Woman looking worried

Our consciousness is made up of several parts that have been defined and described in various ways by psychologists and scientists. Essentially, there are two main parts to the mind: the conscious and the subconscious.

The conscious mind

The conscious mind is about 4-7% of the whole. It is the part we are aware of – our behaviour and some of our emotions. This is the every day part of our mind that we live and function in. It is logical, holds our willpower and decision making. It has long term vision and can set goals and make plans.

The subconscious mind

The subconscious mind is just below the water line. It holds more emotions and feelings, our thoughts, beliefs and values, our experiences and images from the past. It is loyal and concerned solely with short-term safety and instant gratification.

The subconscious will throw up Mind Traps to maintain and reinforce it’s position – to keep you safe. It feels that any kind of change is dangerous somehow so will do what it can to stop any negative emotions or pain being felt.

Here are some examples of common mind traps:

1. Mind-reading – Guessing what other people are thinking about us or a situation

2. Catastrophising – Thinking the worst will happen

3. Ignoring the positive – The negative takes over and we just don’t see the good bits

4. All or nothing – One is too many, a million’s not enough. Be it cigarettes, chocolate, dieting, exercise

5. Assumptions – No-one called me = no-one cares about me

6. Over-generalisation – I didn’t finish that project = I’m a failure

7. It’s all about me – Hearing someone laugh = they must be laughing at me

8. Emotional reasoning – I feel anxious, there must be danger

9. Fortune telling – If I get to the traffic lights in time, it means he loves me

10. I should or they should –  You have expectations of other people’s and your own behaviour

All of these mind traps – and there are more – affect our thoughts and behaviour.

They distort reality and cause us huge discomfort and emotional pain. When you can identify that your mind is stuck in a pattern and remove yourself from it you will soon be released from what is happening around you.

Learn to be aware of your own mind traps

This, like most mind things is much easier said than done. For a start is completely hidden from us, so how do we even know it’s happening?

The key is awareness. When you can ‘step out’ of your own mind and watch what it’s doing you are taking the control back. There are lots of ways you can do this – meditation, exercise, talking and tapping. If you can question your own process in anyway you are halfway there.

What common mind traps do you use and what could you do differently?

by Jemima Eames

Jemima is one of the UK’s leading experts in EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Matrix Reimprinting. She is also a therapist on our Shh… retreats.

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