“Change your thoughts and Change your life”. This is a very popular quote and one that I believe in. To those who don’t understand this process it can create a few questions:
“What does that even mean?”
“How does that work?”
“Why isn’t it working for me?”
There are many more questions and some flat- out disbelievers. That’s okay but there is evidence of how and why this works. There are also reasons on why it might not be working,
In order to understand this process, you need to understand the power of the subconscious mind.
What is the subconscious mind and how does it relate to the conscious mind? Some clarification is due here on what these different parts of the brain are.
The conscious mind houses all of your thoughts and actions that we are aware of. It is that voice in your head that you think is making all of your decisions.
The subconscious mind on the other hand is where our memories are stored, our habits exist, and any actions that are on autopilot. Everything in the subconscious mind is below our level of awareness
Here are some facts comparing the conscious mind and the subconscious mind:
Conscious Mind Subconscious Mind
Comprises 17% of Brain Mass Is 83% of Your Brain Mass
Looks for Patterns and Objects that are Familiar. Averages 400 Billion Operations Per Second
Is Where Your Free Will Lives Is Non-Verbal (sees in pictures and patterns)
Is Under Your Control Doesn’t Know Truth from Fiction
Determines Your Results Directs Sensory Input
Conscious Impulses Travel at Unconscious Impulses
speeds Up to 140 mph. travel 100,000 mph
The human brain is the fastest processor in the universe.
I imagine you are in awe at the capabilities of the subconscious mind but are wondering – what does it do for me? Our moods, personality development, personal and professional development are all shaped by our subconscious mind. One of its duties is to store and process all the pieces of information that are in our minds even though we are not aware of them. Your subconscious makes sure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. It does not have the power to think or reason independently. It obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. So, it ultimately works day and night to make your behavior fit a pattern consistent with your emotional thoughts, hopes and dreams. Brian Tracy uses the analogy of the garden and the gardener to explain the conscious and subconscious: “Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow.”
Your subconscious mind will act on any request you make. Remember – it obeys the conscious mind. Any thought that is continuously repeated will make an imprint on the subconscious. The practice of visualization, affirmations and guided imagery are so effective because the subconscious mind does not distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary. Repetition creates images that the subconscious acts upon.
So, the subconscious does not think by itself. It obeys the commands that the conscious mind sends to it. Then how can you actually affect the subconscious mind?
Here are eight techniques to affect the subconscious mind:
· Paying Attention to your thoughts
o What you think about most will influence your subconscious mind.
o If you believe and think you don’t deserve something – your subconscious mind will make sure that you don’t get what you want.
o When we release our negativity and fear, we become more comfortable being positive and allow our subconscious to work for us.
o Prayer repeats what you want to adopt in your conscious mind and helps the subconscious mind recognize it as important.
o It gives you faith that what you are praying for is coming and that faith solidifies what you want in the subconscious.
· Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
o NLP is a communication system for your subconscious. There are different techniques and you must have knowledge of how these techniques work in order to use NLP properly.
· Being Consistent and Repetitive
o Use this tool when you want to establish a new habit.
o The more you do or say something, the more your subconscious mind will adopt and accept it.
o What fires together, wires together. You rewire your brain with consistency and
o Hypnosis helps you quiet your conscious mind and open to your subconscious mind.
· Subliminal Messages
o Your subconscious mind is always listening and looking for background words, images or sounds that might interest you.
o You can use subliminal messages to your advantage and create positive affirmations that you want to remember – but don’t have time to repeat over and over.
o This helps you turn off your conscious mind
o During meditation you can focus on what you want and let your subconscious mind play around with ideas or images.
o Simply visualizing what you want to happen in your life can help your subconscious mind feel as if it is already happening.
o The subconscious mind does not distinguish between true or false, real or not real.
o If you visualize strong enough and feel that you are already doing it – it can reshape your reality.
(8 Techniques to Affect the Subconscious Mind, December 15, 2015)
A Word about Affirmations:
Affirmations are statements that are repeated over and over to yourself. They work because when you continually verbalize these statements, they are influencing your thoughts. There are some guidelines for successfully using affirmations.
1. Always affirm in the positive. Make your affirmation a positive statement. Use words that reflect what you want to happen.
2. Make your affirmations short and simple. Use a phrase or at the maximum a short sentence. You should be able to repeat this over and over without even thinking about it.
3. Don’t force yourself to believe it – just say it. You just have to repeat and repeat over and over again and the affirmation will naturally have an effect.
Mind Power/John Kehoe
This practice is widely used. Athletes use them for performance; businesspeople use them to close deals and run their business; artists use them for creativity. What a simple, powerful way to change your brain and change your life.
Understanding Positive Thinking and Self-Talk
Positive thinking means you approach a problem in a positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.
Positive thinking starts with self-talk. You have probably experienced this – it is the endless stream of thoughts going through your mind all day. You can’t seem to turn it off. This can be positive or negative. Some self-talk comes from logic or reasoning. Other self-talk comes from misconceptions that we create because we don’t have all of the information we need.
What Makes an Effective Affirmation?
Here is some more detailed information on creating affirmations.
· When deciding what affirmations you need, focus in on where you have the most negative self-talk, and then choose affirmations that battle those issues.
· Choose affirmations that are short, so they are easier to remember. Four – five words can be effective.
· Affirm your positive statements in the present tense. Use phrases such as ‘I Am’ rather than ‘I shall be’.
· Get in the habit of repeating the affirmation whenever you are not engaged in other activities. Mentally repeat your affirmations or say them out loud when you are driving or standing in line.
· It is very important to attach your emotions with that affirmation. Feel good.
· Use only positive words. No negatives!
· Write your affirmations and put them in places that will catch your attention during the day. When you regularly see them, it will be a constant reminder to continue with the practice.
(www.wholesomeayurveda.com March 10, 2017)
Now that you understand how powerful your subconscious is; and, how you can access it – you really can Change Your Thoughts and Change Your Life.
Assaraf, J. 12 amazing facts about your brain. Retrieved from http://blog.myneurogym.com/12-amazing-facts-about-your-brain/#.VmoReoTUGRs
Effect of Daily Affirmations (Positive Thoughts) on Subconscious Mind, Health, and Happiness. (March 10, 2017). Retrieved from http://www.wholesomeayurveda.com/2017/03/10/effect-daily-affirmations-positive-words-subconscious-mind/
Kehoe, J. Quantum physics positive mind energy and mind power. Retrieved from http://www.learnmindpower.com/using_mindpower/basics/
Mercury. (December 15, 2015). 8 techniques to affect the subconscious mind. Retrieved from http://www.ilanelanzen.com/mind/8-techniques-to-afect-the-subconscious-mind/
Operation-Meditation. How does the subconscious mind work – amazing facts and exciting insights. Retrieved from http://operationmeditation.com/discover/how-does-the-subconscious-mind-work-amazing-facts-and-exciting-insights/
Tracy, B. Understanding the subconscious mind. Retrieved from http://briantracy.com/blog/general/understanding-your-subconscious-mind/