To answer this question we need to look at the individual parts to which this question relates, and how they all fit together.
Do bear in mind that these explanations are by no means complete! There has been extensive research done on the minds’ processes and to go into great detail would deliver more than is required in this explanation.
The conscious mind is your awareness of the present moment. It can be something external such as being aware of your environment, or the chair that you are sitting on. Or it may be something internal such as whether you are hot or cold, or how you are feeling.
The conscious mind is sometimes considered to be the ‘critical faculty’ meaning that it is the part of the mind that judges and discerns what is going on around you at the time. This part helps you to discern situations such as when it is safe to cross the road or paying attention to and making sense of a conversation you are engaged in.
The subconscious which is sometimes also called the preconscious mind refers to accessible information that your mind holds. You might want to imagine it as the gateway to your conscious mind as the two often intertwine.
Think of all the tasks you perform ‘automatically’ without the immediate attention of your consciousness. Tying your shoe laces, making a cup of tea whilst talking on the phone, driving your car… finding your way home!
This information on the subconscious or preconscious level is easily accessible.
Your subconscious is always looking out for you and keeping you safe, alerting your conscious minds’ attention whenever you may need it.
The unconscious mind contains things that you are not consciously aware of such as your beliefs, behaviours, emotional responses and attitudes and so forth. It also performs millions of automatic functions moment-by-moment your entire life that you don't have to think about such as your heart beating, your circulation, sensing temperature, cell exfoliation, muscle movement, hormone regulation and so on, and the one that causes us most of our 'problems' the fight, flight or freeze response.
Unconscious memories need a strong, specific trigger to bring them to consciousness although sometimes you may experience a ‘transfer’ of a seemingly forgotten memory. You smell the scent of blossom in a garden and it reminds you of your childhood, or a conversation triggers a profound connection and realization.
[Surgeons have discovered parts of the mind where this ability to recall long distant memories becomes accessible through stimulating certain areas of the brain].
The picture represents the large portion of the unconscious mind that sits beneath the surface compared to a smaller amount of our conscious awareness.
An example of unconscious behaviour might be, you may want to lose weight but there is an inner motivation that you are unaware of that results in eating more than you need to maintain a desired weight.
Another example of unconscious behaviour might be that you want to have a successful business but you procrastinate with taking action. If let's say, when you were very young you were constantly criticized, your default pattern to avoid the pain of criticism would be to put obstacles in your way and thus protect you from experiencing those uncomfortable feelings again. This response makes sense because as a business owner there are many decisions you must make and yet the discomfort of potential criticism from others will steer you away from that pain with avoidance behaviour.
Think of your unconscious mind like a big data base or a computer that stores all of your life experiences through a network of neural pathways - constantly firing, matching experiences to our feelings, sensing our environment and ultimately keeping you safe and alive.
The superconscious refers to the spiritual aspect of the mind. You could call it ‘life-force’ energy, the vibration of law of realization and attraction, soul energy, Higher Intelligence, Higher Self, ‘Source energy’ and in many religions of the world, God or other supreme being.
With regard to how hypnotherapy relates to the superconscious power, this is very much dependent upon the beliefs of the client and to some extent the beliefs of the therapist, but first consideration is always given to the clients beliefs.
The short answer is yes but to varying degrees. If the client wants to change a belief then this can be dealt with in hypnosis (but not solely with hypnosis) this in turn will affect the vibration that person is offering.
However, this isn't really necessary to consider when helping someone in the context of hypnosis because what people want to experience is a new or different behaviour that provides them with a different outcome. As an example, if someone wants to have a loving relationship yet seems to attract people who withhold love from them, by helping them understand the patterns that cause them to repeat the same responses and helping them develop self-love, this will automatically change the vibration of what they are offering. The result is that they will begin to attract different people and circumstances into their lives.
Hypnosis is very natural. It is something we all do each and every day of our lives.
It is essentially a focusing of attention. Perhaps you’re reading a book or engrossed in an exciting movie, maybe you are gardening or sewing or anything where your attention is focused.
It can also feel like your mind ‘wandering off’ such as when you are lying in a warm bubble bath or lying on a recliner in your garden on a summer’s day watching white puffs of cloud in the sky…
What is happening here is an alteration of brainwaves (I will cover this soon in another post).
Another word often used for hypnosis is ‘trance’ or the trance state.
Hypnotherapy is hypnosis used in a therapeutic way.
Anyone can learn how to hypnotize themselves or another and in fact we do so time and again without realizing it!
When used by a trained professional hypnotherapist, it is a safe and very pleasant way of making powerful changes to problems that cause pain and discomfort, either physically or emotionally and issues that stand in the way of you achieving something.
Therefore the hypnotherapist will utilize aspects of the subconscious and conscious mind to effect relief from those issues.
Hypnosis is a highly effective tool for making desired changes because it works on the subconscious and unconscious levels where belief patterns are originally created.
Quite often a topic such as this raises more questions than can be answered in one go. That’s perfectly acceptable of course and is the fun part of understanding ourselves and personal development.
I would love to know your thoughts or hear your comments on this topic so do pop them in the comments section below.
Janice Bowles, is a Hypnotherapist, EFT practitioner and Life Coach and has specialised in Stress Management since 1996.
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