Before getting started with techniques for removing blocks cognitively and subconsciously, let’s review the context for this powerful work.
- Keep reminding yourself that your thoughts shape your life.
- Acknowledging the stories in your head is the first step toward creating new, positive stories and thoughts from which to live your life.
- Emotional reactivity is provoked by thoughts and beliefs. A fundamental benefit from changing unhelpful beliefs is the resulting improvement in emotional reactivity.
- The key teaching here is that if a belief is not supporting you, it can be changed. In this lesson, we explore the subject from multiple angles.
- To embark on this work is significant, so be kind to yourself.
- The task is to take responsibility for ourselves, not others.
- To remove blocks, we can’t avoid pain but rather must move through it to resolve it. Yoga is not a means to feeling good all the time; it’s far more powerful than that.
- “Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.” (Adyashanti)
Acknowledging the Stories in Your Head is the First Step Toward Creating New, Positive Stories & Thoughts From Which to Live Your Life
Every action that we take in this world, everything that we create or destroy is born out of our thoughts. In this way, our thoughts literally shape our lives. Limiting thought patterns based on habit and conditioning thwart our progression toward positive change and growth. Even if in subtle thought, we go around repeating the mantra, “I am not good enough, smart enough, strong enough,” we will indeed create that reality for ourselves…. Acknowledging the existence of these stories and assessing the thoughts that stem from them is the first step toward creating new, positive stories and thoughts from which to live our lives. Whatever the thought, whether it is limiting or not, can we say that it is real? Reality exists in the moment. For most of us, reality is something we decided upon when we were small… If you are not your thoughts and all of our realities are different, does the one that you choose serve you?– Hermass Lassalle, YogiTimes, You Are Not Your Thoughts
Emotional Reactivity is Connected to Thoughts & Beliefs
Emotional reactivity and triggering is provoked by thoughts and beliefs (sometimes unconscious beliefs). A fundamental benefit from changing unhelpful beliefs is the resulting improvement in emotional reactivity. Olga Kabel explains:
Since our emotions flow out of our perception of the world, if that perception is reframed, our emotions will change, too. This applies to mundane experiences (for example, choosing not to be bothered by traffic and instead enjoy an audio book that you are listening to) and life-altering events (for example, choosing to see downsizing at work as an opportunity to pursue your true calling). Science shows that just having a perception of choice in any given situation helps you feel less fearful and uncertain.– Olga Kabel, SequenceWiz, Pratipaksha Bhavana
Beliefs Can Be Changed
The key teaching here is that if a belief is not supporting you, it can be changed. We explore the subject from multiple angles:
- Becoming conscious of limiting beliefs
- Cognitive reframing
- Pratipaksha bhavana (cultivating the opposite)
- Using feelings as a doorway to our inner world
- Using meditative brainwave states to create change
- Other yoga techniques
- Reprogramming the subconscious
Be Kind To Yourself
To change a belief is to embark on a process of evolution and transformation. Here are a few things to consider when engaging in such inner work.
- Be kind to yourself and make time for quiet rest each day.
- Acknowledge that emotions and the consideration of new ways of being may at times seem overwhelming.
- Remember that you are not alone and you’ve done nothing wrong. Meditation and daily gratitude journaling can help to feel these truths.
- Know that the ego is likely to send a barrage of thoughts that changing your thinking around a deep issue (core belief) would be akin to dying. But remember that in reality, consciously changing mental patterns and beliefs will expand your choices and bring relief and freedom.
- Make simple changes to your routine such as taking a new route when walking or commuting. Begin something new, whether it be a class, a book or some other undertaking.
- Find a supportive community.
- Volunteer. Give without expecting anything in return.
- Cultivate loving relationships based on mutual support.
We Are Taking Responsibility For Ourselves, Not Others
When we take responsibility for our thoughts and beliefs, we are focusing on our point of power occurring in our minds right now. This is in contrast to getting caught in the trap of trying to change the past or others, as Alanna Kaivalya PhD explains below.
