Posted by Susan Franzblau
What do people really mean by the subconscious mind?
In the 1880s hypnosis revealed that we were more than just our consciousness because something had to be guiding people’s behavior while they were hypnotized and not aware of the world around them. It was called the unconscious mind or, as we now more commonly refer to it, the subconscious. It had always been believed that the conscious mind made the decisions that directed our actions; but, in the past 35 years, research from cognitive neuroscience to social psychology, is demonstrating that the subconscious plays the dominant role.
Evolution-based studies show that we rely primarily on our subconscious mind to develop successful ways of surviving in an unpredictable world. We learn in the form of habits, such as behaviors, values, and beliefs, from infancy on by copying how the people around us respond to specific stimuli in our environment. Then we develop our own personal habits based on the unique events in our lives. We usually don’t know that we are learning these responses. As we grow older, we begin to learn other tasks consciously that are then completely taken over by the subconscious like reading or riding a bicycle. While our knowledge grows, we develop an imagination to help us survive unanticipated situations.
When things in the outside world trigger specific reactions from our subconscious, the conscious mind thinks it has chosen to act or think certain thoughts, but they are actually initiated by the subconscious. Though as a person matures, the conscious mind can control some actions stimulated by the subconscious, it has no power over the thoughts or emotions that have been triggered. Deeply connected habits can be almost impossible to change despite logic, reason, or will power. However, hypnosis is a method of directly contacting the subconscious and modifying the triggering process.
One way to take control of the subconscious mind is through hypnosis. Hypnotic suggestions substitute the original habit for another, more desirable one, such as in smoking when being exposed to a cigarette no longer elicits a sense of attraction but makes the person feel disgusted. The conscious mind is only aware of the change in its feelings, not the change in the subconscious mind that has created the new response.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tags: 1880s, Association, behavior, beliefs, Changing behavior, cognitive neuroscience, conscious mind, copying, dominant, environment, evolution-based studies, Habit, hypnosis, hypnotic suggestion, imagination, logic, reactions, reason, response, social psychology, stimuli, Subconscious mind., survival, trigger, unpredicatible world, values, will power successful ways of survival