Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health Part 7
The last blog in our Transforming Your Habits to Transform Your Health series could have been a little confusing, but I hope you begin to really examine why you do what you do. Especially when it comes to the behaviors that are taking your health from you.
I want to briefly cover the conscious and the subconscious. Technically speaking, they’re not two different systems. They’re just levels of consciousness and processing within the brain. It’s helpful in a general way to use these two terms.
Your conscious thinking is your critical mind. It analyzes things, makes decisions, and judges things. Your subconscious mind is your feeling and intuitive mind. It’s very powerful. Ultimately, your subconscious mind drives your behaviors.
What is the Job of the Subconscious?
The job of your subconscious mind is to align the reality you experience with your beliefs. What I mean by that is, if your subconscious mind believes you desire to binge eat sugar more than you desire to be healthy, then sooner or later you will give in to binge eating sugar. It’s far more complex than I’m telling you now, but for the purpose of this blog, this is true. If you want to get into the details, you can watch our video series on mindset, willpower, and desire, which teaches how this is based on neuroscience.
For now, you just need to understand that ultimately your subconscious mind will be determining what you do. It is more powerful than your conscious thinking mind. Your conscious thinking mind informs it, but the subconscious mind drives your behaviors. Your behaviors, what you do, are based on emotions and feelings, not just what you think.
How Can I Help my Subconscious?
That’s why in the visualization exercise we covered in week 3, “How to Visualize Your Best Health in Five Minutes of Less”, I wanted you to cultivate strong, positive emotions associated with the healthiest version of you. Because the more you feel who you’re becoming, the more your subconscious will connect to and accept that that is the version of you that you want to be. It will begin to automate the habits to take you on this new path.
When you use language such as, “I have to,” or, “I ought to,” it’s already telling your subconscious mind that you don’t really want to do whatever it is. You can use strong willpower to take you a certain distance with that type of thinking. You can use strong willpower to say, “I guess I have to get my taxes done,” and you’ll get it done. But you’ll do it groaning about the fact that you have to do your taxes.
However, when it comes to behaviors such as the use of drugs and alcohol, being addicted to forms of entertainment, eating certain foods—essentially behaviors that have strong reward system elements in your mind—you really won’t be able to use the language of “have to” or “ought to” to be successful. It actually has to be your true heart’s desire.
We Must Convince the Subconscious.
As you can see, you have to genuinely want it for yourself, and your subconscious has to believe this. So we’re going to work on imprinting into our subconscious a strong emotional attachment to being our healthiest self. Until our mind believes that’s what we want more than any other thing, we will continue to give in to the habits that make us feel good in the moment. But these short-term artificially generated pleasures never last. There’s a reason for that, and we’re going to get into it in a later post.
For now, it’s important to understand that those beliefs reside in your subconscious, although you’re able to consciously provide yourself an interpretation or meaning about that belief. Your conscious mind can examine it and judge it as serving you or not. Your subconscious mind cannot do that work, so we have to use both.
When we do our journaling and we’re writing down our desires, we’re using our conscious mind. When we’re examining our beliefs and determining do they serve us or not, we’re using our conscious mind. In the end, we want to re-imprint to our subconscious mind the beliefs that will take us where we want to go.
I know this is complex, but it’s so important. Recognize that feelings and emotions are stronger than just how you think about things. You have to work with your feelings and emotions, and begin to direct them to where you want to go. Shame, guilt, and blame will not help you. They’ll actually make you more susceptible to the same habits that have made you sick in the first place. You have to discard that. Whatever came before, came before.
You Will be Rewarded.
But you’re starting fresh, and you have a true desire to be your healthiest self. You should congratulate yourself for that. You should pat yourself on the back that you’re willing to take this hero’s journey for the quest for your best health in our time. Feel good about that.
Keep journaling. Continue understanding yourself. Work on imprinting your deep desire for your best health. We will get your subconscious to accept this new system of belief and desire. It will give you power over your choices. It takes time because we’re creating new networks of brain cells that will override the old ones that weren’t serving you. This will take time and intentionality but stick with it. You’ll never regret it.
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