When we discuss the topic of hypnosis, we often talk about the conscious and the subconscious mind without fully knowing what they are. It’s important to define these two major concepts. They are distinct, yet complementary. But they have their own roles and capacities.
The conscious mind
The term « conscious » is used to describe our normal daily state. It’s with this side that we think logically, speak, focus, analyze, plan, and make decisions on which course of action to take. It’s with our conscious mind that we communicate with words and sentences and analyze causes and consequences.
However, the conscious mind can only process small quantities of information at a time. So, if you’re trying to memorize a friend’s phone number for example while your aunt Karen is talking to you at the same time about her tea mug collection, the chances of you remembering that phone number are small. This shows that the conscious mind can concentrate only on a small amount of information at a time.
The subconscious mind
The subconscious deals with everything that you’re not consciously aware of. It handles all automatic movements like heart beats, breathing, digestion, and all the biochemistry of your body. Basically, it enables you to stay alive. It also handles all your memories and emotions.
Contrary to the conscious mind, the subconscious can manage tons of information simultaneously. It’s absolutely necessary in order for your body to function. And because it has lots of responsibilities, the subconscious mind is more powerful than the conscious mind. But it can sometimes become a problem because the subconscious mind can’t think or reason logically. It functions a little like a computer that simply follows the instructions that we give it.
The subconscious stores the programs it learns throughout life that continue to run unconsciously. It’s incredibly useful to help us manage everyday life. From birth, it helps us with everything.
For example, when you were a baby and you learned how to walk, you balanced yourself, held yourself up for one or two seconds, then fell lots of times. But during the learning of walking, the subconscious stored all the information about balance, muscular tension, center of gravity and how the body moved. Everything happened outside of the consciousness of the baby. But after a while, the subconscious got the program “walk” and you could move around on two legs. In the beginning, you held yourself while wiggling and falling, and your subconscious continued to gather the information and added it to the program “Walk”. After a while, it added other programs like “run”, “pick up objects”, “jump” and so on….
When you’re walking today, you don’t need to think about how and which muscles need to contract. You only think of the place you want to go to. The subconscious frees us up by handling repetitive tasks, so we can use our conscious mind for other things. Imagine if you needed to think consciously every morning about how to brush your teeth and drive to work, you’d never leave your house. You do all these things almost automatically because they’re stored in your subconscious.
Driving is another great example of this process. When you learn how to drive, the task seems very difficult because you have so much to think about at the same time. You need to control your speed, keep a safe distance from other cars, stay in your lane, check your signals, your mirrors, all while pushing on the gas and brake pedals. But, once you were trained, your subconscious learned the program “Drive” and now handles it quite well. You can think about other things while driving because the subconscious handles everything.
The subconscious mind is prudent
One important thing to know is that the main job of the subconscious mind is to keep you alive and safe. While doing so, it will always protect you on a physical, emotional and intellectual level. For example, if you approach a cute looking dog and you’re about to pet him, but he shows you teeth, you’ll immediately remove your hand to avoid getting bitten. If you took the time to think about it, you might be missing a hand. Your unconscious reflexes are very powerful.
In the same way, your subconscious also tries to keep you psychologically and emotionally safe. Your subconscious mind is always recording and storing your experiences, thoughts and feelings, even during your sleep.
However, problems can arise because the subconscious mind can’t think rationally or reason. Sometimes, it makes bad association and creates a phobia. It doesn’t understand the distinction between something dangerous and something simply challenging, something risky or something simply uncertain. For it, safety equals familiarity.
But evolving, living new experiences, and meeting challenges involves a certain amount of uncertainty. You want to change so you can do something different. You have a goal and a plan to make it happen, but it scares the heck out of your subconscious. The deepest part of your mind is doing all it can to prevent this change from happening.
How hypnosis can help
Hypnosis is a tool used to communicate directly with the subconscious mind, bypassing the conscious mind.
Through hypnosis, you can go inside yourself, reprogram old patterns, rewrite old scripts, and release blocked emotions. This is a way to remove an obsolete program from your mental computer and enter new directives to meet your current needs.
If you’d like to give this experience a try, feel welcome to contact me!