I’ve spent some time recently trying to understand how the mind works – being able to understand it is imperative if we want to grasp how to make it work for us. Here’s some of what I’ve discovered while researching this fascinating topic.
The conscious mind exists for the sole purpose of interacting with the physical world. It operates in the moment and contains our thoughts, memories and feelings, and processes our rational and creative thoughts.
The subconscious mind on the other hand, defines who we are. It is pre-programmed to handle our essential body functions, stores everything we have ever said, done or seen and ensures that we respond and act in a way that is consistent with our self-concept or ‘master program’. This programming is developed through years of habit-creation (programs) and learning which develops our beliefs (religion, morals, ethics, values etc.)
When we are born, our subconscious mind is a blank sheet. By the time we reach adulthood, it apparently stores more information than the Encyclopaedia Britannica (and if you’re too young to remember it, the last printed edition contained 32 640 pages!)
The subconscious mind is so powerful that when we wish to alter our programming, we often fail as it sabotages and overwhelms the conscious mind. Think of it like this: our programs are like the autopilot mode on an aeroplane and while we may consciously wish to adjust our course manually, unless we reprogram the auto-pilot, we will always end up reverting back to it.
Here’s another example of how powerful our programs can be: an initial traumatic or series of traumatic events can lead to depression. Then, years later, an unrelated distressing event may trigger another depression as the subconscious, which is unable to distinguish between causes, simply responds to the stimulus.
That’s why, when it comes to mental issues, I always recommend treatment that delves into the subconscious mind. I was fortunate to find a therapist who used journey/regression/hypnotherapy to lift my three bouts of depression. I have not suffered from depression since 2000, even though I have suffered extreme stress several times since then, which could have sent me back into that dark ugly abyss.
So, what can we do to reprogram the way we eat, exercise and live our lives?
Repeating these can be an extremely effective tool. When I was in an emotional mess a few months ago, I created this affirmation which I repeated to myself many, many times each day:
“I am healthy and getting healthier.
I am resilient and I can adapt to changes.
I will continue to thrive with my positive mindset as I seek joy and pleasure in life.”
I started repeating it before I began researching the subconscious mind and I’m pleased to say that it has worked for me. I still repeat it, but like all programming, I adjust it as I evolve.
This practice has long been renowned for getting in touch with the subconscious mind. Practicing for even a few minutes a day can have huge benefits for the mind and our wellbeing.
As the saying goes, ‘healthy body, healthy mind’. And remember: exercise does not need to be laborious or a chore – an effective and efficient program can do wonders for your wellbeing.
Being mindful may come from the conscious mind, but repeatedly doing the right thing for your wellbeing will eventually become a habit.
While reprograming your subconscious mind may not be easy, the result is more than worthwhile.