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How to harness the power of your unconscious mind
Our conscious minds are incredible things but have they really are just the tip of the iceberg. Have you considered the fact that the great majority of your knowledge, wisdom and memories lie deep within the surface of your consciousness? Learning how to harness the power of this vast resource can bring incredible insight and wisdom into your life.
If you imagine a library, your consciousness is the page on the book that you are currently reading. The books that you have checked out today or recently are your subconscious mind but the vast basement storage area? That is your unconscious mind.
Our minds do not forget a thing. Even the detail from your first day at school is still imprinted in your mind somewhere, down to what you ate for lunch and what your teacher was wearing. This information is not normally available to access, however. Just like the library stack, you need to use special processes if you want that information. Normally our conscious minds do a pretty good of filtering out the information that is irrelevant – if all of that information was available to you all of the time it would be impossible to function.
How to really change your life
To really make changes in your life, though, you must learn to go deeper than your conscious mind. Our actions, emotions and behaviors quickly become habit and move into our subconsciousness. That is one of the reasons why changing behavior is so difficult for most of us. Effective change has to change your subconscious mind as well, and to really be effective, the deep layers of your unconscious mind is where you need to go.
The power of ‘priming’
In 1996, a psychologist named John Bargh published a study that showed the power of our unconscious mind to change our behavior without our conscious awareness. He timed a number of students walking down a long corridor to the room where the study was being held. He then showed them a piece of paper that had a number of groups of 5 words on it. The students then had to make 4 word sentences from each group. Some of the groups included:
1. Him was worried she always
2. Shoes give replace old the
3. Sky the seamless gray is
4. Should now withdraw forgetful we
5. Sunlight makes temperature wrinkle raisins
He found that when the students left they walked back up the corridor at a much slower pace than previously. Their subconscious mind had been ‘primed’ to the concept of ‘oldness’ as hidden throughout the sentences were words such as gray, worried forgetful, wrinkles and old, amongst others. The student’s unconscious mind ‘switched on’ this and the students themselves behaved in a way that reflected this. This type of experiment is called a ‘priming’ experiment and it has now been repeated in many ways.
If your brain can be primed for ‘oldness’, how about priming it for ‘youth’, ‘vitality’, ‘success’, or ‘compassion’, ‘generosity’ and ‘kindness’.
Meditation – a powerful tool for unlocking your unconscious mind
The absolute most effective method for accessing your unconscious mind is to learn to practice meditation. Meditation has great benefits for both your physical and psychological self, and it is easy to learn and quick to practice. As you improve your skills in meditation you will be able to incorporate certain ideas and intentions into your meditation practice in order to bring these things to fruition in your life. Using mantras while meditating and being mindful about what images, words, video games and thoughts you are inputting into your unconscious mind is very important if you are to unlock the power of your unconsciousness.