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How Does Our Subconscious Affect Our Everyday Decision & How to Change It For Good

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Kai Ling

Inner Oasis

Combining the tools of clinical and holistic therapy, Kai Ling offers a comprehensive and lasting solution to a wide range of mental, emotional and physical issues.
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Last Updated Mar 02, 2022

How Does Our Subconscious Affect Our Everyday Decision & How to Change It For Good

Have you ever wondered why you make bad decisions sometimes? Or behave illogically? Studies show that 95% of our thoughts, feelings and actions come from our subconscious mind. In other words, most of our decisions, whether big or small, such as what to eat, what to buy, whether to stay or leave a relationship or a job, whether to prioritise yourself or your family are heavily affected by our subconscious mind. This is why we know certain foods are not good for us yet we find it hard to resist them. Or the reason behind why many people fail at the goals they set for themselves. So how can we harness the power of our subconscious mind so it aligns with what we want to achieve?

To do that, we need to understand what our subconscious mind is and its cognitive processes. Our subconscious mind is like a huge data bank – it stores everything that has ever happened to us. Yes, everything as in every thought we have had, every emotion we have felt, every word we have spoken or heard, every past experience and how we interpreted them at the time and the beliefs we formed as a result. "Interpret" being the key word here. There are many different ways of interpreting the same situation depending on which perspective you focused on at the time. Our interpretations decide our beliefs, which then decides our mindset, decisions and consequently, our life circumstances. Henry Ford once famously said "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."

Children under the age of 7 are like sponges. Their predominant brain wave is theta (4 – 8 Hz), a frequency akin to an adult's non-REM sleep or a deeply relaxed state of mind. During this time, their mind is highly imaginative and also highly programmable.

Children do not have the mental capacity to consciously evaluate information so they are constantly absorbing from their environment, taking everything in as it is. So if a child is told that he is "not good enough", he would believe in it and take it as fact. Or if he experiences something traumatic and doesn't know how to deal with it, it could leave a negative imprint or a limiting belief in his subconscious. Trauma here could be something "trivial" but as long as it is perceived as traumatic to the child, it could have an impact on them. This goes back to how we "interpret" a situation as mentioned previously. Many of our limiting beliefs are formed under the age of 7 and continue to be reinforced or added on to the age of 21.

These limiting beliefs, if left unresolved, could have an impact on how we think, feel, speak, act and react today in our adulthood. Ultimately, they will serve as the basis for our decision-making process. The now grown-up little boy who believes he is not good enough, may be afraid of trying new things or leaving a job he dreads. A woman who felt unseen or unheard in her childhood can pick up the belief that she has no value and therefore tries her very best to please everyone else but herself. She may later exhaust herself and resent those tasks and people she said yes to, and be left wondering why she is all complaints and angry about life? 

If there is anything that makes you unhappy or unfulfilled in your current life, start by asking why you do what you do? What belief is causing you to stick to this decision of yours? Remember we always have the power to choose. If you know you can choose any beliefs that suit you and therefore manifest a different result, what would you choose to believe in? A lot of us are not conscious of our own beliefs, we think "reality" is just the way it is. But if we pay attention, we will notice different realities out there. Why is it so easy for some people but so hard for others? Our beliefs, conscious or unconscious, are creating our external circumstances in every moment. From the love we experience, money we earn, how others treat us to the kind of life we live.

So how then do we access these beliefs stored in our subconscious? How do we make them conscious so we can change them to align with our goals? Here are 3 methods that are accessible to everyone: 

1. Meditation

When we meditate, we quieten down our mind, or we simply observe our thoughts with no attachments. In this stillness, our repetitive thoughts can become conscious to us. When you realise that just because a thought exists doesn't mean that it's true, you have found your power to consciously choose thoughts that empower you. Given practice, it will become easier for you to observe your own thoughts and decide for yourself whether they are limiting you or supporting you towards your goals. 

2. Journaling

If meditation is not your cup of tea, try journaling. Free-flow writing is a good way of uncovering what's hidden in our subconscious mind. Keep writing non-stop for a few pages. Write down whatever comes up in your mind even if that is "I have no idea what to write". Reread what you've written. You might be surprised at what you find. Awareness is the first step to change. When you are aware of your subconscious programming, you gain the power to rewrite the programming to your liking. 

3. Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy is an easy and effective way of accessing our subconscious mind. During hypnosis we enter into a hypnotic trance (theta brain waves) where our subconscious mind comes alive. That makes it possible for us to access the memories and beliefs stored in there. Given the right guidance, it will empower us to transform any limiting beliefs that no longer serve. Theta brain waves also makes it easy for us to reprogram our mind, which is why hypnotherapy is widely used in changing mindset, shifting negative emotions and building inner resources.

The next time you catch yourself doing certain things out of your will, don't be too harsh on yourself. Understand that it may have an origin rooted in your childhood and take a conscious vision of it. Can you imagine yelling at a 5-year-old? If you can't, then don't do it to your inner child. Give yourself love and patience like how you would to a 5-year-old. Any obstacle you experience is simply an invitation for you to look within and resolve any unresolved trauma or limiting beliefs. The resolution of which will free you. The resolution of which will transform you into an even bigger and better version of yourself.

Originally published on Sep 15, 2021

FAQs About the Subconscious Mind & Your Daily Life

How can I remove bad thoughts from my subconscious mind?

Bad thoughts stored in your subconscious mind, although deep seated, can very well be eliminated by having the personal will to do so. Practise positive self-talk, visualise your success and invite positive emotions into your life.

How do we unconsciously make decisions?

Unlike the conscious mind, the unconscious mind is capable of making decisions in a split second without engaging in any mental processes since its basis for a particular decision already lies within it.

What part of your brain controls the subconscious?

A brain region called the limbic system, which includes the amygdala and hippocampus, is responsible for processing emotions and memories stored in the subconscious. Repressed memories are different as they are located in the basal ganglia region.

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