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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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

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Teresa Griffith

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

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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