With the amount of stress we experience on a daily basis, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and negative. Here’s how to overcome negative beliefs and create lasting positive change.
1. Change Your Subconscious Programs
This is likely my favourite topic as it is so profound and important in your life yet so many people don’t fully understand it. Let’s take a step back and review why subconscious programming is relevant to life and health. In the first seven years of your life, you are in what is called a theta or hypnotic state. You are being influenced by your friends, family, school teachers, neighbours, classmates, etc. Their behaviours, personalities, mannerisms, actions and words are being embedded into your subconscious mind. These formative years of your life are effectively forming a program about people, the environment and life that you will go on to reference when you become older. Everything you learn in those seven years is being unconsciously stored and categorized. I will use the analogy of a computer. Think of your subconscious mind as software with all the programs, applications and intelligence. Now think of your body as the computer hardware, which is the physical infrastructure. The hardware is more or less a shell that is only really valuable by the software/programs that are played in it.
It is very important to understand the difference between the subconscious and conscious mind. They are both very different and independent of one another but there is some common ground in specific situations that you encounter. Most people believe that they are interchangeable and that one influences the other. The conscious mind in physical terms is the neural tissue right behind your forehead called the pre-frontal cortex. The conscious mind represents who you are as an individual and entity. The conscious mind is the creative mind and it contains your wishes, desires, aspirations and every hope and dream you want to pursue. It is the mind that says, I am going to go out today and find my dream job. It gets your mind all excited and ready to enter the workforce in hopes of finding your desired role. It really creates and describes what you want to do and achieve. A great benefit of the conscious mind is that it can learn in many different ways such as watching a presentation, reading a book, listening to podcasts, going to conventional schools, or coming up with your own creative ideas from brainstorming. The real differentiator is that the conscious mind is creative by nature whereas the subconscious mind is more habitual and relies on the habits you have developed. Try and think of the conscious mind as being used when someone asks you what you are doing for the weekend. You will invariably pause, think about it and then respond. You are using the creative side. Now think of the subconscious mind as the mind that is used when you are driving the car. You are sitting in the car talking to your friend, listening to the radio, daydreaming, etc. yet you still get to your destination somehow. Your subconscious mind is driving your car. It is like you are on autopilot. Your subconscious mind also helps your heartbeat and assists with various other physiological functions.
As described, the subconscious mind learns from the programs or information embedded in the first seven years of your life or by changing your state of mind when you’re older through theta state programming. The subconscious mind captures everything like snapshots of movies and images and the conscious mind is not really alert or aware during your early years. So the first way the subconscious is programmed is from ages 0-7 but also through habit and building new paradigms when you are older. When there is a stimulus that enters your mind, your conscious mind will absorb it and then your subconscious mind will decide if this new information matches what is stored in your programs. Is there a connection and does it correlate with what you have learned in the past? Another major difference is the conscious mind changes easily and frequently depending on the stimulus you see and think about during the day, while the subconscious mind is more hardwired into your brain. As mentioned, the subconscious controls your walking, heart rate, and various physiological functions so you don’t want to be changing that. Why would you want to relearn how to ride a bike, walk down the street or relearn how to drive to work every single day? That is why once you learn how to ride a bike at the age of five or six, you never have to learn it again as it is built into your subconscious programs. Here is how you can reprogram your subconscious mind later in life if you don’t like the person you have become or want to overcome an addiction.
Hypnotic behavior happens in “Theta” state. Humans are in this state primarily in the final two hours before you go to bed. You are also in this state 30 minutes after waking up. One final time is just after meditation. These are the best times to do the following, but these can be used throughout the day as well:
a) Use affirmations like these:
I am a genius and use my mind, talents, gifts and abilities to produce value.
I am living a life of divine purpose and destiny.
I am emotionally, mentally and psychologically sound.
