The technology of the 21st century has given us some of the most fascinating gadgets; now you can store thousands of pictures, songs and movies on a device as small as your finger, a USB. Yet, no computer’s performance and/or processing power can match that of a human brain, which can complete up to 10 quadrillion involuntary operations within a second.
The subconscious mind makes the blood flow at the perfect pressure; it ensures the optimal bodily temperature and is capable (and responsible) of performing 6 trillion actions on 60 trillion cells during every second. It’s your powerhouse and it truly defines who you are as a person. There is one limitation to it: the absence of the ability to distinguish between reality and perception. This inability to determine what’s real can build or destroy you. Let’s take an example: When you are seeing a nightmare, the incident isn’t actually happening but the brain considers it to be real and hence real physiological reactions ensue. Scientists committed a study on a skier where they connected a device to his body that measured his muscle fiber. The skier was told to only think of skiing without moving a muscle. The results produced indicated that only thinking of the activity fired off the same muscle fibers that got fired when he was actually skiing. This is because our thoughts are enough for our brain to take actions.
To further elaborate, we can talk about the placebo effect. Let’s consider 2 groups of persons that are suffering from the same disease. The doctors performing the study prescribe a drug that’s specifically manufactured to treat the disease, to all the group A members. All the members of the second group get prescribed a drug that’s predominantly just a sugar pill and they are made to believe that it’s the actual medication. Both of the groups end up recovering from the disease. The New England Journal of Medicine also conducted the placebo effect study on two groups suffering from degenerated knee disorder. All of the members of the group A of the study had an actual surgery on the knee while the second group had a fake one (a placebo surgery) where only 3 small incisions were made on the knee. At the end of the study, both the groups reported that the surgery was a success and that they didn’t feel pain anymore. In this regard, some researchers believe that a minimum of 33 percent of all the medical treatment (including surgery) happens only because people believe that the treatment is going to work. Conversely, there is the concept of nocebo that few people know about. This happens when instead of treating illness, the mind ends up contributing to it. Hypochondria is the abnormal anxiety about one’s health which forces one to think that they have a disease (when they don’t) and this actually leads to the development of the disease’s symptoms in the person’s body. Bottom line is that whatever belief you might have in your subconscious mind will eventually become a reality.
Hypnosis works this way as well. The hypnotist plants the idea in the subject’s mind and the subject starts to experience the situation. If they think that they have a spider on their arm, they will end up seeing it. Here, it’s vital to understand that free will is just an illusion. Only 2-4 percent times, we make our decisions ourselves. 96-98 percent of the times, we don’t; we are put on auto-pilot and our subconscious mind makes the decision. Is this too hard to believe? Let’s try to prove the case. Do you like ice cream? Snap your fingers and stop liking it. Do you love football? Snap your fingers and stop liking it? You can’t, can you? That’s because 96-98 percent of the time, we make decisions based on what lies in the back of our head; in our subconscious mind. Whatever is present there, in life, we will be attracted to it. Let’s consider another example: You buy a new car and for the next few weeks, it’s the only car you see on the road. Why so? There were cars of the same model and make before as well but why are they standing out now? Because you didn’t own it before; you didn’t THINK about it before. Whatever you hold in your mind, in life, you are attracted to it.
The concept of subliminal messaging is also worth mentioning here. Over 10 countries have banned the usage of subliminal ads in which marketers try to communicate with the subconscious mind by vaguely highlighting things people are already attracted to. Now the million dollar question we have to ask ourselves is “What actually shapes the subconscious?” The simple answer is: “Virtually everything you are exposed to”. Everything you feel, hear, smell or taste shapes how your subconscious mind is set up. An example can be the TV set. “By the time a child finishes elementary school, they have witnessed an estimated 8000 simulated murders” is a startling fact. All these graphic scenes sink back into the subconscious mind. At the time when children should be thinking about harmony, love and peace, cartoonists and movie makers are adding violence etc. to their subconscious memory and we are allowing it. A few generations ago, all the violence children saw was Mario jumping over turtles’ heads. The video games our youth play today display death and carnage everywhere; these blood-laden images sink to the back of the subconscious mind of the children and leads to the weakening of their immune systems among other negative effects.
When you hear negative thoughts, the brain releases cortisol, “the stress hormone” in to the blood: this eventually leads to a disruption in the immune system, increases chances of infection and also promotes gain of weight. All because of bad thoughts. On average, a human has 60 thousand thoughts in a day. Majority of these thoughts have either already crossed your mind in the past or are negative, if not both. We waste our time thinking about something bad from the past or something potentially bad that could happen in the future. The second we have these negative thoughts, the same second cortisol gets released. OUR THOUGHTS CREATE US.
People think situations cause anxiety and stress; eventually leading to depression. In reality, however, there is no situation in the entire universe that can cause any person anxiety. It’s our psychological reaction to the situation that makes us anxious and not the situation itself. Let’s consider an example: There are two people skydiving. One skydiver’s brain releases endorphins which have healthy effects on the body while the brain of another person (who is nervous) releases cortisol. Both people were in the same situation, yet they had different responses. You create your anxiety; not the situation! This is the most liberating feeling you can ever experience.
The next time you feel anxious, tell yourself “If I created it then I can take it away as well.” Your thoughts control your life; you create everything about you. Choose your thoughts wisely!