To understand how we can make critical behavior changes ourselves, we should understand the different parts of the mind and how to work with them.
The mind has been identified as having four major parts: conscious mind, sub-conscious, unconscious and superconscious. The first is the logical and rational mind, while the latter three—or inner mind—are where all behaviors (negative and positive), habits and emotional triggers are stored.
There are several “laws” that apply.
We can’t change the inner mind with the conscious mind.
That’s because it is where all our emotions are. Using logic with an emotional issue rarely works. Instead, we have to undergo an inner-mind process to effectively change those habits, beliefs and negative emotional reactions.
The inner mind defaults to the strongest impression, whether it is “good” or “bad”.
This is apparent on those occasions when we walk into a room, something happens and we suddenly feel annoyed, afraid or even sad. Try as our conscious mind may want to, it can’t shake that feeling. We have been “triggered” and our inner mind is defaulting to an old impression that may have been created when we were a child, or even in another lifetime. Phobias and most disagreements with family, spouses and friends are really triggers for old, inner-mind impressions.
How do we make an inner mind change?
There are some simple things we can do that are effective in helping our inner mind release negative reactions and reinforce positive ones.
Energy follows thought. Whatever we focus or ruminate on gets stronger. If we are negatively triggered, we should acknowledge it as a trigger and then focus our attention on something we like for at least 15 minutes; that should be enough time for the negative impulse to move on. We should be mindful of what we tell ourselves all day long as those thoughts become the basis for how we feel overall.
A good practice at the end of the day is to write down three specific things we are grateful for or that went well during the day. This begins to orient our brain to see the glass as half full. By doing so, we begin to focus on what is working instead what is not. Making small changes creates long-lasting changes.
To establish a change, take a 30-day challenge—it takes 30 days to establish a new habit—by asking how something can be done even only a few percentage points better. Make it something really simple that is accomplishable. Every 30 days, look to make another small change. After six months, look back and things will be noticeably different.
Our mind can change at any age. We are not stuck with what we have. The key is to find ways to make inner mind changes and reprogram ourselves. Sometimes we need the help of others to shift strong negative patterns. Finding practitioners that specialize in working with the inner mind can help.