The Power Of The Mind
Dr Thanh-Tam Pham - 27/9/2020
The Iceberg Metaphor.
Freud often used the iceberg to describe the mind. The tip of the iceberg above the water represents the Conscious Mind. Beneath the water is the much larger bulk of the iceberg which represents the subconscious and the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is about 10%, the subconscious 50-60% and the unconscious 30-40%.
The conscious mind contains all the thoughts, feelings and wishes that we are aware at any given moment. It includes our awareness of ourselves and the world around us. The subconscious includes the things that we are not thinking at the moment but which we can draw easily into our conscious awareness. Things that the conscious mind wants to keep hidden are repressed into the unconscious mind such as painful feeling through trauma, childhood abuse or hatred of a family member or of a parent…These memories and experiences can influence our beliefs, habits and behaviour.
The Power of the Mind.
Usually we pay little attention to our thoughts and we underestimate the powerful impact thoughts have on our lives. Our beliefs, mindsets and attitudes influence how we respond to certain events and decide how we interpret certain situations and this can make a big difference. Two people who share the same experience in life can interpret what happens in a totally different way. It can make a difference between living in a world designed to punish us or living in a world with challenges designed to teach us important lessons and make us stronger. So it all depends on how we look at things and not how things are by themselves.
Researchers know that the placebo effect is very important so they have to design double blind study that is the doctor and the patient does not know if the placebo or the medicine is given. The human brain anticipates outcomes and anticipation produces the outcome. The placebo is effective from 35 to 50%. The placebo effect is a self fulfilling prophecy.
Unfortunately, the power of the mind is largely ignored or unknown, that is why many of its abilities have become dormant. Most of us go through life taking little notice of our thought processes and we identify ourselves with the thoughts and believing that we cannot change our personality or our ways of reaction to life events. The mind is one of the greatest powers that we can tap into and it is largely dependent on our thoughts. What we think, we become. If we focus on success, we attract success. If we focus on fear and failure, we attract failure.
If we wish to affect changes in the outside world, we have to change ourselves and our thoughts first. This process takes patience and continuous practice. Change our mind and we can change our life.
It is similar to a gardener planting seeds in the soil and the subconscious mind is a fertile soil that will grow any seed that we plant on it. The conscious mind is like a gardener that plant thoughts in the subconscious mind. We have to continuously water and fertilise the thoughts we wish to manifest.
As we nurture the thoughts, they will slowly take roots in the subconscious mind and embed there. Over time, the power of the subconscious begins to influence our behaviour. If we plant beneficial thoughts, they will assist us in the accomplishment of our goals. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of this process and they do not pay attention to it. As a result, many unhealthy mindsets have grown roots in the mind which in turn influence our mind negatively.
The Subconscious does not discriminate any type of seeds. It will manifest success, peace and health as easily as failure, ill health and misfortune. The subconscious accepts what is cultivated in it with repetition, whether the thoughts are positive or negative. This is the conscious mind that evaluates things. Therefore, it is so important to be aware of what we are thinking.
The Power of the Subconscious Mind.
It is assumed that the conscious mind makes up 10% and the subconscious 90% of the brain activity. It is the part of the mind that is always active even at night. It is a great source of inspiration, intuition and creativity and different thinking patterns can play a huge role in the way we live our life. Every experience we ever had, every thought, every emotion in our life stay in our subconscious mind and thus influence our patterns of thought and behaviour far more than we realise. They are the unconscious force that drives our behaviour.
Successful people create their own reality using the power of the brain to create the outcomes they want in life. They truly believe they can achieve anything they set their mind to. No matter what situations they encounter, they believe in themselves. They know what they want in life, they cultivate positive mindsets which attract inspirational people and able to achieve amazing results.
Most other people imprison themselves inside the 4 walls of their own making and blaming their situation, the society…Their thoughts evolve around misery, bad luck, sad stories and reciting the same thing again and again. Therefore, they have no energy to do anything, lose self confidence and are so afraid to step out of their 4 walls to tackle new things.
For every thought we have, there is a surge of electrical currents in the brain causing the release of neurochemicals responsible for the operation of the nervous system. Our body responds to each thought by increasing the heart rate, the respiratory rate and muscle tension when we are stressed or angry and our body will relax correspondingly if our mind is peaceful.
