Definition of the subconscious and subconscious mind

Basically, our mind has 2 stages: conscious and subconscious, and each has its own attributes. The conscious mind is at the outer level, which we use to think, understand and react. The conscious mind connects to all our five senses. This is the operative part of the mind. On the other hand, the subconscious mind is the lower or deeper part, which stores all our older memories and impressions. This is like the mother-board of a computer.

Just imagine an iceberg in the sea. The part of the iceberg which can be seen above the water level is like the conscious mind, and the part beneath the water level is the subconscious mind.

The difference between the subconscious and conscious mind: Conscious

The conscious mind averages only 40 bits of information per second. The conscious mind is volitional. That part of the mind is what sets goals and judges the results. It has the ability to think abstractly. For example, “wealth or happiness” are abstract thoughts/words that have different meanings to different people.

The conscious mind thinks in terms of the past and future, rather than the present. The processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited to short-term memories (about 20 seconds), multi-tasking of about 1-3 events at a time, and averages about 40 bits of information per second. Coaching, self-help books, and other change processes mostly focus on the conscious mind. 

The difference between the subconscious and conscious mind: Subconscious

Meanwhile, the subconscious mind processes at 4 million bits per second on average. The subconscious mind has quite different characteristics. All the habitual stuff  the body functions like heart rate, breathing, digestion, our learned body movements, and all other habitual activities we do are handled by the subconscious part of the mind. Being habitual, the subconscious mind is typically resistant to change through normal conscious processes.

The difference between the subconscious and conscious mind
The difference between the subconscious and conscious mind

Whereas the conscious mind is abstract in its thinking, the subconscious mind is very literal and requires us to be very specific in communicating with it. Everything in the subconscious is now with no such thing as past or future. Compared to the conscious mind, the subconscious mind has vastly expanded processing capacity, housing our long term memory, multi-tasking thousands of events at a time and processing at 4 Billion bits per second on average!

The powerful subconscious mind is a wonderful tool that allows us to manage much of our life experience on automatic. It’s not necessary to consciously aware of everything that is happening around us. Your subconscious will handle all of them. Without the subconscious, the conscious would clearly be overwhelmed by the vast amounts of information processing required to function in our complex reality. When we consider the power of the subconscious aspect of our mind, we definitely want the subconscious on our side. If the subconscious doesn’t go with our conscious goals, we usually go nowhere! 

Read more: Understanding of the subconscious and conscious mind

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