this new thought really resonates with you. Repeat the exercise until these new thoughts become your new thinking pattern.

If you struggle to catch those thought patterns the first time you do this exercise, repeat as many times as you need to. Sometimes it takes more effort to even realise what thoughts we dwell on.

2. Start a thought journal

Another practice that might help you become more aware of the thoughts you think is starting a thought journal. There are a lot of benefits to such daily practice. You can read about it more here.

Make it a little ritual for yourself. Every day devote some time to sit down, focus on your inner self and write down what thoughts you were thinking mostly today. Notice patterns in your thinking.

Pay special attention to your mood swings and what thoughts are triggered then. Once you catch such a thought, ask yourself if this thought is useful for you. If not, replace it with a new one. Your emotions will respond to these new, more positive thoughts.

Once you’ve gained more self-awareness, start acting as if those new positive thoughts are already true for you.

For some people that will be a good start to make sustainable changes in their subconscious mind. For others, it might not work. It all depends on the problem you are dealing with. Reprogramming your subconscious mind might take a lot of time and effort. But I’ll certainly encourage you to give these exercises a try. If nothing else, you will gain more self-awareness and that is always the first step to make any change happen.

You can read more about how to think more positive thoughts here.

I wish you all the best on this journey into your subconscious. If you have any questions, please reach out and we can have a conversation about how I can help you.

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