Tips to get your subconscious mind to work for you
As if in a dream, I found myself holding open the door to a kitchen cupboard, staring at jars, bottles and packets of dried goods. I was expecting to get milk for my coffee from the fridge and it took a moment to realize that I had just moved house. My new kitchen is arranged differently and the cupboard is where the fridge was positioned in my home of almost twelve years.
Since forever, I gently move into my days in the same way. In a dreamlike state I go from bed to kitchen, prepare a cup of coffee, sit by a window and gaze at the magnificent mountain views that gradually and magically transform through the seasons. I watch creatures scuttling in the trees and birds soar in the vast sky. I meditate, then become fully present and get on with practicalities and busyness of the upcoming day.
In other words, the beginning of my day is a gentle journey from the subconscious to conscious.
As I’ve settled into my new home, I have adjusted to a multitude of differences; the workings of the oven, the taps, window and door locks to name a few. The kitchen cupboard incident brought theory to reality.
Change requires time and adjustment – neurological, mental, emotional, physical and subconscious.
Our seemingly effortless (subconscious) habits, such as cleaning our teeth, are the result of neural pathways in the brain, connecting thought with action and flow. When there are changes that interfere with the process, such as the location of the toothbrush, suddenly our conscious mind takes over – until we return to the old or create new habits that can slip into the subconscious mind.
Much the same happens when we are driving. The process of driving is mostly subconscious. We can talk to passengers, listen or sing along to the radio or podcasts, plan a meeting in our mind or rehearse a conversation while we are driving safely: indicating, turning, stopping at traffic lights, slowing or speeding up until we reach our destination. However, if we see an accident, a tree down or ice on the road ahead, our conscious mind takes over.
The conscious mind has been described as the tip of an iceberg, with the massive subconscious mind below the surface. We use both on a daily basis, but it can be helpful to be aware of, and use, our subconscious mind well.
Tips to get your subconscious mind to work for you:
Learning and recall: Generally, we learn more easily and quickly when we study in the same place and at the same time of day. When we want to remember what we have learnt, it can be helpful to relax, visualize or imagine ourselves in that place of learning. This can activate the subconscious and assist our ability to recall.
Working: We tend to be more efficient when we create a routine and perform certain tasks in certain places, and at certain times, for example a desk for projects and a table for accounts or admin.
Grief and memories: A table for photos and mementos can be a comforting place to spend precious moments of memory and love, and allow our feelings to flow.
Meditation or prayer: A particular space or chair to meditate or pray, will allow us to reach a meditative or prayerful state more quickly.
Creativity and problem solving: We need to feel relaxed to allow our creative right brain to function fully. Soaking in a bath, walking or laughing can trigger relaxation and allow the right brain to be creative or find unexpected solutions.
Of course there is also conscious and subconscious interplay related to our interactions and relationships. But that can be the topic for another blog.