I am focused and driven to create the life I want and deserve.
b) Focus on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.
c) Meditation. This stills the mind and your brain becomes more receptive and a fertile ground for whatever you want to implant.
d) Positive Self-Talk. We spend more time talking to ourselves than any other person. Our self-talk dictates our mood, behaviour and decisions. Your subconscious mind believes whatever you tell it. It cannot differentiate between what is real or fake.
e) Be specific about what you want to change. For example, if you want to be free of addiction and have abundance into your life, then do not say, I don’t want this addiction or problem. It does no good to say do not, don’t, can’t, or won’t because the subconscious can’t decipher negative connotations. It will interpret your words as I want this addiction and I want to be broke. It is important to consider the difference and how your words and perspective should be cultivated.
f) Find successful people and emulate what you like about them. Mentors are valuable in your development and when you practice their methods you can move forward more productively. This will save you time and effort because they have spent years and decades working through similar problems.
g) Be humble and open to new ideas that generate a positive response. People gravitate towards humble and caring people. It also shows self-confidence.
2. Develop A Great Morning Routine
As we mentioned earlier, the morning is a great time as the sun is shining and you are still in theta state. You mind is open and ready to receive what you provide it. Here is a brief review of my routine and then some tips to help you with your day. My morning routine actually starts the night before as this is where I prepare my mind for the night and the forthcoming morning. I spend the last 45 minutes before bed in a warm, epsom salt (magnesium based) bath with theta state music as this is where you can change your subconscious programs to what you desire while also preparing your brain for sleep. Once you step out of the bath, your body temperature drops and this increases the production of melatonin, which is your sleep hormone. It is the perfect ending to a long day.
I typically wake up between 5 and 5:30 a.m and read motivational quotes or scripture from the various books I have by my bedside or bathroom as I prepare for the day. Expressing gratitude and love is imperative to put your mind in the proper state. You have to be thankful for what you have and what is about to come. This will last for about 15 – 20 minutes and then I get ready for an extensive day as an entrepreneur. This will take about 20 minutes as well at which time I have breakfast. Being a functional medicine practitioner, I am aware of how important breakfast and the quality of food you consume is. I will have a banana and apple with almond butter on them followed with a custom blend tea that has lemon drops and coconut paste in it. The MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil in coconut paste is excellent for your brain and hormones. I will then consume some protein in the form of eggs (as I am not sensitive to them) or chicken. As the great quote goes; “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Taking the time to build in proper routines will create repetition and then positive patterns that form the basis of your programs.
Here are a couple of valuable tips to make your morning more productive and build the systems so you can achieve what you desire:
- Stimulating the nervous system by having a cold shower or going for a dip in a cold pool for one minute. When the body’s external temperature drops drastically and suddenly in this way, inflammation decreases and the brain experiences a rush of endorphins. You can change your system by creating a rapid change in temperature.
- Gratitude and deep breathing. When you slow down and take 10 minutes for yourself, you can tune in and listen for that quiet voice that tells you what your purpose is and how you should be setting up your day. When you are grateful, you can’t be angry. They are polar opposites and you can’t be both at the same time. This time will allow the proper energy to flow into your body and this is a time when you can align your heart’s rhythm with your brain waves. Having them in sync creates harmony within your body and allows you to align with your wishes and desires.
3. Leverage momentum and celebrate the victories
What keeps people moving towards their goals and dreams is to break their day down into 15, 30 or 60 minute increments. I work a great deal with depression and anxiety patients and I tell them to only focus on the next 15 minutes, get through that and then focus on the next 15 minutes. If you look at the day as one monumental task, you will never get through it or even start. I call this “chunking” as you are simply setting a plan and then getting through the required blocks. Once you accomplish a small task, you start to feel good and then you have momentum on your side. Momentum is a powerful thing in both directions. It can help you achieve some incredible feats that you thought were impossible.
The second point is that most of us don’t take time to celebrate our victories. We are so busy running through life that we barely stop and enjoy our family or success. Celebrating your victories makes you feel good and allows you to reflect on what you did well and how you can replicate that again. It also allows you to recharge and energize the body for the next project you wish to pursue. When you do this, you start building patterns and pathways into your physiology which will then become embedded into your subconscious programs. Once you have built positive, emotionally driven programs, you will naturally want to resort back to that feeling time and time again. It is a wonderful place to be. To actual make lasting change, you must feel it deep down on the inside of you.
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Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com