Everything you have experienced in your life is recorded in your subconscious mind. If I were to ask you what is 4 plus 4 you would answer eight. That’s your conscious mind. If I ask you what you had for lunch 6 weeks ago you won’t have any conscious recollection of it. However, your subconscious mind will remember in perfect detail.
When you are driving you are probably thinking about many things. Everybody does. Many people love to drive when thinking just like some people prefer walking. If you are driving and thinking about work or your weekend plans then what part of you is paying attention to driving? The answer is your subconscious mind. If there is an obstacle your subconscious mind will make you step on the brake before you can make any conscious decision. Everyone has experienced being so deep in thought that they don’t remember the turns they took to get to their destination. You drove the entire distance guided by your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind doesn’t think. That is a function of your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind just reacts based on the information stored in it. If you are feeling cold while sleeping or need to go to the bathroom then your subconscious mind will wake you up.
When you learn something new you have to pay conscious attention. For example, when learning to drive a car you first have to be conscious of the gas pedal, the brake, the distance between you and the other cars, the lights etc. Once you have learned to drive then this knowledge becomes a part of your subconscious mind and you just drive.
The subconscious is like a vast storehouse of your knowledge and beliefs. If you hear something negative about yourself, while growing up (or as an adult), and accept it as true then that will be stored in your subconscious mind as a belief about yourself. For example if your teacher said things to you like, “Why are you so stupid” or “You just don’t have a brain in your head” or “You will never succeed or make anything of yourself” and you believed her then those beliefs about yourself are part of your subconscious mind.
Since your subconscious mind acts on what it knows you will be insecure about your intelligence for the rest of your life – unless you change your negative beliefs into positive ones. Consciously believing yourself to be intelligent will not work as your subconscious mind has been programmed. This means that your subconscious will sabotage your efforts in areas where you have negative beliefs involved.
Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are one the most effective means to change your subconscious programming.
To attain a proper state for self-hypnosis you have to stop your analytic mind (your thoughts and doubts) something which occurs naturally in meditation. Deep relaxation helps remove extraneous thoughts and allows you better focus. So relaxation is an important part of both hypnosis and self hypnosis. Once you are relaxed and focused you are in a state of ‘hypnosis’. You will be awake and aware as you don’t lose consciousness or fall asleep. Sleep is useless for hypnosis and self-hypnosis. You have to be aware and focused.
Your conscious mind also has a role to play. Consciously you have to adopt the attitude, “I love this affirmation/suggestion and I know I can make this a part of how I see the world”. While you are in your state of relaxed focused attention – with the attitude of “I love this” – you are reprogramming your subconscious mind.
Of course, many negative beliefs programmed in your subconscious mind have been there for years. This means you may have to do self-hypnosis several times before you successfully reprogram your subconscious mind permanently.
If you have a conscious attitude that is anything other than “I love this affirmation/ suggestion/ visualization” then no hypnosis method will work. In other words if you don’t like the affirmation/suggestion or it makes you uncomfortable or you don’t really care about it or you ‘hope’ it works but you don’t believe it will then you will not be able to do any subconscious reprogramming.
Since you are aware of everything that is said to you (when doing hypnosis), anything the hypnotist says that you don’t like or don’t believe in will get ignored by your subconscious mind. That is why self-hypnosis can be so effective. You choose what you want to focus on that fits what you want and how you see the world. In other words, you can tailor a self-hypnosis session in any way you desire.