What are we responsible for in our lives? Yoga would say: everything. We are 100% responsible for our own reality, according to yogic thought. I know that’s a lot to handle. It took me years to really get a grasp of this. When I first started yoga and heard this notion, I was charged with the guilt and shame that came from being “responsible” for catastrophes throughout the world. I was once told that if I didn’t like the attitudes of my colleagues, it was my personal responsibility to transform their energy from negative to positive. Think about that for a second: Do we have any control over the behavior and actions of others? No!
So, after I recovered from my shame spiral of never being good enough to change my external environment and contributing to worldwide sadness, I took another look at this maxim. By then, I understood more about psychology and the way we, as humans, perceive things. I had also figured out that the behavior of others is never caused by us… But this does not make us helpless. Nor should it make us indifferent.
We each have control over our own psychology. We choose to see our world through a certain lens. Do we see our world as beyond help? Perhaps, we see it as “not our problem.” Maybe we think we are victims of what is happening around us. Or, do we see opportunities for growth, change and transformation? Seeing our lives as a fertile ground for change is 100% our responsibility. Seeing it as anything else is our responsibility too. This is what we have control over.
While we can’t control who others vote for, what they think, how they act or what they do, we absolutely can control how we perceive all things in our life. You’ve heard the old saying: Mind your own business? Well, I’m gonna be a grammatical rebel and stick a comma in there: “Mind, your own business.” Make your mind your own business and see things in the way that serves you best. A challenging situation becomes a chance for change. A problem reveals a solution. A difficult person becomes the excuse to open your heart. Your life is your practice.– Alanna Kaivalya PhD, Email Newsletter Dec 27, 2017
To Remove Blocks, We Can’t Avoid Pain; We Must Move Through It to Resolve It
Changing a belief can easily be confused with trying to “stuff” difficult feelings or talk yourself out of them or “spiritual bypassing.” But that is not the intent. It may help to distinguish these two things:
- Conscious detachment from a thought
- Feeling feelings
To detach from or to change a thought is one action. And feeling feelings is another action. Both are necessary.
Enlightenment is the Eradication of Everything We Imagined to Be True
Enlightenment is a destructive process. It has nothing to do with becoming better or being happier. Enlightenment is the crumbling away of untruth. It’s seeing through the facade of pretense. It’s the complete eradication of everything we imagined to be true.– Adyashanti
The Foundation: Mindfulness & Self-Study
The Foundation for Change
Techniques for overcoming blocks are based on a foundation of mindfulness and self-study.
Becoming present and mindful gives you access to the body’s innate “navigational system” — the ability to discern what is happening internally and externally. (Susan Scurlock-Durana) This is the doorway for noticing patterns and uncovering hidden beliefs.
Defense mechanisms naturally arise when the ego feels threatened by a change in reality or belief.
- Such defenses are typically acted out unconsciously and include repression, denial, displacement, projection, regression and sublimation, among others. (See more: 15 Common Defense Mechanisms)
- As these are so often unconscious responses, they are naturally “deep” and potentially quite difficult to identify. And yet, they are possible to overcome when self-study and mindfulness are at the heart of the work.
- It can almost feel like psychological trickery when we consider the challenge to uncover limiting beliefs that are hiding with the aid of the ego. For example, if we take high expectations to the harmful extreme of perfectionism, it can be difficult to spot when and where healthy idealism became an unhealthy belief. In the case of relationships, for instance, perfectionist tendencies can result in idealized projections that lead to the obvious outcome of disappointment based on unreasonable expectations.
