Subconscious: What’s it All About, Plus 4 Ways to Influence Yours


The subconscious is the part of the mind that you are not aware of. There are multiple theories about its function and operation, but it seems to be agreed upon that there truly is some part of the mind that functions without our constant conscious input.

Freud and the Introduction of the Unconscious

Freud was among the first to popularize the idea of a part of the mind working without us being aware that it’s happening. However, he did not use the term “subconscious”, because to him, it encompassed far too much meaning. He preferred to use the term “unconscious”   for describing desires and other thoughts that are repressed because they are too unacceptable from a social standpoint.

What the unconscious and subconscious have in common was that they both operate beneath the layers of conscious thought. They influence our actions without us being aware of them.

The Subconscious as a Source of Instinct

It appears that many of our instincts originate deep in our subconsciousness. The theory at hand here is that our conscious mind, being too busy, fails to notice subtle clues in the environment. This is where the subconsciousness steps in. Having the ability to “pay attention” to the surroundings, it picks up on those things. Then, it makes you want to take an action towards or away from that stimulus. However, upon closer inspection, you would not know why you feel like taking that action.

Subliminal Messages: Do They Actually Work?

It appears that the answer is yes. However, it comes with some conditions. For instance, in order for these types of messaged to have an effect, it must be something about a biological need and associated with an effect that is positive in nature. What I mean by having an effect is to make someone to take a certain action. If you’d like to read more about experiments done with subliminal messages, click here.

However, there are other ways of giving rise to an effect.  In one study people were presented a list of words so quickly that they could not have had enough time to read them consciously. These people were much more likely to say (or guess) that the words were of a negative nature when that was the case. What this could mean is that we are much better at interpreting cues in the environment when they are negative. If you want to read more on the topic, click here.

How to Get a Hold of Your Subconscious

Now, I don’t mean to say that you can get complete control over this part of your mind. Not at all. Nevertheless, there are ways in which you can influence it.

1)      Meditate Your Way to Calmness

It is known that emotions are not exactly under the control of the consciousness. Sadly, there’s no way to control them completely, but you can contain them. You can do that through meditation. A study done in 2012 suggests that people who meditate consistently are much more stable in their emotions than those who don’t. Want to read more? Click here.

2)      Talk the Positive Talk

Here I’m assuming everyone wants positivity in their lives. A way in which you can incorporate it is through the way in which you talk to yourself. Be nice and say to yourself things like “I’m worth it” or ‘I’m a great person”. Eventually, you’ll start believing and behaving accordingly.

3)      It’s All in the Eyes of the Mind

Visualizing is a great way of playing around with your desires. When you really want something, visualize it, and your mind will absorb it quickly. Chances are, some of that will leak into the subconscious. Then, you’ll start feeling like achieving that goal is a lot easier than before. At first, you might find visualising hard, but the more you do it, the better you’ll be at it. Close your eyes (you can do this before going to sleep), and imagine the thing you want. See it clearly and as detailed as possible. See yourself taking the necessary steps to achieve it. You’ll have a much easier time obtaining things after having visualised them.

4)      Ingrained Behaviors Past the Conscious Mind

I don’t know if you’ve heard that it takes 21 days for a behavior to become a habit. It seems that this is false, as on average, it takes around 66 days for that to happen. However, that number is still pretty small compared to the rest of your life. So, if you want to become a certain way (say, nicer), then practicing a certain habit (smiling to people more often) that makes you so each day for 66 days will get you there. Or at least it will get you closer.

So, that’s about it for the subconscious. If you’re still looking for resolutions for the rest of the year, getting in touch with this force is definitely a good idea. Tell me what you think about this topic!



3 thoughts on “Subconscious: What’s it All About, Plus 4 Ways to Influence Yours

  1. The subconscious is one of those things that I’ve always wanted to look into but find myself forgetting so I’m glad I read this. Was definitely a great post and I look forward to reading more.

    1. I’m very glad to hear that you found it interesting! 🙂 I’ve been fascinated by the subconsious ever since I took an introductory Psych class (that failed to satisfy my curiosity). It’s one of those topics that even if you manage to learn all the available info about it, you still know that there so much more left to discover!

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