Weight Loss: The Vital Role of Your Unconscious Mind
Even inside the womb your unconscious mind is working overtime processing information and giving you your first emotional experiences. To this day, the power of the unconscious mind has barely been tapped and it is understanding this part of ourselves which is key to losing weight permanently.
Your unconscious mind receives, processes and stores every single stimulus that you experience throughout your life. This is extraordinary when you think about it and it's no wonder that the unconscious mind can be put to fantastically good use. However, you have to know how to tap into the power of your unconscious mind in the correct manner.
From what we know about this mysterious part of the brain we can deduce that interpretation of the raw data does not occur in the unconscious mind. It simply takes the information and files it away into little blocks. The way this information is organized controls your everyday response mechanisms to all kinds of stimuli. The more often the same information is received and stored the more indelibly printed it becomes in your unconscious. This is how habits are formed.
This unconscious habit forming is an essential part of being human. It is what allows you to do everyday things automatically like getting dressed, making the breakfast, riding a bike .... and so on. If the unconscious mind was not storing this data you would have to re-learn how to do all these things every day. This could get slightly tedious! However, just like the yin and yang there's always positive and negative. The negative effects of this habit forming include overeating and weight gain.
During your early years and as you were growing up your unconscious mind may have been programmed with bad eating habits. You may have found that polishing off a big cream cake made you feel better when you were upset. Again this is how the bad habits form. When you finally decide to do something about it later in life, you find that your habits are so ingrained it feels almost impossible to reverse the problem.
Luckily, there is a very simple mechanism which you can use to re-program yourself. You may think this is completely crazy but the secret is to talk to yourself. More often than not, you will want to ask yourself a question and this in turn prompts your unconscious mind to produce an answer. This answer almost always creates a mental image for you. Some call this a visualization.
This visualization controls how your emotional response manifests itself. This is interpreted by others as a behavioural trait. It forms part of your personality. If you have ever listened to the way an overweight person talks to themselves you'll find that commonly there is some very negative self talk going on. The person will ask themselves questions like : Why am I so big? Why did I get so big? Why does my diet not work?
This negative self questioning of course has the effect of prompting your unconscious mind to give you negative answers. "You are big because you eat too much" or "You feel that the pressure of life is getting you down". We invariably find the unconscious mind will produce negative answers like this if you ask it negative questions. For each of these negative scenarios your unconscious mind would have created a visualization and this reinforces your self doubt.
Here's the interesting part. Your unconscious mind sends these negative visualizations into your waking consciousness. It tells you that this is how you look and this is how you will look. It will try and solidify this visualization and make it real. Oftentimes that's exactly what happens. All the power of your waking mind is directed at reinforcing these negative images. This is why you are overweight.
It is highly likely that your unconscious mind never rests. It is always processing information and always tries to find answers to questions. A great example is when you're trying to remember the name of something and you cannot for the life of you remember what it is. You will almost always find that a few hours later or maybe a couple of days later the name miraculously pops into your head. This is the result of your unconscious mind continuously working away trying to find the answer to the question which you asked it all that time ago. It finally found the answer and sent it instantly into your waking consciousness.
Amazingly, it seems that if your unconscious mind cannot immediately find an answer to your problem it will take a look at the information it already has stored and formulate its own answer for you. This is a very powerful thing. This is why it's so important for you to ask yourself positive questions. Your unconscious mind will formulate a positive answer for you which in turn creates positive visualizations. You can see where I'm going with this.
The positive mental picture manifests itself in your conscious reality and you begin to reverse your bad habits. Simply, all you have to do is identify when you're asking yourself negative questions. Then just think of the reverse. Invert this negativity and turn the question into a positive one. You'll be shocked at the awesome power of this technique.
There is not enough room in this article to go into the intricacies of positive self talk. A great book to read is "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself" by Shad Helmstetter. Just do a search on Amazon and you'll find it. Read Shad's book and you'll learn how to apply a positive self talk regime in your own goal of losing weight.
This article was posted on October 28, 2005
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