Our repetitive thought forms our neurological wiring, creating connections in the brain that quickly become iron clad. These thoughts move from conscious to unconscious ways of thinking and allow us to work on autopilot. It requires less energy to use the same pathway again and again and it is how our Karma is developed.
Luckily our brain is made of neural plasticity that is we can make the brain to fire and wire in new sequences. Whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve.
The process of change requires the awareness of our negative thoughts and to discover new ways of being. Regular meditation practice allows the achievement of this goal and produce positive results.
Learning something new requires considerable energy and our undivided attention to create a new neurological pathway in our brain. We have the ability to change our personality by integrating new piece of information that we learn and with diligent practice, a new experience and Karma can be built.
How to use the Power of the Mind.
Quantum physics see the Universe as a vast inseparable web of dynamic wave activity. We now know that everything in the Universe is made up of energy and wave. Every material thing around us and even our thoughts are made of vibrations of energy. This means our thoughts are made of the same substance as the building blocks of the Universe. We are part of the greater whole and we can use it to our own advantage. Since our thoughts are energy, it makes sense that repeated images, deeply held beliefs, fears and desires would have an effect on our reality by vibrating with the larger web of reality.
It takes practice and a lot of repetitions to master any kind of skills. With repetitions, we strengthen the specific neuronal pathways to perform a certain action. We can also accomplish it by simply visualising an action. The brain cannot differentiate between an action that is actually performed or something that are simply visualised. If you repeat the visualisations often with details, the subconscious mind will slowly start to consider them as real experiences and they will slowly start to manifest in our life. If we visualised that we are confident in public speech, we will grow more confident after a certain period of time. But the process takes time, patience and effort.
2- Be aware of our biased interpretation.
The human mind has a tendency to interpret any information in a way to confirm our existing beliefs. We are connected with the surrounding through our five senses but it is very difficult to have a true image of the reality as our brain tends to interpret it with our biased views of things.
If a person has a negative outlook on life, it is easy to interpret any events in the life according to the negative mindset. Any new confrontation in life will provide further confirmation and proof of the person’s world view. If we believe that most people are bad, we will definitely find evidence for that all over the place and in the every day’s news. In contrast, if someone falls in love, everything related to that person will be interpreted in a very favourable way.
It is very important to overcome this confirmation bias if we want to make use of the power of the mind. If we sincerely believe the world is full of abundance, love and compassion, we will inevitably act accordingly which in turn will draw many unselfish people in our life.
3- Be aware of our thought.
We often spend our day without taking much notice of our thoughts. We can practice to observe how random thought comes and goes and be aware of the content of our thought. We have to nurture the positive thoughts and ignore the negative thoughts.
Just because a thought emerges in our conscious mind, it does not mean that we have to follow it. Let go of any unbeneficial thought as it can drag us down and impose limit on us.
4- Practice to focus
A focussed mind will help us to achieve a desired result. We have to stop the mind from wandering around and learn to control it.
But we need to focus the mind on success, joy and happiness so it is more likely to materialise these things in our life. If we are heavily concentrated on fear and anxiety, we are more likely to attract these things and again strengthen our anxiety.
5- Eliminate self doubt and toxic thoughts.
In many cases, the thinking patterns of self doubt are picked up during child hood or from previous failures. They make us doubt ourselves and impose limits on what we can achieve. They are not founded in reality and we should be aware of them and challenge them. They prevent us from making progress in life.
6- Replace negative thoughts and habits with positive ones.
Positive thoughts are those that support us and challenge us to live to our full potential. These thoughts do not simply appear out of nowhere. We must intentionally plant and nurture them.
Sometimes it is necessary to challenge our entire belief system. As we continue to plant positive thought, we slowly restructure our mind. It is a very difficult process and time consuming and we need to be diligent in our practice.
Habits or patterns of reactions are controlled by the subconscious mind. To save energy, the brain likes to switch on automatic mode and allows routine behaviour to take over. We need to be aware and break free from our old unhealthy habits and set up a more wholesome pattern of reaction to life events.
Mindfulness is simply to be aware moment by moment of our thoughts and the surroundings without our biased interpretation. We have to practice to live consciously rather than unconsciously and be controlled by our subconscious mind.
This is the best way to live and this allows the full use of the power of the mind and develops wisdom and freedom from sufferings from the up and down that life may bring.
In conclusion, mind power is one of the strongest and the most useful power we possess. If we want to affect beneficial changes in our life, we have to address the world within. Our mind creates our destiny and we can use the power of the mind to create a new life.