Your brain activity can be thought of as an iceberg.  We can imagine the small portion of activity that is available for awareness and self-observation as the tip of the iceberg. The remaining part of the activity that we are not aware of is the submerged portion of the iceberg and is most certainly our subconscious.

According to Stan Dahaene our brain at any given time is processing an immense amount of information and not all of it is broadcast to the brain’s processing circuits all the time. It can be likened to a room full of people but not all of them get to hold the microphone and host the show or make announcements. The conscious can be thought of as the information that is projected widely across the brain’s neuronal circuits.  All the background impulses are the subconscious. Which neurons participate in the interlinking of thoughts varies from time to time.

To put it more simply the subconscious is everything that we are not aware of it that is going on in our mind.

Our amygdala is strongly related to our subconscious. It processes various emotional, fearful and anger provoking situations that has ever occurred in our lives and then uses them to link our subconscious with our conscious in situations that are somehow related to our past experiences. These memories are not consciously accessible. It must be clarified that the amygdale does not think or it does not contribute to the thought process as such. It simply replays past emotional, fearful or anger filled moments. The limbic system and the prefrontal cortex have a complex interplay in planning, steering and shaping our behaviors and drives.

There are four key concepts that we need to be mindful of when we consider subconscious as our subject matter.

1. The subconscious only processes sensory and emotional inputs. It is totally blind to the verbal part of information, or verbal commands. What it does is combine the sensory part of the information that could be visual, aural, oral, tactile or olfactory with a certain emotion at that point of time and saves it in the memory attic as an imprint.

2. Our subconscious is unable to separate facts from fiction. It only perceives things as ‘real’. Consider the example of a really scary movie. Many times we are not able to sleep after watching it. It’s because our brain took the information provided in the movie as real and created an imprint of it in our mind and now it acts to put us in a fight or flight situation and forbids us to sleep.

3.  The subconscious takes all information as “now” and does not understand past or future. For instance you picture a delicious dish that you had at some point in the past. Your subconscious pictures it as it was when you ate it.  It bring the feel and the aroma as it was before. It takes you back to the same feeling. Soon however, the conscious mind takes over and you get back to reality. The subconscious however shows no difference of past or future. It just reflects the same imprint.

4. Our subconscious ignores negation. It interprets, “I do not want” as “I do want”. It imprints things as it wants. We cannot imprint the “not” of something so we have to be sure of what exactly we want, not what we don’t want.


Article Author: Smiljan Mori is the founder of MindOver™ Network, Brilliant solutions for Performance, Motivation and Happiness. He is also the creator of Big U Academy, , the Kitepreneur NetworkTM and Kitepreneur Lifestyle Academy. He has literally created a successful business and coaching empire from scratch and is a best-selling author and motivational speaker who brings unparalleled professional experience and the latest scientific research from neuroscience and positive psychology to audiences around the globe. He has shown more than 150,000 people from 50 countries how to change their lives for the better.

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Article References:
Motivaction For Life by Smiljan Mori

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