The propensity of the subconscious mind is very dynamic and unimaginable. Many expert claims that most of us use only ten percent of our subconscious mind. When you study the nature, functions and characteristics of the subconscious mind, you will discover hitherto that humanity has not used up to five percent of same. It was this situation that informs Napoleon Hill’s philosophy that “whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, that it can achieve.”
What is conscious and subconscious mind? In a simple term the part of your brain that you are aware of is your conscious mind. On the flip side, the part of your mind you are unaware of is your subconscious mind. I have simply explained this to enable anyone who reads today’s article to understand. Another aspect of the mind that needs clarification is the difference between “brain” and “mind”. The brain is that three pound organ in your head. The mind is something larger and more elusive. There is a huge difference between brain and mind and there are books that go into intricate details on these differences.
From the western point of view, the brain is the physical anatomy and the mind is what the brain generates through its activity. From an eastern point of view, some scholars say, the mind is the source of the thoughts supplied to the brain. In this article the difference is not important so I shall consequently use the word “brain” and “mind” interchangeably. Recent discoveries in the new field of psychoneuroimmunology shows that the brain is not confined within the cranium- it actually extends throughout the body. Mind and body are no longer two distinct entities. Your mind can control directly or indirectly the body and vice versa.
Recently researchers in the medical establishment said it was impossible to control involuntary functions such as heart rates, body temperature and blood pressure. They were partially right. It is impossible to directly control involuntary functions. But involuntary functions can be controlled indirectly by using the conscious mind to communicate your intent to the subconscious mind. Biofeedback is now an accredited method in the medical professions for controlling involuntary functions. A few of its capabilities are reducing blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and eliminating migraine headache. But a doctor’s prescription, an expensive sophisticated instrument, and a skilled technician are required. Biofeedback is not the only way to influence your subconscious mind. There are many other ways that are easy and cost nothing.
Even though the conscious and subconscious mind exists in the same body, they have vastly different characteristics. If anyone communicates with you as your subconscious mind does in the dream, you will think the one is crazy. But your subconscious mind is not crazy just because your dreams are obscure to your conscious mind, it is just different. The conscious mind and subconscious mind cannot be separated. And, if they do not work together, the result can be harmful. The result can be, for example poor health, seeking destructive relationship and inappropriate behavior such as poor eating habit and temper outburst.
The subconscious mind contains the software for your involuntary function, emotions, and habit. Most of your habits and emotional conditioning were programmed in early childhood before you had matured faculties to make proper decisions. Sigmund Freud confirms the above thus, “We learn as children how we react emotionally and this is carried into adulthood. When we are children, we do not have the faculties that we do in adulthood. We do not know what we are going to need in adulthood to cope. Therefore, as adults we (often) react as children.” These old programs are still influencing, if not controlling your behavior even though many are counterproductive.
Doctor James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon, practicing in the 1800’s used hypnotism in operation before anesthesia was available. His rate of success was ten times above that of his colleagues. The hypnotized patients felt less pain and anxiety, which allow their immune systems to repress infections. Doctor James Esdaile also planted suggestions in their subconscious minds to expedite healing. The mortality rate for operations in the mid 1800’s was fifty percent. In 161 operations performed by doctor Esdaile using hypnosis, mortality rate was five percent. Phantom pregnancies (pseudocyesis) occur in some women due to psychological reasons. When a woman has a phantom pregnancy her subconscious mind causes cessation of menstruation, breast enlargement, desire for strange foods, progressive abdominal enlargement, labor pains. In 1985, a Harvard professor Ellen Langer, conducted an experiment that showed people could become younger. The professor recruited hundred people over seventy years old in the Boston area. She sent them on a ten day vacation to resort where she arranged the décor to resemble that of the 1950’s, a time when the subjects were decades younger. She played 50’s music, displayed 50’s magazines and newspapers, and had the subjects dressed as they did in the 50’s. The professor also instructed the hundred people to act as if they were back in the 50’s.
Physical and psychological test were performed on the 100 subjects before and after the 10 days. In every category, the subjects tested younger. What changed? What took years off their apparent age? The only cause was a change in their thinking. Their subconscious mind accepted the concept of being younger.
Your conscious mind set limit for you. When you rid yourself of these limits, and let your subconscious mind take over, you can do things you thought are impossible. The mind and body are one; whatever affects the body affects the other. Professor William James a famous psychologist stated, “The fact is that there is no sort of consciousness whatever, be it sensation, feeling or idea, which does not directly and of itself trend to discharge into some motor effect. The motor effect need not always be an outer stroke of behavior; it may only be an alteration of the pulse (heart beat) or breathing, or a modification in the distribution of the blood, such as blushing or turning pale, or what not. But in any case, it is there in some shape when any consciousness is there and a belief as fundamental conscious as any in modern psychology, is belief at last attained that any conscious processes of any sort, conscious processes merely as such, must pass over into motion, open or concealed.”
Every thought or idea causes a physical reaction if stimuli are allowed to pass from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind and are accepted; the idea or thought must be expressed vocally or physically. For instance, worry causes ulcer, anger releases adrenaline accompanied by changes in circulation, energy, pulse, respiration etc. A particular medical doctor living very close to me in the America few years back conducted an experiment on a man who was shot in the stomach. The surgeon offered the man room and board in his house for a period so the surgeon could examine the condition of his stomach. By evaluating the stomach secretions, the surgeon found that all moods affected the man’s digestion.
In a study conducted at Harvard, Dr. W.B Canon found that love consciously cultivated causes the eyes to brighten, improved circulation, digestion, and elimination. Whereas fear, envy and hate causes the opposite effects. These negative thoughts also cut down production of red blood cells. In his book “Emotions and Body Changes”, Dr. H.E Dubar states, “Emotion indulged in for a prolong time actually create tissues changes in the organ or organ system involved.” In his book written 30 year ago Bailes says, “Man thinks with his entire body. Every cell has a spark of mind operating through a body! Body is molded by mind. What the mind thinks, the body thinks, that which the body thinks, it becomes.” Therefore if you are not happy, act like you are happy and you will become happy- medical science has proved this old axiom. Organic compositions similar to those used by the brain to think are founded in all cells. So communication is both ways, i.e. brain to cell and cell to brain if you think you are unhappy, you can be unhappy. You frown and act glum. But if you act happy when you are sad, the neutron transmitters from the cells in your body travel back to the brain and change its mood to happy.
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Prof. Nathan Uzoma Protus and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”