Beware of the Ego When Exploring the Inner World
While a spiritual journey has always been a fundamental transition from ego to soul, I began to see how those in search of truth weren’t necessarily exploring it from the soul’s perspective. Instead, many facets of inner growth were explored from the ego’s point of view…. As consciousness begins waking up, limiting beliefs dissolve, self-defeating choices no longer resonate, and narrow viewpoints are exchanged for more expansive perspectives.– Matt Kahn, Evolve from the Soul’s Perspective, The Braided Way
Avoid Harmful Extremes of Perfectionism
Just like perfectionism kills creativity, it also kills love — the more we mythologize and idealize the person we love, the more disillusioned and disheartened we grow as we come to know their imperfect humanity which, if untainted by these blinding ideals, is the very wellspring of true love. That is what playwright Tom Stoppard captured in what is perhaps the greatest definition of love, in his notion of “the mask slipped from the face, the stripping of the idealized projection, the surrender to the beautiful imperfection of a human being.”– Maria Popova, Joseph Campbell on Why Perfectionism Kills Love
Synchronicities, Setbacks, Connections
- Pay attention to signs, encounters, setbacks, colors, anything that seems peculiar, synchronistic or intriguing.
- Notice when you have a sense of connection with life, when you feel in the flow. What sensations do you notice and where in your body do you feel them? In what circumstances and environments?
- Initially, you may not be able to make sense of what you’re noticing, but if you’re patient and perhaps keep a journal, you’ll learn more about how your inner and outer world relate. These are invaluable clues for efficiently navigating your journey and experiencing moments of awakening.
Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.– Oscar Wilde
In this lesson, you’ll find many considerations for overcoming limiting beliefs and reprogramming the subconscious.
If You Can Catch Yourself, That’s a Victory
The next time you affirm your state of being by thinking a thought and experiencing a feeling with the intensity of the corresponding emotion, while you pronounce yourself as I am…, I have…, I can’t, just remember: with that belief you will be programming your brain and body into a future (limited or unlimited) and that belief will become your identity. If you can catch yourself and become conscious of your unconscious self, that’s a victory. It’s you becoming aware of you. When you do that, ask yourself if you still want to believe that thought. If not, think instead about a way to change over time, as well as how you would feel if you were that future person. Do it enough times and you will become someone else.– Dr. Joe Dispenza, The Stories We Tell Ourselves
To begin, you may wish to see the excellent article by Mike Bundrant, Trapped by your Mind? Learn This Five Step Process for Releasing Limiting Beliefs. The article is well-written and compelling, offering clear and powerful examples of limiting and conflicting beliefs that can cause suffering. For example, he explains that we often have “belief traps” like these:
- I must leave this relationship or I will never be happy. I’ll never be able to support myself on my own.
- I have to lose weight. I can’t do what I must do to lose weight.
- I have to succeed in life. I am not good enough to succeed.
As he notes, “One of the beliefs in each scenario must be modified or let go in order to move forward.
Reflect on How Everyday Beliefs & Actions Relate
Here is a clear example of how we are living from beliefs every day and how easy it is to overlook what’s happening beneath the surface:
Suppose someone makes a request of you. If you honestly feel like doing it and you do, you’ll feel happy, abundant, and inspired. If you don’t feel like it and you kindly decline without any guilt whatsoever or offer an alternative plan, you’ll feel good as well. In both cases… you’re loving yourself enough to honor your own heart and inner compass [and] you’re loving the other enough to be honest with them. Whether or not they accept your authentic answer with grace depends on the length of their own rope.
Now suppose you don’t feel like doing this favor, but you do it anyway. You make nice, do it out of duty, or because you feel must in order to be a loving person. In this case, you’re actually being unloving to yourself and dishonest with the other. You are tethered to beliefs about who you “should” be… As a result, you’ll likely feel tired, bitter, resigned, or simply out of sorts depending on the degree of disconnection from your true feelings.
Similarly, if your happiness depends on the agreement or behaviors of others, or upon external conditions in your world, you have tethered yourself directly to them with a very short rope! You will feel the stress and strain of tugging against the rising tide of love that wants you to give yourself the freedom to create and to be happy regardless of the external world… Love yourself enough to be lovingly honest with yourself and therefore lovingly honest with others. Love yourself through your less-than-loving moments and have the compassion for yourself to choose the next best feeling thought. Choose your own feelings. Create your own reality through a higher vibe and live your lives freely – untethered from the behaviors or beliefs of others.– Ann Albers
Invite Your Authentic Voice
Write freely, not filtering it in any way or paying attention to structure or grammar or neatness.
