“The mind is everything. What you think you become”
– Gautama Buddha
It is important to understand the wiring of the mind before the power of the mind can be harnessed. Then the obvious question is how to understand it? Continue to read for an answer.
As per science “The mind is the set of cognitive faculties including consciousness, imagination, perception, thinking, judgment, language, and memory, which is housed in the brain (sometimes including the central nervous system). It is usually defined as the faculty of an entity’s thoughts and consciousness.”
The mind controls the human body, it guides through wisdom and knowledge. The mind resides in the brain in a non-physical form and it holds the power of imagination, recognition, and appreciation. The purpose of the mind is to look after the wellbeing of the body, however, due to changes in the thinking patterns, wrong judgments, fear, anger, etc, the mind goes out of control and the ultimate purpose of protecting the body is defeated.
There are two parts to our mind, conscious and subconscious mind. The conscious mind is responsible for cognitive and creative thinking, whereas the subconscious mind is programmed part of the mind which works on habits set by the conscious mind. Let me illustrate this with a few examples;
If we consider a war tank, the captain of the tank is the conscious mind, the one who has the visibility to the external world. His subordinate inside the tank is the subconscious mind who follows his instructions exactly the way it’s given by the captain. Drives the tank as directed by the captain. Even being more powerful with the complete control over the tank, the subordinate obediently follows the instructions of his master(Captain).
If this has to be illustrated with the help of our India Epic Mahabharata or Gita. Lord Krishna is the conscious mind who is the source of the knowledge of the world. Arjuna is the subconscious mind who follows the instructions of Krishna (conscious mind) with all faith and trust. Arjuna’s (subconscious mind) never questioned Lord Krishna (conscious mind) on the decisions made by him, he obediently followed it.
Similarly, the subconscious mind follows the conscious mind without any questions. It just executes what the master says. The conscious mind has emotions, thinking capabilities, etc, whereas subconscious has no emotions.
As per research, in a day 5% of the time the conscious mind is active, rest 95% of the time subconscious mind is in use. This means a lot of things like eating, drinking, driving, office work, digesting the food, etc, are controlled by the subconscious mind’s pre-programmed commands. The conscious mind does it for the first few times, after which it becomes a program for the subconscious mind to do it for life, like in the case of driving. How many times are we conscious while driving, people reach the destination without much thinking of breaks and acceleration.
The subconscious mind is born with the first cell and dies with the last breath. The subconscious mind is very powerful and controls over 37.5 Trillion cells in the body. It controls our breath, heartbeat and all functions of the body. It also protects us from any infections. The actual purpose of the subconscious mind is protecting the interest of the body. It has the power to protect or destroy the body. The subconscious mind doesn’t have the capability of taking any physical action. For example, if you are feeling hungry, the subconscious mind can only alert the conscious mind. The conscious mind will take the action of looking out for food and use the hands to eat it. It is the job or the duty of the conscious mind to take action. Once the food is in the mouth, the subconscious mind swings into action. Takes care of digestion and distribution of nutrition to the body.
The body functions perfectly only when both the conscious and subconscious mind co-exist in harmony. What if one of them doesn’t do its duty correctly? That is when the body ends-up with problems or dis-eases. It is important to train the conscious mind to give proper instructions to the subconscious mind.
Giving the right instructions is important, and over that being in the right state of mind is even more important.
There are five key states of mind calm/happy, anger, anxiety, sadness and guilt one should be aware of. It’s important to know which is the best state of mind and how to achieve it.
This is the ideal state of mind for anyone, the mind is free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance. Is it possible to be in this state of mind all the time? No, it is highly impossible for anyone to be in this state of mind all the time. Even Lord Ram who is known as “maryada purushottam” also had his moments of fear, anger, and anxiety. But he knew the art of getting back to calmness as soon as possible whenever he lost him calm. This is an art that everyone should learn and there are few tips to achieve this state mentioned later.
As per Wikipedia “The emotion anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state. It involves a strong uncomfortable and hostile response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat”. In this state of mind, most of the decisions are taken in a rush. There will be hardly any thinking involved, it could lead to conflicts. Any decisions made in the rush of blood will end up with bigger problems than solving it. This could cause health complications, as the flow of adrenaline increases the heart rate, in turn, causing blood pressure. Repeated anger could cause major health issues.
The way to keep anger away is to build the habit of not reacting to situations immediately. Give it 10 seconds to a minute before you react, this would have calmed your nerves and help in making the right decision. This can be achieved by practicing meditation, as meditation helps keep emotions in check. As mentioned earlier all habits become a program in the subconscious mind. It could be tough initially, but a conscious effort will help build this habit.
Anxiety is fear of the future. Anxiety moments are created when the future is uncertain with no proper planning of the future. Planning for the future is important, but most people indulge in over planning for the future. This causes uncertainty. Prolonged anxiety could cause breathing problems and high blood pressure. Couple of things to come out of anxiety.
* Live in the NOW: Most people fail to live in the NOW, as mostly they are worried about the past or the future. So, it is important to make sure to enjoy the NOW and live every moment. The NOW is the only time we can be in. The past can’t be changed nor the future is certain. Daily Anxiety meditation will help to be in the NOW and relief from anxiety.
* Have a considerable plan for the future: Make sure to have an acceptable plan for your future, do not over plan for the future. Over planning also creates anxiety as it’s too strong a worry about the future.
Sadness comes from the past. Like anxiety is future worry, past worries create sadness. There are so many things which are carried from the past and most of it is bad feelings, grudge, pain, and revenge attitude. Negative thoughts come to the mind more often than good memories, that’s human. Which means there is a lot of baggage on our shoulders. Once this baggage is offloaded from the shoulder’s life becomes better. There are few ways to offload this baggage;
* Mirror exercise can be a very productive way. List out the people who have hurt you or created pain. In front of the mirror, forgive them for all the pain they have given you because it could just be the situation.
* Build a forgiving attitude towards everyone. Forgiving should not be because you want to show-off that you are good, that’s ego. It should be to free yourself from pain and sorrow.
Guilt is a feeling, people typically have after doing something wrong, intentionally or accidentally. Guilt is more dangerous than anger or anxiety, as it’s not visible to others and hurts from inside. Guilt could be caused due to that mistake, that lie or anything which you felt bad about and known only to you. If not addressed sooner, it could cause depression. Whenever in guilt, self-forgiveness has to be followed. In case of sadness forgive others, for guilt forgive yourself. Accept what went wrong and the reason for it, then release it by self-forgiveness and take corrective measures.
Serious health issues could be averted following the techniques mentioned. Knowing the way, the subconscious works will help keep the mind and body healthy.
Giving straight and clear command from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind helps execute the command correctly. This has proved to be very effective for the body. Instead of mentioning to your mind, what you do not want or like, mention what you need and like to do, for examples;
“I do not want to be sick” is a negative command, instead we can say “I want to be healthy”.
“I do not like my job”, instead we can tell and focus on the kind of job we like to do.
“I can’t do it”, replace it with “I can do…”
This is also called as affirmations, sending the right command to the subconscious mind using affirmations has proved to be very effective. Practicing affirmations daily has proved very productive. Three things, meditation, forgiveness, and affirmations have to become part of daily life. This is proved by science and a lot of medical practices have this as a part of their holistic healing. Add this to your daily routine and let me know your feedback in the comments section. Thanks for reading and happy life.