According to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and probably the most recognizable name in the field of psychology, there are 3 different levels of the mind: the conscious, the preconscious or subconscious, and the unconscious.
The brain is the most powerful organ in the body – in it are trillions of neurons that send messages to one another, controlling every single that you do. Be it your behavior, your attitude, the kind of music that you like, the food you crave for, and most especially your innermost desires.
Freud, Carl Jung, and many of the world’s legendary scientists, philosophers, and leading experts, all attest to the boundless powers of the mind. Most of the things that our brain does can be explained by science, while many are yet to be discovered, with some phenomena being very difficult to explain by science.
Welcome to the world of your conscious and subconscious patterns, where you get to have unlimited access to what the world can offer. Let’s understand what they are and how you can use them to your advantage.
What are the Conscious and Subconscious Minds?
Freud used the analogy of the iceberg to explain the 3 levels of the mind. Using the model, Freud explains that our conscious mind is the tip of the iceberg that can be seen. An actual iceberg features a mountain of ice that you see surfacing above the water. But what’s underneath the water is actually a mammoth-sized iceberg that resembles a huge mountain.
For Freud, the conscious level is but a small part our brain, and that the major foundations are actually the subconscious and the unconscious.
The conscious is mind is everything that we do that we are aware of – our decision – making skills, our physical behavior, and critical thinking abilities. When you focus, pay attention, and choose to do something, that’s the conscious mind at work.
The subconscious mind is everything that’s stored in the brain wave that we can access. You are not immediately aware that the information is there, but you can get the information using your conscious mind.
For example, you see a familiar face on the street. You can’t immediately remember the person’s name, but as you get closer, you suddenly do.
At that right moment, your conscious mind is seeing the person and you decided to give the person your attention. Your subconscious mind, on the other hand, is rummaging through the memories to recall this person’s name, as well as your experiences with this person, such as where you met him, who he is, and where you last saw him.
Let’s take a look at a bulleted list of what our conscious and subconscious minds can do:
- critical thinking
- logical thinking
- fear of failure or not achieving your goals
The unconscious mind, on the other hand, is what makes you who you are, which includes: your personality, character, early childhood experiences, and innermost desires.
According to Carl Jung, another icon in the field of psychology, the conscious mind has a limit on what it can store. The subconscious takes care of all the other information, which makes it a storehouse of our experiences and knowledge. We can access this information as we please, most of the time.
The Healing Power of the Mind
New Thought practitioners believe that the mind is more powerful than anything in the world – more powerful than money, and more powerful than modern Western medicine.
Stories of miracles and of strange healing activities occur without the use of medicine, that even the best doctors can’t explain.
Experts, scientists, and the world’s most brilliant physicians are baffled by everyday medical miracles that science just can’t defend. This includes cancer cells disappearing without a trace, chronic diseases that simply vanish, injuries that quickly heal, and people who live for decades despite being told they only had 3 more months to live.
One phenomenon that proves the mind’s powers is the placebo effect. Placebo pills are used by scientists and pharmaceutical companies to investigate the efficacy of new drugs. The effect has been touted as the tendency for people to improve their condition when given a pill that they believe will be effective, even though the pill doesn’t actually contain anything.
Thousands of studies around the world show that placebo pills work, touting the phenomenon as even more effective than actual medicine.
The term “placebo” was first used in the 13th century when professional mourners were hired to mourn in funerals. They were called placebos because of their inauthentic grief. Today, you can’t find a pharmaceutical study without the use of placebo pills that help to investigate modern drugs.
It is concrete proof that the mind is thus equipped with natural self-repair mechanisms.
This revelation also coincides with hormone studies.
For example, when your mind is stressed or when you have negative thought, your body produces the following harmful, disease-inducing hormones: epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, which turns off the body’s self-repairing mechanisms.
When the body is relaxed and your mind is filled with positive thoughts, the following hormones and neurotransmitters are released: dopamine, endorphins, nitric oxide, and oxytocin.
These are hormones that bring positive changes to the body:
- Dopamine brings you pleasurable sensations, while
- Nitric oxide helps to repair damaged tissues, and
- Endorphins acting as your body natural morphine – reducing pain and giving you a happy feeling.
- Oxytocin, on the other hand, makes you feel calm, gives you a feeling of warmth, and allows you to form fulfilling connections with the people you love.
New Thought practitioners thus promote the notion that thinking positively and believing that you will heal or get better is just as effective as taking medicine or even surgery. For many, the healing powers of the mind are even more useful and effective than actual medicine.
Joseph Murphy’s the Power of Your Subconscious Mind
Joseph Murphy is one of the leading experts in the belief that you can actually train or program your subconscious mind to help you achieve success in life.
According to Murphy, who was a famous New Thought minister, everyone has the power to control their subconscious if they are not limiting beliefs they have.
Murphy was also a prolific author, with the “Power of Your Subconscious Mind” being his most popular book. The revolutionary book introduces mind-focusing techniques using the subconscious mind to unblock mental obstacles and training it to get whatever you want in life.
Real-life stories of success are introduced in the book, as well as several techniques that promote physical healing, overall well-being, success in your career, and even in relationships.
How to reprogram your subconscious mind?
