The way your mind works is something that not even you can fully understand. You may think that you are always conscious and well aware of what is going on around you and inside your head. However, the mind is not just about what you consciously know. In fact, a lot of it has to do with what is in your subconscious, and most importantly, unconscious mind. In this article, you will learn some of the strange and unexpected things about what’s inside your mind.
The Conscious is Controlled – The Unconscious Controls
The conscious mind is not as exciting as the unconscious since you basically know exactly what it is thinking. The unconscious, however, likes to sneak up on you every now and then, controlling what you do or think without always being aware of the reason. Your conscious mind analyzes different situations and processes new data only when the unconscious decided to get it involved. In this way, the unconscious mind literally filters what does and does not need to be processed by the brain.
Additionally, the unconscious mind processes data from all five senses. It manages all this data by organizing and prioritizing it into what should stay and what should be deleted. By and large, you can think of the unconscious as the mind’s computer.
Dreams are a Reflection of Your Unconscious Thoughts
Sometimes, people find that they wake up after having the strangest dreams. They may even claim to forget the dream after a while due to its random and unexpected nature. However, dreams are a reflection of thoughts that have been unconsciously stored away somewhere in your memory. These thoughts might seem strange since you may not consciously think about them, but they do reside somewhere in your minds. Even the people we see in dreams are never complete strangers even though we might feel that way. They are are mostly recognizable people, or they may resemble someone that we recognize.
Furthermore, the objects or symbols in our dreams are mostly not literal. Instead, they may be metaphors telling us about our unconscious feelings towards something. For instance, a snake dream does not mean that there is necessarily an actual snake in your conscious life that you need to kill. It may symbolize a huge problem or fear that you might be experiencing. It finds a way to slither into your dreams through your unconscious mind.
New Emotions and Experiences Can Change Your Brain
It is true that learning new things can change your brain. The hippocampus, or the memory campus of your brain changes due to additional information. According to neurologist Oliver Sacks, our existing neuron connections become stronger upon learning or practicing a skill. This is because the neurons connect to other neurons over time and continue to grow the more we learn.
Moreover, your thoughts can also change the way your brain perceives things. Your brain is rewired with the creation of new thought patterns. Therefore, new thinking habits will help strengthen neuron connections. This is why thinking positively can have a profound impact on our minds in a healthy way.
Positive Thinking Helps Calm the Mind
As we learned earlier, positive thinking can make a tremendous impact on the mind. Strangely enough, the brain is wired with a thing called “negativity bias”. This term refers to a tendency of feeling more strongly towards negative emotions or incidents than positive. It is advantageous in many ways since it helps us learn from our mistakes, but it can also make us more stressed out and afraid. Therefore, focusing on the positive things allows more neural structures to form in the brain.
Incidentally, the mind can train the brain to become more positive by thinking about the good aspects of life. Similarly, by using specific words to describe emotions, you can help the brain relax. According to a recent research, labeling your feelings can help your brain move from the amygdala to the prefrontal cortex. In other words, by being aware of your feelings, you have more control over them and are able to do something about them.
The Unconscious Mind Processes in Images
The visual is stronger than text when it comes to memory. Dreams, memories and incidents are mostly remembered in image form, rather than text or paragraph form. That is the reason why children’s books often have pictures in them so that they may be able to remember the text by associating it to a certain image. It is also said that doodling is a good way of retaining information since you unconsciously associate symbols to words.
In conclusion, there is no straight-forward answer to what the mind really is or how it is created. The mind itself can have a mind of its own. However, you can surely control it, and it can certainly change your brain. Therefore, be mindful of your thoughts and actions. You may be able to change them at will.