The Subconscious Mind and Hypnosis
The human brain is divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. These two parts play a very important role in keeping us alive and sane. Our well-being depends on the proper functioning of these two parts of the brain.
The conscious part of the brain can be likened to that of the Central Processing Unit of the computer, which contains rules and regulations of appropriate and accepted behavior which we exercise in the form of “Will-Power”.
Its main functions include tasks that require one to think, find, analyze, decide and control voluntary movements of our body. The conscious part controls all reasoning activities like choosing a dress to wear, drinking water, deciding what to eat etc.
The unconscious part of our brain, on the other hand, is known as the “behind the scene” worker and controls and maintains all autonomic activities like breathing, heart rate, cell generation, tissue growth, the functioning of the immune system and so on.
You don’t have to consciously think of these activities, as your subconscious takes care of them. It is the controller and organizer of the involuntary movements of the human body.
The subconscious is also a reservoir of information. It comprises of past experiences, information learned from childhood, belief systems, memories and thoughts. It helps put together plans and ideas that the conscious mind comes up with.
The subconscious plays a very important role in determining our attitudes, beliefs, aspirations and thoughts. Your subconscious mind can be likened to a sponge that absorbs the vast information around you, it does not judge or reason while absorbing the information.
Any new information coming from outside is keenly scrutinized by the subconscious. If the new information is in accordance to what is already existing then it is accepted by the subconscious, if not it is discarded.
For e.g. if you grew up hearing things like “You are so good at your job”, “You are intelligent”, “I am proud of you for doing a wonderful job” etc. and accept this information as truth, you are most likely about to store it as a belief in your subconscious and no matter what negative information you hear about yourself, you will not back down in times of adversity and will work hard to achieve your dream.
On the other hand, if you grow up hearing things like “You are a good for nothing”, “You are useless”, “You cannot get a job done right”, “Nobody loves you” etc. and accept that as a truth about yourself in your subconscious mind, believing it to be a true, it is going to be hard for you to break that belief.
No matter how much you try to convince yourself that you are intelligent and a good worker, you will find it hard to follow through it since this information is embedded in your subconscious.
Negative belief systems and self-doubts manifest themselves in the form of negative behavior, depression, anxiety, lower self-esteem, anger, violence and various other psychological disorders.
And in order to break this negativity and destructive self-belief, it is important that the change is made in one’s subconscious.
This change can be made through repeated exposure to positive experiences in the form of
- Positive self-talk
- Recognition of negative thought pattern
- Not giving into despair or anxiety every time something negative happens.
- Replacing negative thought patterns with positive affirmations
The above methods need to be done consistently over a period of time in order to bring about the necessary change. They require effort, determination and sheer willpower.
Secondly, Hypnosis is another and the most effective way to reach out to your subconscious. Hypnosis is a state of heightened focus, wherein an individual is made to intensely concentrate on a specific thought or suggestion. In the process of hypnosis, your subconscious is more receptive to positive suggestions.
In order for Hypnosis to be effective, the individual should want to get hypnotized, must believe in the power of hypnotism and be open to relaxation techniques.
The most common method of hypnosis employed by qualified psychiatrists and therapists is:
Progressive relaxation and imagery: In this method, the therapist speaks to the individual in a slow and calming voice, guiding them into a relaxed state, it is extremely important that both the mind and body of the individual be completely relaxed during hypnotism.
Depending on the individual’s willingness to be hypnotized, the entire hypnotism can take anywhere between 15 minutes to half an hour.
Self-hypnosis as well as relaxation and meditation audio tapes, use the progressive relaxation technique too.
Unlike a stage hypnotist who uses hypnosis for entertainment, an authentic and trained hypnotist uses hypnosis to help his/her client achieve positive behavioral goals.
You are completely awake and aware of your surroundings during hypnosis. Your conscious mind plays a very important role during hypnosis. In order for hypnosis to be effective, it is important that your conscious mind adapt the affirmations and suggestions directed by the hypnotist.
Sometimes, in order to break the negative behavioral pattern, several sessions of hypnosis would be required. This is because years of exposure to negative feedback may have caused a deep-rooting programming of the subconscious.
A relaxed state and an open-mindedness to suggestion are keys to a successful reprogramming of the subconscious.
People have this fear that they will be made to act in an embarrassing way during hypnosis and that the hypnotist would have a complete control over their actions.
This is completely untrue because you are completely aware of what is happening to you and any suggestion that goes against your moral code will be immediately rejected by you and you can stop the session immediately. A valid hypnotist would not use hypnosis for personal gain.
Hypnosis is a proved psychological therapeutic technique designed to help people. It’s effectiveness in helping people manage their pain, anger, depression, anxiety and stress is supported both by research and scientific studies. And, there is no denying the usefulness of this technique.
Self-Hypnosis is a great way to reach your subconscious too. Like live hypnosis it helps alter negative behavioral patterns in one’s subconscious. More useful information about Self-hypnosis can be found here.