The Unconscious mind

As a therapist, I spend a lot of time working with the unconscious mind. It is very powerful, and ticks away under the surface, but also interacts constantly with the conscious mind. Much of what I do is about aligning the two parts of the mind to work together, rather than be in conflict.

Here are a few interesting points about the unconscious mind:

1. It cannot process negatives. If I say to you, ‘Please, please, do not think of a blue tree’, well, too late, you just thought of one, because your mind has to imagine it first so that it knows what it is that it mustn’t think of. Yes?

This is why it is important to state a goal in the Positive- if you say to yourself: ‘I don’t want to be depressed anymore’, your mind has to imagine the depression first before it can think of not doing it. This opens the door to an unwanted thought. It is much better to say ‘Today is going to be a good day!’

A recent client of mine uses the analogy of an airport, where you only allow positive thoughts to land. That is a good thought process. But, the same analogy makes you think of negative thoughts, so you know which planes can land and which can’t. What do you do if your mind one day imagines a bad thought landing? Too late. Better to only imagine positive thoughts landing.

2. The unconscious mind remembers everything. From the moment you start to grow in the womb, your memories start to grow. This a matter of evidence and fact borne out by many therapists over many years, including myself. When you are pregnant, it is not just your diet and health that are important. What is also important is the environment around you.

3. The unconscious mind represses unwanted memories, so that we can go on with our lives, but it also presents those memories back to us if it feels that we are in a position to resolve them. This is not always good, a childhood memory of fear when a child got trapped in a box, could re-appear when that adult steps into a lift.

4. Your unconscious mind wants to learn and it wants direction. Therapy can directly affect the unconscious mind and so create new learnings and give it a new direction. Hypnotherapy can cement those learnings by instructing the unconscious mind in how to operate the new bwhaviours.

5. Your unconscious mind controls your body and it has a direct effect on your physical health. This is a matter of fact as evidenced by countless examples over the years. If you believe you are ill, you will be.

There is of course, much more than this.

But if you want to take one lesson away, try to always express your goals in POSITIVE language, and in a way that has you moving towards a positive goal rather than away from a negative one.

Example: ‘I want to lose weight’ is vague, negative and is an ‘away from’ goal. If you lost 2 pounds, your unconscious will be happy, and move on to something else.

Better to say:’By June 1st 2015 I will weigh 10 stone’ That is Positive, Specific and expressed as Towards a goal.