Do you know that voice in your head that tells you to eat that extra piece of cake or skip your workout?
That’s your subconscious mind talking, and it can play a powerful role in our unhealthy behaviors. But don’t worry, we can use conscious decisions to create new patterns of good health decisions.
Once we understand how our subconscious minds work, we can start making healthy choices that become automatic good habits. We can retrain our brains to think and act healthier – without even thinking about it!
Let’s dig in!
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Health Pain Points are Created by the Power of Your Subconscious Mind
Did you know that the subconscious mind is responsible for driving our habits?
This can be both good and bad, as our subconscious mind can be a powerful tool for creating healthy habits or reinforcing unhealthy ones.
We all have health pain points that we’re conscious of. Maybe it’s an aching back or some extra weight around the middle. Whatever it is, we’re usually aware of it when we’re experiencing discomfort.
But what about the health pain points that we’re not consciously aware of? The ones that are driven by our subconscious mind?
These health pain points can be magnified by bad habits that we’re not even aware of. For example, if you have a backache, you might unconsciously start to slouch to relieve the pain. But this only makes the problem worse and can lead to other health issues down the road.
I often tell friends of mine that in 2018 I felt like I was going to die! Now that’s a pain point.
You see my life has had many moments of health challenges and I was able to persevere through them, but the biggest challenge was finding out I was diabetic at the age of 34. Thoughts of shock, fear, and just knowing my life won’t be the same swirled around in my head.
Questions entered like:
- What does this mean?
- What can I do, what can I eat?
- Am I going to die?
Even though I have been in the wellness and medical industries for over 30 years, being met with a personal health challenge shifts even my perspective. Being forced to pivot is a pain point that drives new behaviors like it or not.
Fast forward 10 years… I learned what I was supposed to learn about Diabetes management that was promoted by the American Diabetes Association and doctors, but it didn’t work.
Confusion about managing insulin dosages around carbohydrates, and eating frequent meals was not yielding the results. Feeling frustrated and not yielding a controlled state of glucose levels allowed bad habits to slip back into daily diet choices because it seemed nothing worked.
My health started to deteriorate because I was subconsciously giving up, my daily habits and glucose levels were out of control. It wasn’t until the ultimate pain point of feeling like I was going to die that change happened.
Why would anyone wait this long to fix a problem? Why not be more proactive for better health?
What is the subconscious mind and how does it work?
The subconscious mind is the part of our brain that controls our automatic behaviors and decisions – like driving a car or tying our shoes. It’s responsible for all of the things we do without thinking about them.
The subconscious mind is also where our beliefs and values are stored. This includes the belief that we “should” eat dessert or that we “shouldn’t” exercise because it’s too hard.
These subconscious beliefs can have a strong influence on our health choices, even if we don’t realize them. Many of us are not aware of the role our subconscious mind plays in our decision-making.
We may think we are making a conscious decision to eat dessert or skip our workout, but often these choices are driven by subconscious beliefs.
To make lasting changes in our health, we need to become aware of the subconscious thoughts and beliefs that are driving our behaviors. Once we are aware of them, we can start to change them.
Give time to the conscious mind
Our conscious minds only operate at about 5% capacity. The other 95 percent is subconscious. Since the conscious mind is the creative brain, we want to increase the amount of time we spend in this state. Creating time for self-awareness is the first step in gaining control of the subconscious.
If we don’t have awareness of our thoughts and behaviors, we can’t change them. Daily mindfulness practice is a great way to increase self-awareness. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath.
As you become more aware of your thoughts, you’ll start to notice the subconscious beliefs that are driving your decisions. Once you are aware of these beliefs, you can start to change them.
Once I realized that I was self-destructively killing myself through my everyday habits, I set aside time to deliberately find a new path to health.
It took me to Ketovore and intermittent fasting because I intentionally spent time seeking and researching knowledge of better glucose control that was different from what I thought existed and “knew” wasn’t working.
