The power of the mind
A forum member shared:
Few months ago I did a course on the power of the human brain - specifically the power the subconscious has on our daily lives. (http://www.pacificinstitute.co.uk/solutions/investment-in-excellence/)
I only recently realized that some of the scientific ways the brain works - actually explain why porn recovery is so difficult . And the course actually also gives some great tools in changing the way your mind relates to certain things.
Basically the subconscious stores a whole bunch of "truths" about a person. And these truths make us who we are. (For example: A truth might be "I am an untidy person" or "I hate sports" or "I'm a good person" ... you get the idea). Interesting thing about these truths are that your mind can only accept one truth at a time. It cannot accept 2 opposite truths as true.... which sounds kinda obvious if you think about it. So your subconscious cannot have an accepted truth that "I am neat" and "I am untidy" at the same time.
Reason for this is - the brain protects itself from going insane. The root problem of people who are clinically insane is most of the time related to the fact that their minds start accepting more than one truth... So now you can be Bob one day and John the next day - and totally fully believe it. You see what I mean when I say its a type of self protection of the brain to hard wire a single truth into the subconscious .
What is even more interesting about this whole thing is that as soon as a truth is accepted/hard wired into the subconscious the subconscious will actively try to enforce this truth - so that it stays true.
For example - if a person believes themselves to be an untidy person and that's accepted into the subconscious - the subconscious will enforce this. So inevitably that persons house or flat will always be a mess, clothes will be lying around, things will get lost, everything will always just be untidy. And even though this person might at a certain point get appalled by the mess - and then make an attempt to tidy up - either they will tidy up in a sloppy manner - or they will tidy up - and within a few hours - things will start to get messy again. This person cannot keep the state of neatness going - the subconscious mind literally wills the person to return to the state that it accepts as being the normal and true way that things should be: A MESS!
When you think about the example above - nobody really has an excuse to live in a messy house or flat. Unless you don't have arms and legs and can't clean - everybody has the ability to pick up a pair of boxers and fold it up and put it in the drawer. And it's exactly the same with a whole bunch of other truths that our subconscious mind accepts about ourselves. Good example is somebody who is overweight and cannot stop eating... all he has to do is stop shoving food in his mouth and he will lose weight.... simple enough... but the subconscious mind will not allow that to happen. The truth in his mind is - "He is fat, and will always be fat". Even though his conscious mind might yearn to be healthy and slim, what matters is what is accepted/hard wired into the subconsious mind...
Im sure you can see how this can be pulled through to porn addiction. If the subconscious minds truth is "I am a porn addict", "I can't live without porn", "Im a sex addict", "I need porn every day," etc. Then the subconscious mind will make sure it stays that way.
OK so long story short. The cool thing is a person can change your subconscious truths. *Happy dance* And this doesn't just apply to porn - this applies to basically anything about your own personality that you wish to adapt or change. Basically if you can create enough tension in your subconscious about 2 conflicting truths - eventually the subconscious realigns itself to whichever truth is pulling the hardest (for lack of a better way to describe it). So if the subconscious truth is "I am messy" and a new conflicting truth is introduced "I am neat" - at first the subconscious will always try to return to "I am messy," but when the correct techniques are used - and enough tension is created in the subconscious, it will actually realign itself with a new truth - and start enforcing that one. Then all of a sudden now it feels natural to pick up your boxers, you want to do some laundry because then you feel fresh and good about yourself etc.
So here are the key steps to take:
1. Self talk
Everybody talks to themselves in their head. Try and monitor your self talk a bit - and I am pretty sure you will be amazed by the stuff we tell ourselves over and over again without even realizing this. When I started monitoring my self talk a bit - I realized most of it was super negative, constantly putting myself down. I might do a little thing wrong like spill a drink or something - and my self talk would immediately go to the extreme saying things like "You're such a idiot!", "You're so clumsy", "You can't do ANYTHING right". Gets quite frightening how we put ourselves down and to think that that could or already is a subconscious truth...
So try positive uplifting self talk. Part of the course we did a 24-hour challenge - and basically the idea was to not think a negative thing in 24 hours. If you did - the 24 hours resets. To say the least, I'm still busy with my 24-hours months later... Unbelievable how much negativity goes on in our minds.
2. Write an affirmation
A good way to change a subconscious truth is to write a positive affirmation . The key is to write it in a way that ticks all the correct boxes so that it triggers the correct response.
So for instance - say I am a fat person wanting to lose weight, and now I write a positive affirmation along these lines: "I love running on the beach, because it makes me feel energized, motivated, and healthy."
Few key things in there:
- Firstly - it needs to have an emotional link (love)
- Then it needs to be in the present tense - does not help telling your subconscious "one day I will love running on the beach" because all it will do is reinforce that truth - and "one day" never actually comes!! So even though you hate running on the beach, write it as if you love it.
- Add in a positive outcome - ("It makes me feel energized, motivated and healthy.") Important for the brain to link a positive outcome with it - otherwise it becomes a "I have to do this because I need to lose weight " and that type of motivation never works.
- Key would be to read or recite this affirmation to yourself once or twice a day (or how often possible )
3. Vivid Imagination
Another key thing is the subconscious cannot distinguish between vivid imagination and reality. That is why a hectic nightmare feels so real, and you body physically responds to it by sweating, increased heart rate etc etc. To your mind at that stage - it is totally real.
So a very powerful tool is to use imagination to shift a "truth." So using the same example as our written affirmation, imagine yourself (viewing this from the first person perspective, as if you're looking through your own eyes) running on that beach, (try to imagine as much detail as possible) you can hear the ocean sounds, the seagull overhead, the waves crashing down, you can feel the cold wind on your face and hands, you can feel the sand under your feet, as you run you hear your own breathing. You can smell the salty air and the fresh ocean smells, etc. You get the idea. End the little imagination affirmation with the same positive feeling, so when the run stops you don't feel tired, but refreshed, healthy, vibrant etc.
Using vivid imagination like this is a very powerful tool. I've known a few people who have dramatically changed serious personality issues just by using these techniques. And now they don't struggle with it at all any longer.
Lastly - another key thing is to reinforce to your mind - even when you stuff up - that "this is not me", " I am no longer this person", "Next time I intend to not stuff my face with french fries, but rather go for a jog on the beach instead. "
Just so you all know, I'm not really a very free-spirited, hippy new age type, so the reason all of the above appealed to me was because it was scientifically proven as the way the subconscious mind works.
Just want to add that keeping your brain chemistry in balance makes techniques like these infinitely more effective, because you're not always fighting low-level anxiety and stress. Stress tends to make us run to our old patterns when we might otherwise opt for our new and healthier ones.