- Writing freehand (as opposed to typing or entering onto a digital device) tends to prompt emotions and thoughts to arise unfiltered.
- Another tactic is to write with your non-dominant hand.
- Even if resistance arises in your body or mind, write freely without censoring it.
- Upon waking, move as little as possible to support dream recall. Record your dreams and thoughts that occur during the transitional state from sleep to wakefulness. You may wish to audio record your dreams and then transcribe them at a later time. While transcribing, consider possible meaning.
Cognitive Reframing (Changing Perspective)
Cognitive reframing is a name for the process of changing perspective (our point of view).
Cognitive reframing is a technique used to shift your mindset so you’re able to look at a situation, person, or relationship from a slightly different perspective... The essential idea behind reframing is that the frame through which a person views a situation determines their point of view. When that frame is shifted, the meaning changes, and thinking and behavior often change along with it… Imagine looking through a camera lens. The picture seen through the lens can be changed to a view that is closer or further away. By slightly changing what is seen in the camera, the picture is both viewed and experienced differently.– Amy Morin, verywellmind.com, What Is Cognitive Reframing?
Here we explore the examination of beliefs, realizing we have a choice, becoming curious, and reframing thoughts.
Notice Judgment & Labeling
Grab a piece of paper and write down 3 situations you are experiencing that trouble you at the moment. Example: My husband is so rude to me and does not even care that he yells at me. My son is so clumsy, he always knocks his glass off the table.
Ok, now notice all words of judgment, evaluation or labeling of the situation. Stick with the factual reality of what actually happened, and not what you interpreted it to be (ex: rude, not even, clumsy) Then rewrite the situation only from the factual description (what actually happened). Example: My husband yells at me. My son knocked a glass off the table and it broke.
Then take a moment. How do you feel when you write the second version of your observation? Can you notice that the vibration is lighter? Can you observe that you are stating a fact and no longer judging the situation? By eliminating the labeling, judgment or evaluation of a situation, you can free yourself from the constraints of your thoughts and stop creating negative emotions around a situation. Loving what is (factually) keeps your vibration closer to the energy of life and love and will literally transform your life.– Sophie Parienti, YogiTimes, 7 Days to Balance Your Life: Day 5
Research has shown that curious people — those who are constantly asking questions and looking for new possibilities — tend to enjoy higher levels of positive emotions, lower levels of anxiety, more satisfaction with life, and greater psychological well-being. Take kids as an example. In case you haven’t noticed, they tend to have a higher level of happiness than most. They play. They imagine. They explore. They ask questions. They are curious. Each one of us has an innate awareness of what decisions will bring us the best of love, life, health, finance, and business. The trick to revealing this unconscious wisdom is to keep your mind open to every possibility—to never seek an answer to anything. To forever and always ask questions… Most of us have spent our entire lives looking for the answer. Not just any answer — the right answer. Recognizing that questions are what catapults us into the life, the joy, and the satisfaction we desire is a start. But, if asking questions is new to you, it might take some practice. Here are a few typical answers or conclusions you may be familiar with and questions you can ask instead. [See article for more.] … Happiness is available to you. Recognize that you are not wrong. Have a sense of curiosity about everything that comes your way. Ask questions rather than seeking answers and coming to conclusions.– Gary Douglas, Yoga Journal, Are Questions Your Answer to Happiness?
Challenge the Thought
Challenge [the thought], explore it, look in and see if there is any other meaning for you. How else might you express it? Open yourself up to awareness, and depending upon your thought/belief ask yourself some of these questions below.
- Is it true?
- Who says?
- What stops you?
- How do you know?
- Has it ever been different?
- What would happen if you did or didn’t?
