Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 6, 2020

How to Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind for Effective Problem Solving

How to Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind for Effective Problem Solving

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.

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,

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.

Advertising

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.

Try playing some pattern-finding brain games.

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

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.

Advertising

Keep a simple audio recorder

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.

Write down whatever comes to mind

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.

Featured photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider via unsplash.com

More by this author

Teresa Griffith

Teresa is a passionate writer who shares about productivity tips on Lifehack.

How to Tap Into Your Subconscious Mind for Effective Problem Solving Top 20 Time Wasters and the Top 5 Worthwhile Activities How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow Ultimate Hacks For The Best Christmas Ever 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Making Decisions

Trending in Communication

1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

Advertising

1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

Advertising

If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

Advertising

6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

Advertising

In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

Read Next