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What Are We Programming Our Minds With?

Published August 13, 2013 | By Sam Owen

How often are you going about daily activities when suddenly you catch yourself talking to your own mind with negative self-talk?  You weren’t consciously doing it, you were subconsciously doing it, but somehow, that subconscious action came into conscious awareness.

It’s amazing to think about all the processes that take place in our brain when we think we are merely doing the thing we are consciously aware of.  Below the level of consciousness, however, we are thinking, recording, reasoning, and making decisions, without even realising we are doing so.

If the workings of our subconscious are determining our happiness, life choices and successes, at what point do we decide to take some conscious control over our subconscious?  Is it even possible?  What would happen to our lives if we did?  What would happen to society if this were taught in schools?  Are we being kept mediocre so that only the few at the top can benefit?  That is what the book and DVD The Secret essentially suggests, right?  Do you want to tweak how you use your mind so that you can easily achieve your goals, big and small?

Research shows that our subconscious mind is working away quietly, influencing how we respond to our external environment, and yet we often forget that the subconscious mind is integral in what we think, what we feel, what we do and what we achieve.

A few years ago research conducted by Williams and Bargh (2008) looked at how external environmental stimuli can affect how we feel about something completely unassociated.  On the way to the lab for the experiment, each participant met a lab assistant en route who had their hands full with clipboards, papers, textbooks, and a cup of either hot or iced coffee.  Each participant was asked by the lab assistant to help momentarily by holding the cup of coffee.

Amazingly, those that held an iced cup of coffee rated the hypothetical stranger they later read about as being significantly colder, more selfish and less sociable than did the participants who had held a hot cup of coffee.  Wow!  That we humans can be so easily manipulated in our thinking, and thus our resulting feelings and behaviours, just shows how the slightest tweak to what is being processed on a subconscious level can absolutely change the way we respond to life and the results we get!

If the touching of something physically hot or cold can influence how we perceive something seemingly unassociated, imagine all the things that take place daily in our surrounding environment that filter into our subconscious and then, unbeknown to our conscious selves, influences our thoughts, feelings and behaviours because of an amalgamation of all these factors!

Whatever we think affects how we feel which then influences how we behave which in turn determines the results we get, so what could you tweak about your daily habits that could send your life in the direction you want it to go in?  Just imagine!  If the fleeting grip of a hot or cold cup of drink can make such a profound difference to our perception about something unrelated, what could we tweak to change the course of our lives?

Would you sit with a hot water bottle at your desk whilst you work?  Would you change the image hanging in your office?  Would you begin kissing your partner each time they walked through the door?  Would you listen to a certain song whenever you were about to have an important business appointment?  Would you start using daily affirmations to shift the programming in your subconscious and conscious mind so that you could change your life’s direction for the better?

We’ll explore this last tweak – the use of affirmations to programme your mind well – in the next article.  For now, let the content of this article wash over you.  Read it again and think about your current life, your current surroundings, the external stimuli you come into contact with, the direction you want your life to go in and the slight changes you could make that would change the course of your life, for the better.

Williams, L. E., & Bargh, J. A. (2008). Experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth. Science, 322 (5901), 606-607.
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