Sunday, June 1, 2014
What Exactly Is Your Subconscious Mind?
Therefore, I figured I would try to clear the air of confusion by breaking it down a bit in this blog post.
To begin with, it is estimated that the average human being has over 12,000 different thoughts each day. The areas of the mind that are controlling these thoughts can be split into two different parts, the conscious and the subconscious.
So let's discusses these parts, their differences, and how the integrate with each other.
The Conscious Mind:
The conscious mind only represents a mere 12% of the total mind's capacity, and can only be concerned with, or hold one single thought at a time. To some extent it has control over our nervous system, and is responsible for the voluntary actions of our muscles.
The conscious mind is mainly active when we are awake and is responsible for our decision-making processes, or rationalization and analysis. It decides what action we will take, often based upon past subconscious experiences, and constantly re-assesses a situation to ensure that the correct action has been taken.
The conscious mind has no memory capacity, and therefore only deals with the 'here and now' situation.
When we go into a trance, whether induced as part of hypnosis, or as a natural process, our conscious mind is not really needed and becomes dormant. It operates in a similar way to an autopilot on an aircraft - should anything happen that requires the conscious mind to reawaken, it will do so immediately.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind takes up the remaining 88% of our brain's capacity, and could be compared to a massive computer system that stores all of the information regarding our location, situation, feelings etc.
It controls our Autonomic Nervous System such as our heartbeat, breathing, organs and glands - in other words all of the things we do not have to think about.
The subconscious mind has no reasoning power, and cannot reject anything that it is told.
The subconscious mind has a perfect memory. In fact if you were to merely glance at the face of a passer by in a crowd, your subconscious mind would be able to recall every detail regarding that person such as his clothes, facial lines or wrinkles, everything that you saw. You may have to do some searching to find this information, but be assured that it would be there, even years later. In fact, many Police Forces now use hypnotism to bring these memories to the forefront of a witness's mind.
As mentioned earlier, the conscious mind constantly refers to its counterpart for information. For example, when a person is writing a word on a piece of paper, the subconscious mind will attempt to locate the correct spelling and then pass that information to the conscious mind so that it can instruct the muscles in the hand to act accordingly.
However, this is where we can run into a little bit of trouble.
Let's take a child for example, who constantly misspells a certain word. While it could be corrected, it is likely that as the child grows older, the incorrect spelling will always pop back into his or her mind when they go to spell it. This is because the subconscious mind has recorded the incorrectly spelt word and has no way of knowing that it has been misinformed. So even though the child can relearn the correct spelling, every time they try to spell this word in the future, their subconscious mind will need to stop and make a correction since the old spelling is still there.
Another problem that we can run into is this. Since the subconscious cannot tell right from wrong, it often associates feelings or emotions with actions. With smokers for example, the subconscious mind reminds them that lighting up that cigarette will help them feel calmer, less stressed or maybe more relaxed. Have you ever heard the term comfort food? Another example is With eating issues, the subconscious often associates snacking with filling a void such as feeling better, more fulfilled, or satisfied. And the list goes on and on.
So in effect, the subconscious mind is like a computer program that runs our body for us. It never sleeps and will continue to run it's program, such as digesting food, maintaining the body, healing cuts and bruises etc. And it will continue to store new information.
So let's talk about how we reprogram our subconscious mind.
Whilst in a trance state, the subconscious mind will accept any suggestion it receives without question. However, it must be a suggestion that is not conducive with the moral code of the subconscious. So if your subconscious perceives it as a threat, then there is likelihood that the conscious mind will reawaken to analyze the situation accordingly. For example, through hypnosis, I can convince your subconscious that you truly enjoy jogging. However, if I were to try and convince it to make you jog off a cliff, it will totally reject this idea.
So let's talk about brain wave states
There are four states of awareness that our brain goes through. They are known as brain wave states and can be measured by a sophisticated piece of medical equipment known as an electroencephalograph machine (E.E.G.). This machine measures the electrical activity taking place within the brain, and enables scientists to ascertain what level of awareness a subject has achieved.
When we are wide awake and alert we are in the Beta State. Our conscious mind is fully active and ready to analyze any information it receives. If we were performing a difficult task that requires a lot of concentration out brain would almost certainly be in the Beta State.
As we start to relax our brain wave cycles start to relax also.
Should this state of relaxation become deep enough, our brain would enter the Alpha State. This state is often referred to as the meditative state, the Zen State, the daydreaming state, or the Trance State. Although we are not actually asleep, we are also not really awake. We are aware of things around us, perhaps we can hear noises or people talking, but they appear to be very distant. In this state the conscious mind has effectively fallen asleep, and our subconscious mind remains in control of our Autonomic Nervous System.
In this state, any suggestions given to us would pass straight into the subconscious mind. We are effectively hypnotized.
With further relaxation, we would fall into a light sleep, this is the Theta State, and from here we would normally fall into a deep sleep known as the Delta State.
Under normal circumstances, we all pass through these four stages when we fall asleep, and then move back through them in reverse order as we awaken. Medical science has proven that we must all spend a certain amount of time in the Alpha State each day to function properly.
And there you have it - a simple explanation of what your subconscious mind is and how it works. If you would like more information about your mind and hypnosis, be sure to contact us.
Positive Change Hypnosis