HomeMind & Meditation3 ways to best combine our consciousness and our subconscious ...

3 ways to make our consciousness and our subconscious mind work best together.

Reading time:  5  minutes

The mind is one of the most fascinating and powerful aspects of ourselves. It's more powerful than any supercomputer we've ever made and can store practically an infinite amount of information.

How we access all that stored information stems from the levels of the mind. There are three in all, but in this article the focus will be on the relationship between our consciousness and our subconscious mind. By discovering what is going on in our minds, we can best achieve our goals by tapping into the different minds.

In Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, the conscious mind consists of everything within our consciousness. This is the aspect of our mental processing that we can think and talk about in a rational way.

Consciousness includes things like the sensations, perceptions, memories, feelings and fantasies within our current consciousness. Closely related to the conscious mind is the subconscious, which includes the things that we are not thinking about right now, but that we can easily pull into conscious consciousness.

The iceberg metaphor

To best expose the differences, it first helps to understand the different levels of the mind. For this we turn to Sigmund Freud, the man who founded the concept.

In his theory he used the analogy of the iceberg and that the idea that the mind could form three parts of this iceberg. Freud often used the metaphor of an iceberg to describe the three main aspects of the human personality.

3 ways to make our consciousness and our subconscious mind work best together.
3 ways to make our consciousness and our subconscious mind work best together. (fig.)

The tip of the iceberg extending above the water represents consciousness. As you can see from an iceberg, the conscious mind is just the “tip of the iceberg”. The conscious mind is the ice above the water. This is only a small part of the iceberg as most of the ice is under water. Everything under water is divided into two more parts. The pre-consciousness is everything below the waterline, while the sub-consciousness is far below.

This analogy may not make much sense at first glance, but if you look at Freud's conclusions about what each mind does, some truth can be found.

  • The conscious mind is where all of our thoughts, feelings, hopes and memories are stored. This is the part we use to think and talk. Going back to the iceberg analogy, you can say that these are all things that require little effort to see.
  • The pre-consciousness is anything that is not at the forefront of our mind, but that we can bring to the surface with a little effort.
  • The latter is the subconscious mind, which stores feelings, urges and memories that are beyond our conscious mind. These are usually things that we suppress, such as pain, fear, or conflict. These events guide our overall behavior, motives and decisions.

Things that the conscious mind wants to hide from the consciousness are suppressed in the unconscious mind. Although we are not aware of these feelings, thoughts, urges and emotions, Freud believed that the unconscious mind could still influence our behavior.

Things that are present in our subconscious mind are only available to the conscious mind in disguised form. For example, the content of the unconscious can enter consciousness in the form of dreams. Freud believed that by analyzing the content of their dreams, people could discover the unconscious influences on their conscious actions.

The differences between consciousness versus subconscious mind

The conscious mind includes all the things that you are currently aware of and that you are thinking about. It is somewhat similar to short-term memory and limited in terms of capacity. Your awareness of yourself and the world around you is part of your consciousness.

The subconscious brain includes things that we may not be aware of at the moment, but that we can pull into our consciousness if necessary.

You may not be thinking about how to solve a math problem right now, but you can access the information and make it aware when confronted with it. The unconscious mind is a part of the mind that corresponds to ordinary memory. These memories are not conscious, but we can bring them back to consciousness at any time.

While the conscious is important, Freud believed they were much less vital than the subconscious. The unconscious brain can process no less than 11.2 million bits and the consciousness only 60 bits. This means that approximately 5% what we are doing is conscious and 95% unconscious. The unconscious determines our actions for 95% and is the filter through which we perceive reality.

Consciousness and subconscious mind are separate, but they can work together

As described earlier, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind are on different levels and store different pieces of information. However, there are other differences.

differences in beliefs

This refers to the fact that both the conscious mind and the subconscious mind have different beliefs.

As with animals, many of our decision-making factors are below the surface. An animal does not "decide" to fly or hunt, sleep, or fight the way we make many of our own choices about what to do - it simply follows instructions coming from the subconscious parts of its brain.

These same kinds of instructions come to us from the same parts of our brain, sometimes for good evolutionary reasons and sometimes to our detriment. Our subconscious fears and desires direct our motivations and actions through emotions such as love, fear and inspiration.