… Take the time to write down your answers. Read your answers out loud and listen to yourself as you read, taking in all of the different possibilities. It may feel false at first but as you progress it will make sense to you. You are not necessarily looking for answers here, but simply opening up your awareness around your limiting thoughts/beliefs. It is often beneficial to share your findings with someone. These types of questions will initiate a shift in awareness that will move you from the perception that you have no choice, to realizing that you do in fact have choices as well as possibilities for transformation.– Hermass Lassalle, YogiTimes, You Are Not Your Thoughts Nor Your Beliefs & Thought Patterns
Uncovering Beliefs is a Way of Purifying Our Lens
The yoga tradition says that we all look at the world through a clouded and colored lens that contains our past experiences and current beliefs. Ultimately via practicing yoga we are trying to purify that lens, so that “it becomes like a transparent crystal, able to reflect clearly the object of perception, the perceiver and the act of perceiving. “ (Sutra 1.41) That is a pretty tall order, but the ability to reframe our view of the situation on demand is a giant step toward it.– Olga Kabel, SequenceWiz, Four Ways to Change Your Emotional Responses
A Common Pitfall with Cognitive Reframing
Cognitive reframing is absolutely vital to overcoming limiting beliefs. However, when we stop there and ignore our emotions, we are effectively suppressing or “spiritual bypassing,” thereby putting off complete healing. Read on for the importance of paying attention to your feelings.
Paying Close Attention to Feelings
The Importance of Feelings & Emotions in this Process
To uncover limiting beliefs, commit to being open and curious about your feelings and emotions. This means working to change any patterns of suppressing or tamping down emotions when they arise.
Beliefs Provoke Emotions
Research conducted by Kevin Ochsner at Columbia State University shows that “conscious control over the limbic system is possible, not by suppressing a feeling, but rather by changing the interpretation that creates the feeling in the first place.” So to change an emotional response we need to go back to the opinion that provoked it. If we change how we interpret the reality, we will change the emotions that show up.– Olga Kabel, SequenceWiz, Four Ways to Change Your Emotional Responses
Why it’s Necessary to Halt Addictive and Compulsive Behaviors
Addictions and compulsive behaviors may begin as ways to cope with emotions (Why We Suffer). But at some point, the addictive patterning may become so strong that it’s no longer only a coping mechanism but also an uncontrollable behavior.
- Trying to work on limiting beliefs while in the throes of addictive behavior will likely be ineffective. Why? Because no matter where in the addictive cycle you are, it’s necessary to abstain from addictive and compulsive activities in order to experience authentic emotional expression and release.
- It’s extremely common in the modern world to have addictions. While shame goes hand-in-hand with addiction, it’s an obstacle to resolution and healing. Tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, pain killers, cocaine and heroin are common substance addictions. (The Dawn Rehab) Common behavioral addictions include gambling, sex, Internet, shopping, video games, binge eating and risky behaviors. (Everyday Health)
- Addiction affects the brain’s executive functions (Psychology Today). Thus, your addicted brain will make up reasons to do the addictive behavior. It will also tell you that if you solve your emotional and psychological issues (or go on a meditation retreat, or train for a marathon, or get promoted or have a baby) that the addictive behavior will fall away on its own. Time proves this to be untrue, just more made-up thoughts from an addicted brain.
- Addictive behaviors cover over the true nature you are trying to access. And at some point they will cause additional problems such as anxiety, sleep issues, isolation and disconnection from others, depression, or other negative effects.
- It’s simply not possible to authentically dive deep while engaged in addictive behaviors. Instead, it’s advisable to first work on abstention, and then to dive into the unconscious beliefs you wish to uncover.
Ride the Wave of Emotions
By definition, core beliefs carry emotional attachments and thus, emotions are an inseparable aspect of working with limiting beliefs.
- In order to make the unconscious conscious, we must commit to allowing emotions to surface — and then to ride the waves.
- This doesn’t mean indulging in discomfort by acting out in anger. Nor does it mean getting caught in the endless looping of associated thoughts.
- Instead, the task is to stay with bodily sensations and feelings as they arise, using the breath and awareness to “ride the wave” of the emotion as it arises, crests and falls.
- Suppressing emotions goes against a natural gift of human life.
