Think the subconscious is like a locked room without a key? Think again.
Your conscious mind makes you aware of what’s currently happening around you. It contains the information you need to access daily, such as your recent memories, your phone number, your address and the location of your keys. Your subconscious — aka unconscious — mind, on the other hand, is the storehouse for more long-term memories. It’s what’s at work when you do things automatically, and it may also play an important role in problem-solving and decision-making.
The subconcious may be harder to tap than the conscious, but it contains a lot of useful information — and some interesting quirks. By tapping into your unconscious, you may be able to achieve much more in life (such as setting and achieving compelling goals with ease).
But first, you must understand how your subconscious functions. Here are five things you need to know:
Your subconscious processes negative thoughts as requests.
In his book Putting the Power of Your Subconscious Mind to Work, Joseph Murphy, Ph.D., D.D., asserts that the subconcious mind processes negative thoughts as goals and, like a young child who’s desperate to please, helps you behave in a way that will achieve those goals. (Obviously not what any of us want!) That’s why reversing negative thinking immediately is so important. “Never affirm inwardly… anything you do not want to exerpience outwardly,” warns Murphy.
Your subconscious needs direction.
In Beyond The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, author C. James Jensen likens the subconcious mind to a boat crew that follows the orders of its captain, the conscious mind. The rapport between concious and subconsious is developed by finding a quiet time for meditation and by examining thoughts and counteracting negative ones. “Our conscious mind is the ‘watchman at the gate,'” Jensen writes. “Its chief function is to protect your subconscious mind from false impressions. Choose to believe that something good can happen and is happening now. Your greatest power is your capacity to choose. Choose happiness and abundance.”
Your subconsious preserves memories.
In 1957, the famed Penfield study indicated that all one’s experiences are recorded faithfully in memory. A female patient’s brain was stimulated with an electrode while she was awake, and Penfield discovered that the woman was able to vividly recall the details of a childhood party, in minute detail. The storage and organization of memories is the responsibility of the unconscious mind — and part of that includes repressing memories that are accompanied by unresolved negative emotions. Another function of the unconscious mind? To present repressed memories for examination in an effort to release trapped emotions. Unfortunately, like a very young kid embarrassing its parents in public, it doesn’t always pick the most appropriate time to present a memory that needs to be examined…
Your subconscious needs the proper fuel.
“Creativity, intuition and imagination are functions of the unconscious mind, and the results of these functions depend upon the information stored in the subconscious,” says Ryan Elliott, author of The Secrets from Your Subconscious Mind. Reading, doing puzzles or taking up a hobby improve mental fittness and prompt brain cells to grow more physical dendrites (aka branches). Activities like meditation calm the mind, keep stress levels at bay and increase creativity.
Your subconcious behaves like a highly moral being.
The unconscious mind will keep you on the straight and narrow of whatever moral path it has learned, even if society thinks otherwise. For instance, a gang member may kill without guilt because he has learned that the honor of his gang is more important than religious tenets or federal laws. Conversely, you may be wracked with guilt as the result of behavior that your subconscious mind — not society — deems inappropriate.