In a phenomenon called subconscious mind programming, it is believed that we can make the conscious mind dormant or inactive, so we can have the ability to control our subconscious.
There are several simple ways that we can do this.
Here are 3 subconscious mind power techniques that can help us train our minds to make our lives better:
1. Auto Inquisition
This technique is said to have been used by many of the world’s revolutionary inventors and innovators such as Thomas Edison, Dean Kamen, Steve Jobs, and even by musicians Bach and Ludwig Beethoven.
The technique is similar to auto suggestion (telling your mind to do something), but instead of suggesting, you actually ask your mind a question.
Thomas Edison used this technique often to answer questions that he couldn’t solve. He would sit on a chair holding two metal balls on one hand. Below his hand was a metal bowl.
He would ask a question and slowly falling asleep (drift to sleep). As soon as he did, the metal balls would fall into the metal bowl, making a loud crashing sound, and he would be awakened.
It is said that it was during this semi-like trance that he would find his answer. The space between sleep and being awake is said to be the platform for people to suppress the conscious awareness mind and access the subconscious.
You can do this by doing exactly what Edison did. You can sit on a chair and hold a metal object with your hand that’s resting on your knee. Place a metal bowl right below where your hand is, and ask your question. Don’t think about any solution or answer to your question, simply allow your mind to answer it for you. Slowly drift to sleep, and as soon as the metal object hits the metal bowl, you will immediately be awakened, and your subconscious mind will be activated.
When you are in the state of hypnosis, it is a moment of heightened suggestibility. Whatever you tell your mind to do, it will act on it because your conscious mind will be inactive.
Self-hypnosis is being used today to modify emotions, behaviours, ease pain, and to ease the pains of trauma. It also helps to boost confidence and help you develop new skills.
Athletes use it to visualize victory, and those who suffer from addiction also use it to overcome substance abuse, overeating, or even smoking and drinking.
This is called the Eye-Fixation Self-Hypnosis to get you started
1. Look for a quiet room and sit on a chair.
Wear loose and comfortable clothing and make sure you don’t eat a big meal beforehand. Make sure there are no distractions in the room – no kids, no television, no phones, and no noise.
2. Sit down and relax.
Breathe deeply and empty your thoughts of everything that’s bothering you as when you are meditating. Look up at the ceiling and breathe. Breathe deeply, using your nose to inhale and your mouth to exhale. Slowly relax and close your eyes. Enter the deep relaxation. Try do it on a daily basis.
Try and train your mind with meditation device like MUSE!
3. Now count from five to zero as you breathe deeply.
Be conscious of your breathing until you count to zero, where you stop counting. Simply breathe without taking notice of what your body is doing.
4. Imagine an energy force entering your body and slowly making every inch sleep.
Start with your eyes, then your nose, chin, neck, shoulders, chest, arms, torso, until every part of your body is relaxed and “asleep.”
5. While you are at this relaxed state, slowly talk to yourself.
If you want to ease pain, slowly tell yourself that your body is feeling good, that you are now able to do whatever you want – be it jogging, rock climbing, or playing soccer. Your phrases should be in the present tense and contain positive words.
For example, do not say: “I no longer feel pain in my shoulder.” You should say, “My shoulder feels good, I can move it around with ease, it’s comfortable to lift my boxes off books, and I can play tennis with a sharp serve with the ball landing right behind my sister.”
Be as specific as possible and always use positive phrases. This creates a focus on positive things. When you use word like “don’t,” “can’t,” “hurt,” or “pain,” your will mind will think that these are the things you want to focus on. Eliminate these words and practice talking positively to yourself.
6. Count 1 to 5 to wake up
As you make suggestions, you can repeat them as many times as you want, and you can also use images to make your auto-suggestion more effective.
3. Listen to Classical Music
Listen to Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. Studies have shown that listening to classical music awakens the mind’s higher brain functions. It has also been known to boost intellectual thought, improve intuition, and creative imagination – which are capacities of the subconscious mind.
Bonus Technique: Letting It Go
Have you ever taken an exam and you got stuck on one test item? You know that you know the answer, like it’s at the tip of your tongue, but you just can’t answer it. The key to finding that information is by not thinking about it.
Yes the solution is to move on to the next test item. When you force your conscious mind to access the subconscious, it will be futile.
Remember that relaxing is key to activating the subconscious. So what you do is skip the question and move on to answer the rest of the test. While your conscious mind is doing something else, your subconscious will actually continue to work by rummaging its vast database of information to look for the right answer. After a few minutes, you will definitely have your answer.
This applies to everything else when you can’t find a solution.
For example, you can’t find your keys. You keep on looking everywhere and you pull your hair out trying to look for it. Relax, let it go, continue doing other things, and after a few minutes, your subconscious mind will help you remember where it is.
For artists, musicians, and designers, the technique applies, too. When faced with a mental block, you don’t have to stress about it. Relax, do other things, eat a snack, or listen to some music. After a while, you’ll tend to know what to do with whatever you’re working on.
The subconscious mind is a powerful thing, in fact, even more powerful than the conscious mind. When you learn to understand it, you are able to program and train it to do whatever you want.
Practice these techniques and soon, you will be living the life you’ve always wanted to live.