- Suppression or excessive mental reacting prevents the emotion (energy in motion) from moving and releasing energy. Allowing emotions to arise and pass can release tension, open space, and inspire insight, among many other potential benefits.
Emotions Release Energy
The emotions you feel in your body are the themes of what’s being released out of your energy field. A space has just been created by that trigger. If we then make up a story about the reaction and blame the person who triggered us, or blame ourselves for reacting that way like it’s some bad spiritual thing to do, we then fill in that space… with more debris and the universe will have to create another experience to trigger and release again.– Matt Kahn interview, Emotional Triggers are Clearing Cellular Memory
Uncover Emotional Payoffs
- Typically, behaviors (which are reflecting beliefs) are an effort to get something we want or think we need, such as acceptance, love or safety. How emotions play into this picture can add a level of complexity and intensity, with emotions keeping us tethered to beliefs.
- For example, if you absorbed toxic beliefs early in life, you may unconsciously believe you aren’t good enough and find yourself expressing your fears to others. It may be that your friends feel sorry for you and try to support you by commiserating and giving you attention. This can subconsciously feel like an emotional payoff for self-pity. While none of this may be conscious, you feel good when you have support and love and this emotional connection may then perpetuate a cycle where you highlight your inadequacies in order to gain help, attention and love, which in turn creates more people feeling sorry for you, thus reinforcing beliefs of inadequacy.
Mantra & Chakra Practices
Because limiting beliefs begin as unconscious patterns, mantra and other sounding practices can be particularly good techniques to help address them. In this 4-minute video, Gloria Latham speaks to this.
Chakra Balancing Practices
Olga Kabel offers a succinct and profound perspective on using chakras as a model for examining and changing belief systems that aren’t serving us.
Chakras are clusters of beliefs around specific needs we all have that are mapped symbolically in the human body. So by bringing attention to a specific body area and working with it, you can change your beliefs and meet your needs.– Olga Kabel, SequenceWiz, Three Stages of Working with Chakras
See the article link above for ideas on how to work with the chakras to examine one’s beliefs and needs.
Any asana practice may support such inner work so long as the attention is focused on feeling the body and noticing emotions and thoughts that arise. Some considerations include:
- Backbends and/or anahata chakra balancing – to help balance the heart center
- Core strengthening and/or manipura chakra balancing – to strengthen self-esteem and power
- Hip stretches and/or svadhisthana chakra balancing – to release emotions and develop emotional intelligence
- Inversions and/or a focus on the ajna chakra – to help in seeing things differently, developing intuition and establishing personal identity
Clues That Digging Deeper May Be Called For
If you’ve tried to address a problem but it keeps reappearing, it may be a subconscious program (and its related belief system) that is thwarting your efforts.
For example, if you’ve had recurrent financial issues, it’s possible that you subconsciously hold a core belief that you’ll never have enough money to live comfortably. Your conscious mind may find such a belief to be irrational, but your conscious mind has been unable to resolve the problem so far, indicating something deeper is likely at play.
Reprogramming the Subconscious
Our subconscious mind is like the auto-pilot feature on an airplane. It has been pre–programmed to follow a specific route and you cannot deviate from that route unless you change the directions programmed into it first… If you have an experience that conflicts with an already established belief, your subconscious mind will either reject it or reframe it– Dirk Roman, Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind: A Step-by-Step Guide
so it goes along with your existing view of reality… Here’s an example: Let’s say you have an underlying belief that you’re unattractive, and an attractive person expresses an interest in getting to know you better… Beneath the surface of your conscious awareness, your subconscious mind is screaming, “No way!! This person is way too attractive to be interested in me, something isn’t right here…”
By definition, subconscious beliefs run our lives from behind conscious awareness. Thus, in order to gain more control, it becomes necessary to identify unconscious programming and patterns. For example, a belief that Life is just too hard can cause a person to take half-hearted action toward goals, leading to disappointing results, which then “proves” the limiting belief.
