The more you understand the subconscious mind, the better you become in understanding yourself. Following are some important characteristics of the subconscious mind that will help you increase your understanding of it…
1) The subconscious mind thinks in the form of images
Your subconscious mind stores all your memories and experiences in the form of images and symbols. That’s why during dreams (which are nothing but thoughts of the subconscious mind) all we see are pictures and symbols.
2) It’s always active
During the day, both the conscious and the subconscious mind are active, though the latter works in the background. When you are asleep, your conscious mind is temporarily switched off and the activity of the subconscious mind manifests itself in the form of dreams. At the same time, your subconscious mind is also alert to any external stimuli, such as the sound of an alarm clock.
3) It communicates with you via emotions
Emotions are the language of the subconscious mind. When you are awake, you can consciously notice the emotional changes that you experience and hence understand what the subconscious mind is trying to tell you. But when you are asleep and your conscious mind isn’t active, you lose this ability and the subconscious mind is forced to convey you its messages (emotions) via dreams.
4) It controls your bodily functions
Your bodily and metabolic functions like breathing, digestion, blood circulation, etc. are all controlled by the subconscious mind so that you don’t have to consciously bother about them. I want you to focus on your breathing right now.
Since the time you started reading this post, you were breathing but your conscious attention was on reading this post. It was your subconscious mind that was controlling your breathing.
Currently, you are breathing consciously because I told you to pay attention to your breathing. As soon as you shift your attention back to reading the rest of this post, your subconscious mind will again take over the breathing activity.
5) Every image is real to the subconscious mind
Everything that you see, in real life or on a screen, imagine or dream is considered real by the subconscious mind. If you happen to see a ghost in your room at night, you will no doubt become terrified. But you’ll also be terrified if you just imagine a ghost, see it in a movie or see it in a nightmare.
6) It cannot process negative words
If I tell you “Don’t think of a white elephant” what do you do? Of course, you think of a white elephant. Its image flashes across your mind, even if for a millisecond. Negative commands like “don’t” are not processed by the subconscious mind.
7) It ensures your survival and maintains your well-being
Your subconscious mind is like a friend or a guide that not only wants to ensure your survival but also wants you to stay happy and healthy. Almost all the emotions are designed to either protect you from danger (perceived or real) or move you towards happiness and well-being.
8) It controls your habits
Habits govern most of our daily life activities. Habits are nothing but behavioural patterns stored in our subconscious mind.
Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. I’ve published one book and authored 300+ articles on this blog (started in 2014) that have garnered over 4 million views. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur. Feel free to contact me if you have a query.