While some subconscious parts of our brain are dangerously animalistic, others are smarter and faster than our conscious mind. Our greatest moments of inspiration often come from our subconscious mind. We experience these creative breakthroughs when we are relaxed and not trying to access the part of the brain they are in, which is generally the neocortex. When you say, “I was just thinking about something,” you noticed that your subconscious mind was telling your conscious mind something. With training it is possible to open this communication flow.

That means that if you change your mind, you don't automatically change the subconscious program. Consciousness learns differently from the subconscious mind.
Your conscious mind, directly behind your forehead, somewhere in the pre-frontal cortex, represents you as a unique individual. I think it's safe to say it's mostly your thoughts.

So while our minds have different perspectives, there is the potential for them to work together.

Consider, for example, postponing a task to get a 'light bulb' idea. That idea didn't come from anywhere specifically, but rather from your subconscious mind.

Active versus passive
The final difference is how involved each part of our mind is, and the best way to explain it is through an example that we can all identify with.

Do you sometimes feel like you can't fall asleep because your mind wanders?

Part of the reason for this is due to the subconscious mind. When you fall asleep, your conscious mind is resting, but your subconscious mind is not.

In fact, the subconscious mind never falls asleep. It works all day, every day to control your body, to breathe and to maintain organ function and cell growth.

Our subconscious mind is why we dream and why we can only remember vivid details of that dream.

In this way the subconscious mind is passive. It continues to work, but often without us knowing. We can of course deepen that connection.

How to improve consciousness and the subconscious mind

Now that you have a better understanding of what each mind does, the next step is to improve the connection between consciousness and subconscious mind. There are a number of ways that you can improve this connection, and most of them stem from habits that your conscious mind can create to strengthen the subconscious mind over time.

Consider our internal environment

While we must take care of our own global environment, our internal environment is also important. Chances are, most people have not taken into account the environment of their subconscious mind.

This is important because, again, our subconscious mind is always active and absorbs everything. Beliefs don't come out of nowhere. Our beliefs are grown based on the information we see, the conclusions we draw, and the way we compare it to the rest of our reality. We do this constantly.

The catch to this is that our everyday environment has a surge of emotions. The most prominent is negativity and struggle.

It's depressing when we consume it, but it affects our behavior over time. For this reason, it is important to use the information provision wisely.

Don't listen to the news unless necessary. Don't spend time with people who put you down or are toxic. Focus more on positive information through different media.


Remember that our subconscious mind is the mind behind us dreaming. If it can, then it makes sense that the subconscious mind likes pictures.

The best way to send images from our conscious to the subconscious mind is through visualization.

The idea is to spend a small amount of time - about 15 minutes a day - portraying positive scenes of you and your life experiences.

You can visualize anything you want, such as vacations, relationship fulfillment, sports and more.

The idea is to do this consistently, and over time these images will begin to replace any negative thoughts about those aspects. Any fears, doubts or worries will slowly wash away.

For greater effect, also visualize strong positive emotions. For example, if you dread a workout in a gym, visualize the workout. Visualize how you feel yourself at the end of the workout and what it will feel like when you reach your health goal.


The third method of making improvements is affirmations. This technique is similar to visualization, but here you focus on words and thoughts. As discussed above, all information and thoughts are absorbed into our subconscious mind.

If we instill positive words on a regular basis, our melody will change over time.

With affirmations, there are some rules to go through for it to work effectively:

Use the present tense
Do you want to have more confidence? Tell yourself, "I'm confident." Even if you don't have faith in it, you can fool your subconscious mind for not being able to predict the future. It only knows this moment. Also, stick to positive statements only.

Associate your words with feelings
While the statement made may be incorrect at this point, a great motivator is reminding us how we will feel with this new reality. If you want better health, start arousing emotions that make you feel healthy.

Repeat the process
Not only should you do this on a daily basis, but it also helps to repeat them throughout the day. Include the positive affirmations in your daily meditation routine.


The connection between the two minds is powerful, and making small lifestyle changes can affect your attitude and life over time. This much is clear when you consider how our conscious mind versus subconscious mind functions.

Remember that our conscious mind is the active one and will get things done. It's our front line. All the while, our subconscious mind is constantly looking around, absorbing everything it can, and formulating our reality. Feed these two well, and you can change your life for the better.

Sources ao The Guardian (link), The smart subconscious (link)


Please enter your comment.
Enter your name here


Recent comments

en_GBEnglish (UK)