“Knowing the how and why of diet keeps you on track, and the discipline of that knowledge makes control easy”Dr. Richard Bernstein
Excepting “NOT knowing” left me room to explore the unknown. Seeing quick results in November of 2018 was not only exciting because it was working, reinforcing the new behaviors, and subconsciously creating new healthy habits that would change my life.
Changing subconscious beliefs
The subconscious mind is eerily similar to a computer in that it runs on autopilot according to the programs (i.e., beliefs, values, emotions, and past events) we feed it. Because the subconscious is so powerful, changing our long-standing perspectives can be difficult–but not impossible.
Growing up in an Italian family, some of my most cherished childhood memories are of times spent with my family gathered around the table, sharing food and laughs, subconsciously creating good memories. So if one is feeling sad, stressed, or frustrated, one could seek comfort in “feel-good” food.
As we get older, these memories and associations can become so strong that they influence our conscious decisions. For example, if we have a bad day at work, we may subconsciously seek comfort in food because it reminds us of happy times in our childhood, or we drink that bottle of wine to dull the pain. This can lead to bad habits and weight gain.
However, if we are conscious of these associations, we can make different choices that will lead to better health and well-being.
By repeatedly reinforcing desired thought patterns through consistent action, just as we create new habits, we reprogram the subconscious accordingly.
Because the subconscious mind is so powerful, it can be hard to change our health behaviors if the subconscious mind is not on board.
How can you use your subconscious mind to improve your health and well-being?
Here are three tips:
Pay attention to your subconscious thoughts and beliefs about health. Are they positive or negative? Do they support your health goals or do they sabotage them?
If you notice any negative subconscious thoughts or beliefs, challenge them. Ask yourself if they are true. For example, if you believe that you “should” eat dessert, ask yourself why. Is it true that you need to eat dessert? Or is it just a habit that you’ve been taught? Are these your beliefs or someone else’s?
Present new realities to yourself by imagining yourself achieving your health goals. Picture yourself being at your ideal weight, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. The more vividly you can imagine it, the more likely it is to become your reality.
A subconscious mind is a powerful tool that we can use to improve our health and well-being. By paying attention to our conscious thoughts to reprogram our subconscious thoughts and beliefs, we can challenge the negative ones and replace them with positive ones, freeing ourselves from self-sabotage and creating a more positive outlook on life.
Mental Health leads to Physical Health
Mental health has been a huge issue since the pandemic started. It’s more important than ever to find ways to take care of our mental health because it directly impacts our physical health.
There are a lot of things that we can do to improve our mental health, but one thing that is often overlooked is the role that our subconscious mind plays in our overall well-being.
It’s easy to forget that we have the power to change our subconscious thoughts and beliefs. But when we do, it can be incredibly empowering.
As stated our conscious mind is the rational creative thinker while our subconscious mind houses all of our beliefs, values, and habits.
Our conscious mind is like the captain of a ship while the subconscious mind is like the ship itself. If the ship is headed in the wrong direction, the captain can try to turn it around but eventually, the ship will reach its destination. To change our course, we need to address the subconscious mind.
Pain is one of the biggest motivators for change. The pain of not taking action is often greater than the pain of taking action. It’s time to be driven and inspired by the exhilaration of taking action to effect change.
It starts with not accepting the pain that drives our bad habits. Be conscious of your thoughts and take action before it’s too late.
If you’re struggling to make changes in your health, it may be time to explore the role your subconscious mind is playing, and if you are really challenged maybe enlist a therapist or coach.
A subconscious mind is a powerful tool that we can use to improve our health and well-being. By paying attention to our subconscious thoughts, we can reprogram them to support our health goals instead of sabotaging them. With a little effort, we can make positive changes in our lives that lead to better mental and physical health.
It may be time to explore what role your subconscious mind is playing. With some effort, you can retrain your subconscious thoughts to support your health goals instead of sabotaging them!