Like many people, you have heard the term “wellness” a lot in the recent years. Maybe you have already begun your journey to wellness. Maybe you are in the process of figuring out what wellness is to you. Regardless of where you are at on this journey, there is a good chance that you’ll have moments where you get “off track” or feel overwhelmed or feel like quitting. Today, I want you to understand that you are NOT failing when you reach these moments. You are NOT broken. In fact, quite the opposite is taking place. Your mind is operating exactly how it was programmed to operate!
First, let’s understand the difference between the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious is your logic, analytical skills, decision making skills, reasoning, will-power and short-term memory. The subconscious is your belief systems, life script, programming, survival skills, coping tools, emotions, feelings, involuntary bodily functions, long-term memory, and intuition.
The conscious is your desires. The subconscious is your motivation.
On a daily basis, you live a battle in your mind between the conscious and the subconscious. Logically, you know what you want and the steps you need to take to make it happen. However, the reason it’s so difficult to go from logical thoughts and decisions to ACTION is because this new idea you have is a threat to your subconscious! And even more shocking, your subconscious makes up of over 90% of your mind’s power! That leaves only less than 10% of your mind’s power in the hands of your conscious!
That means, your subconscious will do EVERYTHING it can to sabotage the changes you’re WANTING to make! Why is this? Because your subconscious’ only concern is your survival. It’s only goal is to protect you. The programming that’s running in your subconscious is what is holding you back.
The subconscious doesn’t understand logic. It only learns through identifying and associating. The habits and behaviors you have that you are trying to change were developed at some point in your life for a reason. Your subconscious holds onto that reason and ultimately the habit associated to it. That’s great news! That means your mind is operating the way it’s supposed to operate. You’re not broken! You’re not a failure!
The problem you’re really facing is the fact that the programming in your subconscious is outdated and doesn’t match your conscious’ logical thoughts and desires.
As a hypnotherapist, I want you to know that you have the ability to change the outdated programming. While I help clients to achieve this through hypnosis, there are a few simple steps you can take on your own to begin making changes to your programming without threatening the subconscious.
1: Get a clear picture of the lifestyle YOU want to be living. This can take some time as you explore different avenues in wellness. What is important is to paint a clear picture of what is important to you. Do you want to be an early bird who works out first thing in the morning or do you want to work out after work as a way to decompress? Are you a group class exerciser or do you prefer the individual sports and activities? Do you want to pursue meditation or would you prefer quiet time hiking in nature? It’s really difficult to get the subconscious on board when you’re pursuing activities or a schedule you don’t want or can’t even see yourself doing.
2: Take your wellness ONE step at a time. When you make too many changes at once in life, your subconscious can feel threatened. That’s because you’re taking away many habits that are coping tools all at once. When you take away your coping tools, your subconscious retaliates. This is when people will do well for a few days, weeks or months and then fall right back into old habits and lifestyles. Take it one habit at a time. Introduce the “new” habit before replacing the old. This allows the subconscious to become familiar with it and more open to accepting it.
3: Let your emotions and feelings work FOR you! Every time you make a decision that helps you get closer to your goals, take a moment and recognize it. Notice how great you feel for making that decision! Those feelings become your subconscious’ motivation to staying on the same page as your conscious. Most importantly, if you find yourself making a less than ideal decision do NOT beat yourself up! You will not derail from one “unhealthy” decision. You will derail when you beat yourself up and then feel guilty and then reach for the unhealthy habit out of those emotions. When you beat yourself up, you will stay in the same cycle. Praise yourself and thank yourself when you make the healthy decisions and at the end of the day, focus on the good you accomplished in your day. Notice, I’m not talking about being “positive” or “grateful”. It’s not about that. It’s about looking at the good things you did accomplish and recognizing them.
Remember, since your subconscious is all about survival, anytime you make lifestyle changes, you threaten the subconscious and it fights back! The key is to work with it in a non-threatening way so it becomes your ally. Your subconscious wants to do a good job. It wants you to survive. In fact, once it’s your ally, it’ll be helping you to THRIVE!
If you would like to learn more, please feel free to email me with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brooke Lemke, C.Ht.
Certified Hypnotherapist in good standing with the American Hypnosis Association and the Hypnotherapists Union