Access the Power of Your Subconscious Mind


Are you often puzzled by what drives your problematic behaviors and thought patterns? You may often ask yourself, "Why do I keep doing the same thing over and over, even though I want to change?" Well, you're not alone!

It's hard to change these patterns of behavior because they are embedded in our subconscious mind, which is what mostly drives and motivates us. It's called our "autopilot" and is where our conditioned responses live.

The subconscious mind is like a data base that holds all of our habits, past experiences, negative thoughts and beliefs and is way more powerful than the conscious mind. Some researchers say that it can process about 400 billion bits of information per second, which pales in comparison to the conscious mind, which processes about 2,000 bits per second. No wonder it's so hard to change!

Some sources say that approximately 90% of the mind is comprised of the subconscious. Think of 90% of an iceberg submerged underwater as the subconscious and the visible 10% on top of the water as the conscious mind or awareness.

The subconscious is functional in the sense that it helps us streamline our behavioral patterns so that we don't have to put so much effort and mental energy into our routines. If we did, we would never get anything accomplished!

So, it's great for things like brushing our teeth or "automatically" knowing the route to work, but it's the problematic patterns that we want to move away from, such as eating late at night or smoking, that we get stuck on.

We can form new beliefs and behaviors by using a combination of strategies and techniques including mindfulness, visualization and meditation.

Here are some things you can do to start reprogramming your subconscious.

Start your day with an intention. State what you'd like to change, but only include positive language. And be specific. For example, "My intention today is to eat three vegetables and take three deep breaths when I have an urge to eat something sugary" as opposed to "I won't eat sugar today."

Use the SMART goal strategy. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time specific. For example, you may have a goal and say, "I want to eat healthier." But this may only get you so far. When you say, "I will eat three vegetables, three times daily for the next four weeks." This is specific, measurable and time specific. If that's too big of a stretch at first, it may be more achievable to start with one vegetable per day. If feeling better and losing weight or improving your mood is a priority for you, then the goal is relevant.

Visualize it. Imagine what it will feel like when you achieve your goal and then let yourself feel those emotions in your body as much as you possibly can. You can say to yourself, "I feel so proud and overjoyed that I did this" and you may feel your heart beating faster and butterflies in your stomach.

You can also create a vision board where you put up images and words that relate to your goals. Another way is to see a movie playing out the final scene of you reaching your goal and then feel the emotion of that. You don't need to have it mapped out exactly, just the end result.

Practice mindfulness. When practicing the attitudes of mindfulness, we create hope and the possibility for change. Non-judgment, acceptance of our imperfections, compassion, generosity and gratitude are healthy habits for the brain. And a healthy brain is the foundation for flexibility and change.

Meditate. I know, what a shocker! But remember that meditation is not an exercise in relaxation, although that can be a secondary benefit. It's an exercise in focus and concentration. When we sharpen our focus, we more energy to put into doing the work that it takes to help us shift into new patterns.

Practice daily affirmations. Affirmations tailored to your goals are empowering. There are now apps that you can set reminders on so you get the affirmations that will keep you on track with a positive mindset.

Release emotional pain and past trauma. This can be done by working with a trained and licensed professional. In addition, you can also make a habit of tracking your negative thoughts by journaling or talking to someone you trust, as well as practicing simple somatic exercises.

Being persistent and consistent with a plan to change any habit or behavior pattern is necessary if you want to succeed. It can be super helpful to have an accountability partner too. Now, go get started on harnessing the power of your subconscious!

Want the 9 Attitudes of Mindfulness Guide?

A great quick reference to support you in practicing non-judgement, acceptance & gratitude!