Choose Your Influences Wisely
Have you ever considered the effect of your environment on your subconscious mind? Remember that your subconscious mind is absorbing information constantly and drawing conclusions and forming beliefs based on that information. If your daily environment is filled with negativity and strife, imagine what kinds of messages are being absorbed into your mind. Your first action is to strictly limit the negativity you’re exposed to from this moment on. Avoid watching the news unless you absolutely must, and avoid spending too much time with ‘toxic’ people. Instead, seek out positive information to read and watch, and spend most of your time with positive, successful people. Over time you’ll find that more encouraging messages are being absorbed into your mind.– Dirk Roman, Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind: A Step-by-Step Guide
Drastically Minimize the Running of Subconscious Programs
Subconscious programs go into effect when the mind is engaged in thinking about the past or future. During these times of thinking, the subconscious programs switch on so that we can continue to function here and now.
This points to one of the reasons why mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation are so effective at transforming lives. To be mindful is to be present and to observe rather than to automatically react, or to run “programs.” This means that mindfulness and meditation result in:
- More time that subconscious programs are NOT running, and
- Increased awareness of previously-subconscious programming.
Thus, mindfulness beautifully subverts automatic take-over by the subconscious, giving us a greater sense of how increased mindfulness leads to such powerful growth and transformation.
With the resulting increase in awareness and the ability to step back from the programming, we are more able to engage in repetition and instilling desirable habits as a powerful way of RE-programming the subconscious with CONSCIOUS intent.
Hypnosis is a mental state of highly focused concentration, diminished peripheral awareness, and heightened suggestibility.– Psychology Today, Hypnosis
Reprogramming the Subconscious
In the first seven years of life, the brain learns via a form of hypnosis, downloading what it observes. After seven years of age, the subconscious mind is programmed via:
- Input while in alpha and theta brain wave states
- Hypnosis, hypnotherapy, self-hypnosis
- Subliminal messaging
- Repetition and habituation
- Tremendous emotional shock
- Belief change modalities associated with energy psychology that offer a form of “super-learning” or the ability to change long-held patterns quickly. Includes PSYCH-K, a process of synchronizing the brain hemispheres.
When you rewrite the software of your mind, you change the printout of your life… and the world!– Rob Williams, Originator of PSYCH-K
Consistent, Persistent Reinforcement
Due to the way the subconscious is programmed and functions, a key to reprogramming it is consistent, persistent reinforcement. See more in The Importance of Habits and the article, Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind.
The Subconscious Mind Doesn’t Respond to Analytic Thinking But it Responds to Pictures & Imagery
Your subconscious mind responds well to pictures. Visualization is a great way to program your mind with positive, empowering images. Try spending 10-15 minutes a day visualizing positive scenes that feature you and your life experiences.– Dirk Roman, Reprogramming Your Subconscious Mind: A Step-by-Step Guide
Self Hypnosis & Spiritual Psychology Transformed Her Life
When a friend gave me the book “The Power of Intention” by Wayne Dyer, something inside of me was ignited and my new path started to unfold before eyes, I became “a spiritual seeker and my own healer.” In 2003, I went to hypnosis school and learned about the subconscious mind and how to find the unconscious beliefs that were creating my life. I used hypnosis on myself and I naturally started taking better care of my body and my health. Then, in 2009 I went to USM, a Spiritual Psychology Program where I started healing the unresolved issues inside of me; my childhood traumas, hurts and wounds and started connecting more with god/source loving energy and loving and accepting myself unconditionally.– Debra Mittler bio
Meditative & Brainwave States
Theta and alpha brain wave states are associated with various levels of relaxation, meditation, imagination, visualization, learning, concentration, intuition, accessing the subconscious, hypnosis, and light (REM) sleep.
These states open the door to the subconscious mind and allow us to reprogram it.
