How to become aware of our unconscious thoughts?

There is a common myth that we only use a small percentage of our brain. What is actually true (according to science) is that we are using 90-100% of our brains at any given moment. So, the most important question to ask is – What are we using all that neural activity for? Are these thoughts supporting the life we want to have?

When we are living unconsciously, we are using only a small percentage of what our minds are capable of, not because our brains are underused, but because they are filled with useless or redundant information like negative beliefs that are counter to the actual experiences we want to have in our lives. It is like filling a beautiful Ferrari up with garbage instead of keeping it clean. It makes it very difficult to do what it is designed to do, which is to take us on enjoyable and exciting trips!

So, how does our mind get filled up with this garbage?

There is a principle in neuroscience called Hebb’s law, which says neurons that fire together, wire together. In other words, the more we think about something, the more hardwired our brain becomes, which supports more of the same type of thinking. If we fill our minds up with garbage, there is less room for the knowledge we need to give us wonderful, creative and exciting life adventures!

The mind is capable of way more than we realize but only if we consciously “program” it with information that will support the experiences that we want to have.

How do we become conscious of our unconscious mind?

Think about this example. Which way do you open a door? Your body knows how to do it, right? But you have to actually do it, and watch yourself do it, to become conscious of how you do it. Your mind doesn’t know, but your body does. We don’t know what we are doing or why we are doing it most of the time. In fact, 95% of people’s habits, behaviors, automatic emotional reactions, attitudes, and beliefs are unconscious. So, what does it take for a person to become conscious of their unconscious thoughts, behaviors, and emotions? Well, typically it’s crisis, trauma, loss, accidents or a life-threatening disease. Then and only then do we stop and take stock of where we are and what we are doing in our lives. But why should it take a crisis to wake up and reevaluate what is important to us?

Fortunately, there is a better way. We can change in times of pain and suffering or we can change in times of joy and excitement. The choice is ours, to become conscious of what we are thinking about and start thinking differently. We need to stop thinking the thoughts that are counter-productive to our happiness. These thoughts are easily discovered by observing our negative reactions to unpleasant circumstances in our lives. What are the circumstances and people you react to negatively? Because therein lies the key to your unconscious programming. This is the garbage that needs to be thrown out. The good news is that Hebb’s law also states that neurons that no longer fire together, no longer wire together. So, if you consciously stop thinking negative thoughts and replace them with positive life affirming thoughts, the garbage in your brain can be replaced with life affirming thoughts of beauty, creativity, love, and adventure!

If you don’t want to experience something negative, then stop reacting to unpleasant circumstances. Just have a different thought. Instead of reacting, ask yourself, what can I learn from this experience to make my life better? Instead of watching the nightly news, you can read a book or go for a walk in nature. These conscious choices are new thoughts, which lead to new actions and behaviors in your life, which create new experiences. The end result of every experience is a feeling or an emotion. If you are reading a book with exciting new information or your nature walk creates feelings of joy and adventure then these emotions will then generate more thoughts to promote those same feelings. This is how your life becomes an exciting creative adventure!

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