For most of us, most of the time we are only aware of the body’s systems and processes that are under our control and we are consciously aware of. These are for the most part involved in movement and making conscious decisions.
However, there are many other processes going on in the background that we are not aware of which are orchestrated in an automatic, or involuntary, way. These are processes that must happen no matter what we are doing and therefore there is no sense in the body bothering our conscious attention with them. These processes include breathing, digestion, your immune system and much more.
But what about the unconscious where does that come into play? Well it’s that part of us that is looking after all these things. But of course, there is far more to it than that. Often when we describe the conscious and unconscious it can be useful to think of an iceberg. Just as an iceberg is said to have only a seventh showing above the surface it is also true of your mind.
Your conscious is what we see above the surface and the rest is unconscious. Your unconscious is the part of your psyche which influences our thoughts, emotions and behaviours without any conscious effort on our part. Examples of your subconscious are memories, beliefs, fears and subjective maps of reality. The thing with your unconscious mind is it’s very powerful and can, without your awareness, direct the course of what you do in your life.
For example, when we decide we want to change something in our lives or achieve a new goal we have to engage with our unconscious mind. Even where your drive and will power are strong, the emotions buried deep within will still prevent us from achieving our goal. Unless we change these by engaging creatively with our imagination then we are doomed to fail, no matter how strong our resolve. To ensure the change is effective we need to not only set clear conscious goals we need to use the power of our imagination to fire up the unconscious emotions.
New Year resolutions: how many of us make a resolution but never stick to it? Or decide to lose weight, give up smoking, get fit but then we fail time and again. Part of this is down to your unconscious motivation. As we are not aware of these unconscious influences, we do nothing to counteract them. Yet they are like the currents and winds that affect a ship’s course just as much as the captain’s rudder. Ignore them, and you drift further out to sea or worse end up in a worse place than the one you started in.
At the heart of hypnotherapy is engaging with your unconscious mind in order to make those changes and commitment at a deeper level thereby significantly increasing your chances of success and making the changes you want to in your life.