The Power of the Unconscious Mind
One of the most powerful tools we have is within our mind. Neuroscience has shown that most of our decisions, actions, emotions and behaviors depend on the 95 percent of brain activity that lies beyond conscious awareness. This means that 95 (or sometimes as much as 99%) of your life comes from the programming in your unconscious mind.
But do you know that our unconscious mind is always awake! It never takes a break because it controls all vital processes and functions of the body. For instance, the unconscious mind controls heartbeat, blood circulation, regulates digestion and elimination.
In sleep, our conscious mind becomes dormant while the unconscious mind stays fully awake. Our dreams allow us to make sense of the random thoughts and images from recent daytime experiences or memories. And it’s a beautiful way to tap into those unconscious thought patterns and unresolved feelings troubling you in your daily life. If you would like to learn more, Mom and I dedicated an entire podcast to it. Tune into Episode 11: The Role of Dreams and Their Interpretations in Your Life on the Therapy Unfiltered Podcast to learn more!
Your unconscious is an invaluable potential source of knowledge, wisdom, insights, and guidance. It is the part of your mind of which you are usually unaware but that plays vital roles in your life.
Your unconscious can also be observed in action when you shake your head without realizing it, shift your gaze when you’re not telling the truth, or suddenly come up with an inspirational idea “out of the blue.” It is a storehouse of thoughts and feelings you’re not even aware exist, but that can have profound influences on your behavior and well-being.
For instance, if you developed a fear that you could no longer trust a long-time friend, but you couldn’t bear to admit this to yourself, you might develop dizziness when around this friend without knowing why. A hypnotic trance that allowed you to ask your unconscious why you’re getting dizzy, could uncover the Soul Lesson of trust.
In addition, your unconscious has its own special wisdom and insights—in part gleaned from continually finding patterns among and forming connections between your memories, thoughts, and feelings—it could help guide you in what next steps to take with your friend.
Hypnosis is a wonderful tool for tapping into your unconscious, and this will be the cornerstone for the past-life regression and guided visualizations. In a hypnotic state, you can connect and even directly converse with it. This can help you obtain crucial information to heal past pain and make life-altering changes for the better.
"The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions." –E. Stanley Jones
Once you truly understand the power of the unconscious mind, you will now have access to immense amounts of healing in a safe, nurturing and loving way. So lets dive a little deeper into some of the aspects of the unconscious.
The unconscious mind:
Preserves the body: One of its main objectives is the survival of your physical body. It will fight anything that appears to be a threat to that survival. So if you want to change a behavior more easily, show your unconscious how that behavior is hurting your body.
Runs the body: The unconscious handles all of your basic physical functions (breathing, heart rate, immune system, etc.). Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) believes that the unconscious holds the blueprint of your body as it is now and also the blueprint of your perfect health. Rather than telling the unconscious what perfect health looks like, try asking it what it knows and what you need for better health.
Is like a 7-year-old child: Like a young child, the unconscious likes to serve, needs very clear directions, and takes your instructions very literally. So if you say, “This job is a pain in the neck,” your unconscious mind will figure out a way to make sure that your neck hurts at work! The unconscious is also very “moral” in the way a young child is moral, which means based on the morality taught and accepted by your parents or surroundings. So if you were taught that “sex is nasty,” your unconscious will still respond to that teaching even after your conscious mind has rejected it.
Communicates through emotion and symbols: To get your attention, the unconscious uses emotions. For example, if you suddenly feel afraid, your unconscious has detected (rightly or wrongly) that your survival is at risk.
Stores and organizes memories: The unconscious decides where and how your memories are stored. It may hide certain memories (such as traumas) that have strong negative emotions until you are mature enough to process them consciously. When it senses that you are ready (whether you consciously think you are or not!), it will bring them up so you can deal with them.
Does not process negatives: The unconscious absorbs pictures rather than words. So if you say, “I don’t want to procrastinate,” the unconscious generates a picture of you procrastinating. Switching that picture from the negative to the positive takes an extra step. Better to tell your unconscious, “Let’s get to work!”
Makes associations and learns quickly: To protect you, the unconscious stays alert and tries to glean the lessons from each experience. For example, if you had a bad experience in school, your unconscious may choose to lump all of your learning experiences into the “this is not going to be fun” category. It will signal you with sweaty palms and anxiety whenever you attempt something new. But if you do well in sports, your unconscious will remember that “sports equals success” and you’ll feel positive and energized whenever physical activity comes up.
There’s much more to the unconscious mind, but even just understanding the basics above will help you harness its healing capability. Just as we know that the universe is vast, we know the unconscious mind is powerful.