Think back to when you first tried to drive a car. It was likely difficult because of the many different complex actions the act of driving requires. It is common for initial attempts to synchronize new sets of complex actions to be difficult. With practice, however, these actions begin to need less conscious thought until everything flows smoothly. These automatic actions are guided by the subconscious mind, which is one of the most powerful forces driving human behavior. At Premier Life Coaching, we can help you to get in touch with your subconscious mind so that you can make positive changes in your life.
What does the subconscious mind hide?
When scientists discuss the brain, they commonly talk about unconscious and conscious actions that occur. This helps to make most people aware that behavior is less rational than we might think. The ability to experience emotions, synchronize actions, and control thoughts depend on how deep the level of information processing is. Sigmund Freud first proposed the idea of these deeper levels when he introduced the model of the three levels of the mind. According to Freud, the mind can be divided into the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the unconscious mind.
The conscious mind is what defines the actions and thoughts that are within your awareness. Your subconscious mind is where your automatic actions and reactions that you can become aware of exist. Your unconscious mind defines all of your memories and past events, but it is inaccessible regardless of how hard you might try to remember.
Detecting the subconscious mind with science
In order to better explain how the different levels of the mind interact to influence human behavior, scientists will need to be able to detect the various depths of the mind. Priming paradigms can help to capture the different information processing levels. For example, a recent study demonstrated that irrelevant cues can shape learning. This suggests that the effect of unconscious, subconscious, and conscious thoughts can be demonstrated by varying the time of presentation of emotional faces.
In the study, the participants were shown pictures of faces and were asked to compare the pictures to a prior picture to determine whether they mimicked a similar emotion. The results found that people correctly recognized facial expression differences if the pictures were displayed for 0.047 seconds. If the pictures were only displayed for 0.027 seconds to 0.033 seconds, the correct response rate dropped by 50%. When the pictures were presented for 0.020 seconds, the participants were unable to discriminate between the facial expressions.
This demonstrates a difference between the unconscious and conscious influence of thinking. People were unable to give correct answers unless the pictures were presented for long enough for the details to enter their conscious awareness. While pictures that were presented for 0.027 seconds to 0.033 seconds were not sufficient for verbalization at the conscious level of awareness, they still had a measurable influence on the behavior of the respondents. While the rate dropped by half, the participants still retained the partial ability to give correct answers, which indicated the influence of the subconscious mind.
Activation of brain regions
You may wonder whether the activation of the regions of your brain differs when you experience the influence of the conscious mind versus the subconscious mind. You might also wonder why conscious thoughts are processed more slowly than unconscious thoughts.
In the past, it was not possible to locate the areas of the brain where the thought processes occur or to visualize specific regions of brain activation. However, brain imaging methods have advanced and now allow researchers to study the pathways of thought processing by looking at images in the changes of the brain’s neuroanatomy. Brain imaging research suggests that the depth of thought depends on a thought’s processing pathway. The pathways of unconscious and conscious thoughts can clearly be differentiated.
By contrast, it is much more difficult to define the processing pathway of the subconscious mind. It doesn’t appear those subconscious thoughts follow their own unique pathway. Instead, subconscious thoughts appear to share parts of both of the other pathways of information processing.
Other ways to tap into and harness the power of the subconscious mind
Neuro-linguistic programming is a set of tools and techniques that can allow you to tap into your subconscious mind to effect needed changes in your life. At Premier NLP Life Coaching, we can help you to learn these techniques so that you can reach your goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by filling out our online contact form.