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How to Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind for Solutions to Your Problems

How to Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind for Solutions to Your Problems


    The subconscious mind is a mysterious thing. In fact, there is still much that scientists don’t understand about how our mind/brain works. I know from experience there is a way to tap into your subconscious mind, or intuition, and let it help you solve any problem.

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    Perhaps I should say at this point: I am not a neurologist. However, I have researched how our brains work, read books and articles on the subject, and have done several experiments on myself. Guinea pig, yes. Expert, no. Let me share what I’ve learned.

    Although our brains are the linchpin, it isn’t the only part of our nervous system. We have nerves emanating from the brain and spine to every other part of our body. There are also clusters of neurons — like mini-brains — in our heart and gut; they each have their own intrinsic nervous system which communicates extensively with the brain. Our intuition (or subconscious mind) is somehow linked to all this; it is the penultimate intelligence in our body. Keeping all this in mind,

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    Key 1: Gripping on tighter to the NEED for a solution does not help the solution to come.

    In fact, the harder you try, the longer the solution seems to take to come to mind. You have to find a way to let go of your search for the solution and the obsessing over the lack of one. There are several ways you can do this.

    • Distract yourself. After spending some time analyzing the situation, making lists of pros and cons, talking to others and any other typical decision-making activities, take some time out and do something to distract yourself and prevent yourself from obsessing. I find going for a walk (or run) or doing a hobby is just enough physical activity to keep my brain working yet provide enough distraction so I can unplug from the problem. Watching TV is not a good solution as it saturates your nervous system and doesn’t let it rest.
    • The answer is there. Our brains are excellent at seeing patterns. These can be in our physical environment or in our inner life. Tap into this ability by reminding yourself that your brain will see the answer, it is only a matter of time. There is always a solution. You do not need to find the solution, you just need to let it come. Try playing some pattern-finding brain games.
    • Release the stress over timelines. If you need that answer right now, with a deadline looming and making you anxious, your subconscious probably won’t be able to get through. You must find a way to decompress that tension. I used to stress quite a bit over being on time, until I realized that life is not about time as much as it is about timing. I use the mantra “everything will happen with perfect timing” and recall times when it was true. For example, one time I was running late for a meeting, but so was the other person and we both arrived at the exact same time — it was perfect and all my stressing out was unnecessary. Timing is always more important than the clock. Your perfect solution will come to you at the perfect time.

    Key 2: Relax and get into the vibe of appreciation.

    As we’ve already discussed, the more stressed you are, the less likely you are to hear from your subconscious or intuition. Our nervous systems work better when we are happy and relaxed — we remember things better, we process information better, we make better decisions and we even listen better. The best way to get happy and relaxed is to focus on appreciation.

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    Have you heard of Heart Math? The Heart Math researchers have shown that our heart’s rhythm and electrical signals change vastly with our emotions, and the most harmonious, perfect signals come when we focus on uplifting thoughts such as love, joy and appreciation. Appreciation is a very distinct “vibe” of happy, glowing gratitude, and our heart and nervous system operate most smoothly and efficiently when we are in this state. You can also improve your brain-body-state by meditating, which also helps clear away the clutter of the conscious mind.

    Key 3: Be ready for the solution to come.

    Once you have taken these steps, be ready to record what your solution or inspiration is.

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    • Get a note pad. I often keep a note pad and pen beside the bed and have noticed that my best ideas and most-inspired solutions have come to me within the first few minutes of wakefulness — often before I am fully conscious. I have to write them down immediately, because even though I tell myself “this is such an awesome idea, I couldn’t possibly forget this,” I do. Trust me on this.
    • Keep a simple audio recorder (or app on your smartphone) at-the-ready to capture inspiration you receive while driving. I have written a few blog posts this way, by talking out the ideas. Just be sure whatever app or device you use is not going to make you a distracted driver — it should have one-button operation.
    • If your solution comes while you are near your computer, be ready to close or hide all the other apps running and open a simple text editor. Take a deep breath and start typing. In fact, you can even sit at your computer for a predetermined time each day (a time block) and plan to just type whatever comes to mind. After a few minutes, your subconscious will start to break through, especially if you don’t limit your ideas. What if you look at this problem completely inside out? How about tackling it from the end-point, instead of starting where you are? What outside-the-box answers come to mind? What might happen if you did the exact thing you are afraid of doing? What completely unexpected thing could end up being the cipher to your coded message? Are you looking for a solution that makes you feel a certain way? If so, what else might give you the feeling you are looking for? Is there an obvious solution you are avoiding?

    The solution will come in its own right timing. Don’t stress if it isn’t immediate. Keep using the principles above and don’t be surprised when your subconscious starts getting through.

    (Photo credit: Brains via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

    In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

    Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

    Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

    Conflicts are literally everywhere.

    Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

    Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

    Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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    Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

    Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

    Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

    The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

    Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

    Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

    How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

    Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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    Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

    Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

    How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

    Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

    Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

    Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

    How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

    Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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    Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

    Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

    How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

    Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

    Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

    Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

    How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

    Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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    Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

    Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

    How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

    Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

    Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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