Have you ever wondered your brain works? What makes it think? What makes us make decisions? Or even what make us do certain things in life?
Throughout your life, you do a lot of thinking. You solve problems, decide what to eat for breakfast in the morning, and decide to read this article. (thank you for that by the way.)
Now, you made all of these decisions consciously!
Well, maybe not.
The subconscious commonly known as the unconscious mind controls quite a lot of our behavior.
It contains a vast amount of knowledge, habits, and associations that help us process information very quickly.
And it does all of this, very quickly. And it does it without us even being aware of it. Take driving for example.
If you have been driving for a long time, it is probably second nature to you.
You don’t really have to think about it very much. Clearly, you are still driving because otherwise, you will not be going anywhere. But you are not as hyper-aware of everything than when you first started driving.
Note – your unconscious is doing most of the work- without you even realizing it. According to Sigmond Freud, the unconscious mind influences our behavior and contains suppressed memories that are too painful or tedious for a person to confront.
Freud thought that dreams, and slips of the tung, also called Freudian slips to analyze or reveals some of these suppressed memories.
Believe it or not, the unconscious does affect how we behave. Studies were done in which some students had to hold either a hot or cold beverage. After this, they had to describe the personality of someone based on some facts on a piece of paper. Students who held the cold beverage described the fictional character much colder and selfish than the ones that hold the hot beverage.
Psychologists call this priming.
Some of the particular goals or responses are activated in response to a certain stimulus.
We are more likely to be competitive if there is a briefcase in sight. And we tend to drive faster than normal if we read about a cheetah. That is not the only thing the unconscious can do.
In a more recent study there where many images flashed in front of the student's eyes.In between these pictures, there were math added. Like this picture:
Now, do you wonder how this part of your mind works?
Now, remember the two basic areas of our consciousness. The conscious and the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is what we call the deep all-knowing part of the mind that helps us remember how to do things that we have previously learned.
Its power and size can be represented in the form of an iceberg.
The part that is showing here is like the conscious mind. This part of the mind is simply concerned with day to day decisions.
A real-time awareness that we experience on a normal day. When you simply experiencing something, listening clearly, focus on what you are doing, using your senses, being spontaneous at the moment without judgment or analysis. You are using your conscious mind. It is an important part of the mind.
But it is not very capable when having to juggle lots of information. The conscious mind is much smaller than the subconscious mind. And the subconscious mind has a huge effect on how we behave in life. It is very very big. So, it’s primary task is to take the pressure of the Conscious mind. And make sure that you don’t have too many things that you have to think about when you are doing difficult tasks.
Everything we go through is processed and stored in the subconscious. However, it is represented here below the surface because all the information that is stored is largely forgotten.
We can imagine our subconscious as this jug of water. Which represents all the stored up ideas that we have built up in our lives. And as we go through experiences we learn how to do things that suite us best.
Everything we experience goes to our subconscious. Such as when we learn to ride a bike for the first time. Or even when we learn how to read.
As we operate in life, we go through our day to day experiences working from programs that we have accumulated over time. Which, we decided in the first instance where useful ways to behave.
Instead of taking each situation as it comes naturally, we have the tendency to live life on autopilot and respond to people and events as if they were the same as the first time we encountered those situations.
If we learned that anger was effective in dealing with certain situations we would continue that program without critical re-evaluation. If we felt that being shy was the best way to stay out of the critical situation or trouble, we may continue that pattern. (whether subconsciously also)
We are usually unaware that our behavior is automatic. Until we recognize the need for change.
It can take time to change patterns of behavior. Such as smoking, and overeating, but with persistence, it will change.One of the most useful ways to change subconscious patterns is to emerge yourself in new and exciting experiences. Because the challenge and the relative unfamiliarity will force more time onto the conscious mind
Things that take your mental energy, the focus, often give the power to make the subconscious conscious again.
When you get to situations in your life that usually make you react without thinking. You can take a moment and realize that you are not the sum of your experiences. You can then use your conscious mind to concentrate and retrain your reaction and your mind. To take a fresh look whenever you feel stuck. By changing the way you respond you will change your life.
Pretty soon your mind will get the idea and create a new pattern that is more useful for you.
You want to know a little secret how I changed my life on autopilot?
Easy- look here!