“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” - Lao Tzu
The lens we use to look at Health is dynamic and considers 3 parts; Mind, Body, Spirit.
When we focus on the mind it is important to understand how your brain works for us and with us.
So, what about it?
Is it some proverbial mystic thing nobody can truly define? Yes and no. But no need to get into that discussion right now. Today our focus is the 3 parts of your mind we know exist. The conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind. All 3 play a pivotal role in in understanding how we come closer to having an optimal level of mental health.
The Conscious Mind
The conscious mind is the part of your mind that is reading this text to you in your head. You are present with what is going on- right? This is why many times in meditation you are told to focus on your breath. You are being conscious of a simple action. The breath is a great barometer for how our bodies feel, allowing you to be more present with yourself.
The Subconscious Mind
The subconscious is the part of your mind that relates to the knowledge and actions you do without much thought. Think of when you last left work then suddenly ended up at home. You didn’t need GPS or street names. Your mind knew the exact route. It is our subconscious that habits live- both desirable and undesirable. The practice of being present allows us to align ourselves with the decisions and actions that get us closer to our best self.
The Unconscious Mind
The unconscious mind- not to be confused with being unconscious after a car accident, or a hit to the head. Your unconscious mind is comprised of memories, traumas, and experiences that all influence who you are today. Things your parents taught you, a memorable vacation moment, those song lyrics from 2002, instinctual behaviors you’ve learned over the course of your life. This is where science says most our behaviors and patterns come from, good or bad.
What's the Connection?
Why is any of this important to consider in our Health and Wellness journey? That saying, “your body hears everything your mind says”, it’s more than a saying. Our mental health shows up for us day to day in ways such as stress management, mindset, self talk, and perspective. To understand the why behind our self talk or mindset requires inner work.
“You must overcome oneself to become who you actually are.”
The point is, we experience what it means to be our most optimal self when we are connected mind, body, spirit. Tomorrow we will discuss how a technique you can implement to begin to discover your optimized level of mental health.