How to Use the Power of Your Unconscious Mind for Change
Did you know that every day, more information is going to your unconscious mind than your conscious mind? That decisions are often made at an unconscious level, and you do more unconscious than conscious thinking?
Processes like your breathing, digestion, heartbeat and more are all unconscious. But so are many of your deeply held beliefs and ideas about the way life is are also unconscious.
According to Berkley,
By acknowledging these unconscious influences on us, we actually increase the amount of free will that we have. If we deny these effects exist, then we are at their mercy and have less actual control than we think. But what’s even better is that once we know how they work, we can turn these unconscious forces to our own advantage.
The more we bring our unconscious reactions to a conscious level, we are more able to change them. The first step is to become aware of our unconscious patterns.
You can do this by looking at the cues that you are getting from your environment, as well as things that you do as part of your habits and routine.
When did you form these routines? And why? What are the triggers for them?
Do you walk by a certain coffee house every day, then go in and order the same items for breakfast every day?
In this example, if you are looking to lose weight, you could try switching up with non-fat milk, or opting for an apple instead of a muffin. However, this might not always be as easy as it seems. You may have a bad day and then decide to indulge. Or you might forget your new order. Or have a barista that serves your order automatically.
Any number of things can happen to throw us off track from our goals, for any number of reasons. This is why most new-years resolutions fail by February. They are simply too difficult to maintain.
So think instead, what if you changed up your route to work in the morning so you walked down a different block and didn't pass the coffee house at all? This would change your routine enough that it would block you from falling into unconsciously going back to your old routine.
If we want to increase good habits, we can tie them to a regular place and time and give ourselves reminders to prime our unconscious mind to support these habits. If we want to rid ourselves of certain habits, we can remove cues and opportunities from our environment, and replace our unconscious impulses with positive, conscious messages.
Social cues are very powerful. If we are around people with certain habits, we tend to unconsciously emulate them. This can be people in our lives, or it can be the latest trend on social media.
So, make sure you are being conscious of what you put into your unconscious mind. You can unfollow people with habits you want to get rid of, like drinking, smoking or eating too much sugar.
Don't forget, you can unfollow people in real life too. This may mean spending less time with Debbie Downer, or friends with unhealthy habits that you are trying to avoid.
In addition to the content that you consume and the people you spend time with, there are other factors that effect you as well. The biggest one is that voice in your head that narrates everything you do.
Make sure you are aware of your thoughts. This is key in reprogramming unconscious beliefs. The way you think about yourself is the biggest factor in changing your life.
Change your mind, change your life.
It sounds simple, but it is less so than we realize. For example, I find myself throughout the day saying to myself, "I am so tired, I want to go back to bed." And I noticed that I do this whether I am actually tired or not. I might just be bored.
So any time I find myself saying this, I have started saying the affirmation, "I am awake and energized." This is helping me to reprogram the negative, unconscious thought pattern.
Any time you have a thought that you notice is negative or unhelpful, think of its opposite. Then, write it down. This is your new affirmation. Practice saying it to yourself throughout the day, so that you will start to feel in this new way, and create a new belief for yourself.
The more often you say something, the more influence it has over your unconscious thinking. This is how you reprogram your unconscious, negative beliefs.
First, you become conscious of them. Then, you work to change them on the conscious level, so that it goes into the unconscious level.
Personally, I have made a deck of my own affirmation cards on note cards that I keep on my desk. Then, throughout the day I will go through the cards so that I can repeat to myself all of the things to counter my limiting beliefs and negative self-talk.
Saying affirmations is a powerful tool that you can use to change your mindset, and help you change your life. It also works if you state your goals clearly to yourself throughout your day, so that you will be more likely to spend time working on them.
You can write your goals into your day planner, or you can print them out and hang the piece of paper near your desk. Either way, it will help you to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind.
This allows you to put conscious thoughts into the subconscious level by repetition.
Our thoughts create our reality. So when you change your mind, you do quite literally change your life!