Hypnosis is … ” a communication and re-education process which allows the conscious mind and the subconscious mind to believe the same message. ” -International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (I.M.D.H.A).
We have two parts to our mind, the conscious mind, and the subconscious mind.
The conscious part of our mind makes up 5-10% of our potential mind power. It is logical, rational, and where “willpower” is located. Due to the fact that when we employ our willpower we are only using a small percentage of our potential mind power, our subconscious mind takes over and we go into “auto pilot” and we fall back into unwanted behaviors and patterns.
Our subconscious is our “auto pilot” and makes up 90-95% of our potential mind power. Until the age of 2 or 3 there is no development of the conscious mind. The conscious mind does not fully develop until the age of 8 or 9. We can then censor information because a filter is now in place called the critical factor. Before our conscious mind and filter are fully formed, virtually everything that someone experiences or learns is accepted into the subconscious mind as fact. For example, when you were a year old, if you were taught that a circle was a triangle, you would believe this as if no one had told you otherwise. The subconscious mind just accepts information without questioning it and stores this information in your long term memory. However if I was to now tell you that a circle was a triangle you can feel yourself arguing it in your mind. This is a sign that the filter is in place and the message is not getting through.
It doesn’t matter if the information is untrue or damaging in some way because the subconscious is illogical and therefore does not censor harmful information or recognize the past, present, or future, and responds to outdated beliefs, experiences or events as though they are still current which affects our behavior. Our subconscious is where the long term memory is stored and where our belief systems and values stem from.
In regards to our filter (which is our censor) like any filter, it has holes, and at various times in our lives messages slip through without censoring and can be stored in the subconscious mind. As adults, our filter is open when we are emotional or overwhelmed, or the presence of a perceived authority figure. A good example of this is the placebo effect. Our society has been typically taught to respect what a doctor says, so when we see our doctor the filter can be open. The doctor gives you a sugar pill and tells you that you will feel better in a day or two, and low and behold, people start to feel better in couple of days. The pill had no effect , but a belief was accepted at a time when the filter was open and created a change.
So, what does it all mean?
The Inner Conflict-
The point is that there are many messages, beliefs and experiences stored in our subconscious mind, and whatever is stored there affects how we feel and act. Issues evolve when the conscious mind wants or believes one thing but the subconscious mind wants or believes something else. If the conscious mind and subconscious mind are in conflict, the subconscious always wins. It is simply larger and stronger. It doesn’t matter how illogical the behavior may be, we will continue to engage in it because the subconscious feels it is serving a purpose of some kind.
For example someone who smokes cigarettes knows logically that smoking is harmful and wants to quit, however there are messages stored in the subconscious that smoking is cool, or it helps manage stress, or that quitting is too hard. These messages override the logical desire to stop smoking.