Getting Beyond the Analytical Mind Mind By Slowing Down Brain Waves
The analytical mind is what separates the conscious mind from the subconscious mind… What we want to do in our meditation is to slow down our brainwaves in order to suppress the activity in our thinking brain or neocortex, otherwise known as the seat of your conscious mind. The neocortex is always busy trying to analyze and make sense of the outer world, but if we close our eyes and tune out the incoming sensory information, our brainwaves begin moving from beta to alpha. Alpha brainwaves are essentially a resting state of the body, which allows us to dream or imagine more creatively in pictures and images… When done successfully, energy begins to move into the limbic or midbrain, which is the seat of the autonomic nervous system, also known as the subconscious mind… if you’re trying to change your body’s health and reprogram your autonomic nervous system from a state of stress back into balance… we move our attention from a narrow focus (or object focus) on the things or people in our external material world, to opening and broadening our focus to space or nothingness. In doing so, we take our attention off the material world and place it on the immaterial world of energy… As all of our attention begins to slowly become focused on our inner world, it’s as if our body falls asleep but our mind is awake.– Dr. Joe Dispenza, The Role of Brainwaves in Meditation Part I
Settle the Mind to Switch Off the Conscious Mind & Produce More Theta Waves
You naturally produce more theta waves when your conscious mind switches off. And when that happens, it gives you access to your unconscious mind. To the seat of your creativity. A place where you can slow down, chill out, and let those theta waves rise to the surface. Here’s one way you can achieve that in just a few minutes. Make it part of your morning routine. Or try it during your working day, any time when your brain feels scrambled or frazzled like something’s blocking your creative juices from flowing freely. [See article for the steps to relaxing the mind.]– Deanna Romano, Hypnosis Training Academy, What Do Brainwaves Do?
Why can a meditative state bring about emotionally charged memories and what should we do?
Many times, when we’re in a dream state – where the body is asleep, but the mind is relaxed and awake – we’re in theta brain waves. The door to the subconscious is wide open. Think of theta as a very hypnotic or suggestible state; one where information can easily flow in and out of our subconscious mind. And with this flow come memories and experiences that tend to have high emotional charges. Why? Because that’s what’s stored in the body – when it’s been conditioned to be the mind. If we give in to fear during these highly charged events, and react with a strong emotion, that’s a conditioned response. In a very real sense, we’re reacting the same way as we do in daily life. We’re feeding and fueling the same patterned reactions that keep us in the known past – because those emotions are a record of the past. But when we give our energy to the fear … or the reaction … or the entity that scares us, we never get to the point of transforming that energy into something else… But if we can learn to sit with the discomfort and overcome it … if we can refrain from judging the experience as “good” or “bad” … a whole new world opens up to us. How do we get there? Through discipline and practice.– Dr. Joe Dispenza, Opening Pandora’s Box, Part II: Finding Out What’s on the Other Side
Binaural beats refer to listening to two slightly different low-frequency tones played in separate ears simultaneously (usually through headphones) causing the brain to register a third frequency, leading to the brain entering a meditative state. (The sound levels may be low enough that we can’t consciously hear them.) May also be called brainwave entrainment. (Michael Chary)
When two tones of slightly different frequencies are played in separate ears simultaneously (usually through headphones), the human brain perceives the creation of a new, third tone, whose frequency is equivalent to the difference between the two tones being played. This auditory illusion is called a binaural beat.– Psychology Today, Binaural Beats
Binaural beats induce theta brain states within 10 minutes (2017) link
- 28 people divided into experimental and control group
- Intervention: 6-Hz binaural beat on a 250 Hz carrier tone for 30 min; measured with quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG)
- “Theta activity was induced in the entire cortex within 10 min of exposure to the stimulus… appeared to be brain functions of a meditative state. Moreover, tension factor of BRUMS was decreased in experimental group compared to control group which resembled the meditation effect. Thus, a 6-Hz binaural beat on a 250 Hz carrier tone was suggested as a stimulus for inducing a meditative state.”
How Your Subconscious is Targeted
Whether or not a healing modality is stated specifically as a way to reprogram the subconscious, we might presume that anything that bypasses the conscious mind has an effect on the subconscious. The following video gives information on such considerations.
Sources & Resources
See here for a list of sources and resources for the entire Beliefs section.