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How to Tap Into the Potential of Your Mind

Aug 17, 2007
Great achievers have one thing in common - they tap into the potential of the mind. There is much truth to the old adage, "you can if you think you can." You may have heard it said that we only use about ten percent of our brain power. This statement has been proved untrue, but still finds its way into claims for psychics and hypnotists. The fact is, we use 100 percent of the brain for various functions. Still, by learning to think more effectively, we can change stubborn habits and attain dreams.

There is, therefore, in a sense an untapped resource in our minds. Many students of the mind believe that our minds are made up of a conscious part and a subconscious part. In the conscious part, changing negative thought patterns into positive ones has brought happiness and success to many. To tap into the potential of the subconscious part requires techniques like self-hypnosis and meditation.

Of course, a certain amount of controversy surrounds techniques like self-hypnosis. Here is a nutshell explanation of the theory - you make up your own mind if you think it might be something you'd like to try. The idea is that the subconscious mind tends to sometimes have faulty notions that cause us to repeat the same mistakes in our lives. If you can reprogram this unseen area, it can become your ally instead of a liability. Here is a specific example of how it is thought to work.

Imagine that you were a child with a hearty appetite and were a bit pudgy by the age of 8 or 10. As you go about town with your parents, you occasionally see a person with a severe weight problem. One of your parents, just in fun, says "Keep eating!" This happens repeatedly during your youth. By the time you are an adult, there is a voice programmed in your subconscious telling you to keep eating because you are destined to be fat.

Of course, this is not a "done deal" at all! Your metabolism is as good as anyone's. But that nagging voice that you don't consciously hear most of the time has the idea that you will eat and you will be overweight. Self-hypnosis techniques are used to reach into those inner thought processes and reprogram them.

Self-hypnosis and meditation techniques are often similar. A classic method of entering a self-induced state of hypnosis begins with progressive relaxation. (By the way, learning to relax is a valuable skill in itself, and can be helpful when facing stressful situations.)

The person begins by lying flat on their back quietly, or perhaps sitting in a comfortable chair or on the floor in a tailor position. They then begin to imagine each part of the body, beginning with the toes. They tell the muscles of the body part to relax, and visualize each part becoming limp. This process moves up through the muscles of the legs, into the hips and abdomen, up through the back, chest, and arms. Finally the neck and face are relaxed.

When fully relaxed, the person either listens to a taped message or speaks it to themselves. This message tells them to imagine themselves walking down a stairway slowly, possibly counting the steps backwards. They tell themselves that when they reach the bottom step, or number 0, they will be in a deeply relaxed state of hypnosis.

In this state, it is thought that the mind is alert to suggestions. The taped message, or the person themselves, begins to repeat affirmations that they wish to internalize. In our example, the message might be, "I will only eat as much as I need to satisfy my hunger. I can lose weight." Some people have overcome bad habits by tapping into their subconscious mind power. It might be something you'd like to try.
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