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Habits are the brain’s ingenious way of conserving effort. Instead of having to relearn routines each time we carry them out, our most common tasks become subconscious programs.

Any cue followed by a routine that leads to some kind of payoff can be subconsciously memorized—whether the reward continues to be of service to the individual or not. The trigger can be almost anything; ranging from a visual cue, place, an emotion, a group of individuals, a specific scent, a certain taste, and pretty much everything else in between. 

The subconscious mind processes about 20 million bits of information per second, unlike the conscious mind, which can only process about 40 bits of info per second. Furthermore, the subconscious only operates in the present moment. While our conscious mind may be off in reverie about past and future events and completely oblivious, the subconscious is efficiently regulating our behaviours in any given moment.

Our most common thoughts and actions are run by the subconscious mind. The accumulation of those beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours, make up our personality — which ultimately creates our personal reality.

If the rule is, survival of the busiest thoughts, why not reprogram those thoughts to also be the fittest thoughts?

At Survival of the Fittest Thoughts, meditation (also referred to as hypnosis) is the primary tool used for subconscious reprogramming. All audio tracks are custom created for each individual client — targeting their unique emotional states, beliefs, habits and goals.

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If we close our eyes, we cut off a huge portion of the sensory information that the mind has to process. Sitting in a quiet room with earplugs, or wearing earphones with relaxing music playing, mutes the distracting auditory signals coming for the external world. At this stage, the internal world becomes the primary focus.

We begin each meditation with diaphragmatic breathing, which slows down the heart rate, allows for increased oxygen flow through the body, and helps the muscles relax, which all help you achieve a deeply relaxed state that helps facilitate new learning. Using specific techniques, clients are guided to a place where the analytical mind lets go, while simultaneously slipping into the lower brain-wave patterns — Alpha and Theta.  Meditation (or hypnosis) opens the gate between the conscious and subconscious mind, and the subconscious is highly prone to suggestibility in these lower brain-wave states.

One of the main purposes of meditation is to go beyond the conscious mind, so we can change unwanted beliefs, behaviours, emotional reactions, and various unconscious states of being. Further, it’s a tool to recover many of your motives that are unknown to your conscious mind.

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Why the subconscious is so prone to suggestibility during meditation 

When we are awake and alert in normal consciousness, we are operating in what is known as Beta consciousness. Beta brain-wave cycles are between 13 to about 30 cycles per second. In highly stressful or aroused states, we can go into high Beta brain-waves patterns.

Once a meditator disconnects from the distractions in the external environment, transcends the feelings in the body, and allows themselves to lose track of time and space, they can move from Beta brain-wave patterns to Alpha, or even down to Theta. We slip in and out of Alpha state naturally in the moments when we first awake in the morning and just as we are falling asleep at night. When the pineal gland stops producing melatonin (the hormone that makes you fall asleep) and instead serotonin is produced or vice versa, we are in this trance like state known as Alpha. During moments of deep creative thinking (the zone) we can also drift into this state. Alpha cycles are about 8 to 13 cycles per second, when measured by an electroencephalograph (EEG).

Theta brain-wave state, just below Alpha, is the desired mediative state. Our mind is highly suggestible in Alpha and Theta states because the analytical mind is silenced. In these lower brain-waves we can recondition the subconscious mind by uniting vivid imaginations and feelings. What is important to note is that two things contribute to maintaining and strengthen our neural networks (new learning)—repetition and elevated emotion.  In these states we can intentionally rehearse future potential outcomes by envisioning them, and then allow ourselves to feel as though that outcome has already occurred, and we can lock those feelings in. Through repetition, we can go from a state of thinking about and thus trying to be a new person with new beliefs and a transformed personal reality, to truly being that person.

In Theta, it is as though your body is asleep, but your mind is awake. In this state, you’re at liberty to imagine, to create, and change the unconscious patterns, without the judgement of the analytical mind. Children—who you will find are highly suggestible—are functioning in the Theta brain wave between the ages of about 2 and 5 years old. As they reach the ages between 5 and 8, their brain begins to demonstrate higher patterns (in the Alpha state) at which point the analytical mind starts to develop. We have come to understand that children start to establish set beliefs and laws about the world during these years. As a result, their level of suggestibility declines.

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All around benefits:

To meditate is to become familiar with one’s true self and choices. By thinking in details of the picture we have in our mind’s eye of a healed life, we can actually begin to simultaneously feel those emotions as if we had lived the experience.

We can also reflect on previous experiences through a new lens, and generate new emotions associated with those memories. Through reflecting on the self—past, present, and future—we can contemplate the events in a deeply relaxed state. Often it is in this space where we recognize how a series of synchronises have brought us where we are now in the present, allowing us to be more grateful for all the experiences in our past.

Emotional Benefits:

Researchers have discovered that people with a generally more positive disposition had an increased activity level in the left prefrontal cortex (L-PFC). In opposition to those who tend to lean more towards depressed or anxious states, who had heightened activity in the right prefrontal cortex (R-PFC). The amygdala, the part of your brain that operates your emotions, is also kindled along with the R-PFC. In addition, overactivity of the amygdala can be inhibited by the L-PFC. Rumination is associated with the R-PFC, while practicing focus in the present moment is contributed to the L-PFC. Through continual practice of meditation, we are able to alter our emotional set point, because we are increasing activity in the L-PFC as well as reprogramming subconscious patterns. Over time, with enough rehearsal, we find it easier to stay focused, increasing activity in the L-PFC, while decreasing activity of both the amygdala and R-PFC.

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Myths about meditation:

Many believe that they can’t meditate, and speak of it as if it’s a power that only a few possess. They claim that they have made attempts, but they just couldn’t do it. If you are one of those individuals that have bought into this belief, let me remind you that you did not know how to walk until you learned how to do that either. Meditation is a practice, and a skill we develop. Just like any other practice, it takes some time and effort, but it is available and extremely beneficial to all.

Initially the mind will wander and the moments where your mind feels clear may be brief, but with time and practice (just like everyone else who works at it), you will be able to quiet the mind for just as much time as you need to be able to observe the thoughts. With dedication and repetition, your ability to meditate will increase.

Love and light,

Nutritionist Maria