The Two Main Functions of the Unconscious MindPenelope
In this video I’m sharing about the two main functions of the unconscious mind and how one of them can affect our mental health well-being and how useful is the other in healing from mental health issues.
Today I would like to share with you about the two main functions of the unconscious mind. This would probably help you understand better certain issues that you, or maybe someone you know may have, or may have had in the past.
So the first very important function is that of being like a recording machine. It records every single bit of information that we experienced through our lives. And the information simply remains in there until the moment we die. The brain takes in 400 billion bits of information every second. And of these, only about 2000 remain in our conscious awareness, and it doesn’t remain there forever because the part of the brain that give us conscious awareness actually has a very short-span memory. Whereas the unconscious memory is like a vast library where all this information is stored and it’s stored there forever, basically.
So what happens is that all this information is not easily retrievable in our conscious state, in an awake state, but as we relax and relax more and more deeply, this information becomes more and more easily retrievable. And this is what we hypnotherapists do in our daily job: we go look for memories that have had a high impact on the person in front of us. And we will work with a memory and with emotions associated to it in a way that the unconscious mind understands that there’s no need to trigger the feelings related to that memory ever again. So this is a very important function that the mind has, because it helps us resolve issues that normally, in a traditional setting of the awake state, wouldn’t really be useful.
The other very important function of the unconscious mind is that of keeping us safe. Now, this is a primordial function that our mind has an it is what has kept us safe to this day, I mean what has kept mankind alive until today.
This function is strictly related to the fight or flight response and for the ones of you who don’t know what the fight or flight response is, this is an instinctive response that gets activated whenever we perceive our life to be in danger. But not only that; it’s enough to just find ourselves in a situation that makes us scared enough for this response to be triggered.
Now, whereas this function has been extremely useful to keep us alive through the millennia, what happened is that, while our brain and society have developed in a way that nowadays we don’t really find ourselves in a real life threatening situation easily, such as what would happen maybe 3000 years ago, 5,000 years ago, 10,000 years ago, when man used to go out hunting almost daily and would easily find himself in a life threatening situation with wildlife animals, nowadays thankfully we don’t, we don’t find ourselves that often in this kind of situation, however, the fight or flight response can be very easily triggered.
And this is an issue nowadays because it is what causes a lot of mental health issues, and I’ll give you a quick example to make you better understand.
If you take phobias for example, they are probably the mental health issue that most clearly is strictly related to the fight or flight response being triggered.
For example, if you take someone who has a phobia of the lifts, this person has probably been in a situation where they feared that the lift might stop, or maybe they actually were in a situation where they found themselves stuck in a lift. And this has instilled a phobia of the lifts, the fight or flight response was triggered, and it has caused this irrational fear.
Now it’s important to know that a person doesn’t necessarily need to find themselves in an extremely fearful situation.
It is enough for the person to hear about someone else having been in a life threatening situation. It is enough for the person to, maybe have watched a movie where there was a scene that someone was stuck in the lift for hours, if not for days, because anyway, we know how movies work, things can get really supercharged with danger and emotions. So even just watching or hearing about a situation can easily instil a phobia in a person, simply because the unconscious mind doesn’t actually know the difference between reality and imagination, and unfortunately this is even more true with children who are very suggestible and impressionable.
So I hope you found this information useful and that you learnt something new, if so, please feel free to leave your comments.