Since the subconscious mind is always in control of our behavior (in the long run) it seems crucial that we understand how it operates. Successful mind training requires that knowledge. Creating a happy, successful, fear free life also requires it. Here are some basic concepts that should be helpful.
Most basically, the mind is the process that take place within the brain. Through our conscious mind we are aware of many of those functions – the five basic senses, the ability to think and talk and move our body parts. We read and learn and feel emotions and so on. The subconscious mind, however, hides most of its activities from us, hence its name, which means below awareness.
Unlike the conscious mind, the subconscious mind never sleeps. It is always doing things. When we learn how to contact it and use it (through mind training), we can set it to working on things for us even while we are asleep.
The subconscious mind is a fully positive function. It does not even recognize negatives such as no, don't, or can't. So, one of the first steps in mind training is to begin thinking in positive terms. Tell yourself what you can do rather than what you can’t do and what you should do rather than what you shouldn't. Say, “I want to _____,” rather than, “I don't want to ______,” or I must start doing,” rather than “I must stop doing ______.” Also, understand that when the subconscious mind hears a negative, it typically assumes it was meant to be positive. When it hears, “Don't do that,” it interprets the message as, “Do that.” It hears, “Just say no,” and it interprets the message as . . .
A main function of the subconscious mind is to direct our behavior. It pays close attention to what we do and what we say and think about ourselves and puts all that into the form of directives. Once it believes it knows how we want to behave (act, think, react) it sends us powerful messages that require us to behave according to those directives. Since the subconscious mind is often not a particularly good observer it sometimes makes mistakes about what we want. For example, it if sees us being fearful when around strangers it assumes that we want to be fearful at those times so it assembles a fear directive that requires us to be fearful in those situations.
Many of our directives were planted in our subconscious mind by other people, especially when we were very young before we could evaluate or defend ourselves mentally. It hears parents (for example) saying we are precious and it believes it and forms an “I'm precious” directive. I hears parents say we are worthless and it forms an “I'm worthless” directive. By the time a child begins really thinking about himself objectively at four or so, lots of directives have already been set for him. When they are positive and helpful they direct a good and successful life. When they are negative and hurtful they direct an unhappy, unsuccessful life.
Mind training can help alleviate the bad stuff and replace it with good stuff. Most people can benefit from working through a mind training program that helps determine the types of directives one has stored and teaches techniques to replace the harmful directives with helpful ones.
By: Tom Gnagey
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Tom Gnagey is an educator, psychologist, social philosopher, and writer. He has practiced clinical psychology for 30 years. For information about his successful, proven, self-help and personal growth program, Deep Mind Mastery, go to www.TomsBookNook.com/DMM.html