Add these two little tweaks to your daily routine for much greater clarity and creativity.
Your subconscious mind is a whole lot more powerful than you think.
Not only does it take care of essential business like keeping you breathing, but quietly, in the background, your subconscious is constantly processing the world, sifting through experience, and making connections.
“The more we probe the brain’s workings, the more we realize that our conscious minds are really just a summary of what our brains get up to all the time–without ‘us’ having any idea,” neuroscientist David Eagleman recently explained to the BBC. “The conscious you, which is the part that flickers to life when you wake up in the morning, is the smallest bit of what’s happening in your head.”
Thanks to these hidden processes, your subconscious mind occasionally spits out the breakthrough idea or important decision you’ve been waiting for while you’re just standing in the shower shampooing your hair. But if all this goes on without our direction or even awareness, is there any way you can better harness your subconscious to be even more creative and clear headed?
Yup, argues a fascinating recent Medium post from Benjamin P. Hardy, who is pursuing a PhD in psychology. Powering up your subconscious, he writes, takes just two steps and around 10 minutes a day.
10 minutes before bed.
Your subconscious can supply important answers to some of life’s most pressing questions. But only if you actively ask it to, writes Hardy. “It’s common practice for many of the world’s most successful people to intentionally direct the workings of their subconscious mind while they’re sleeping,” he explains.
How can you do this too? “Take a few moments before you go to bed to meditate on and write down the things you’re trying to accomplish. Ask yourself loads of questions related to that thing,” he continues. “Write those questions and thoughts down on paper. The more specific the questions, the more clear will be your answers. While you’re sleeping, your subconscious mind will get to work.”
10 minutes after you wake up.
Then, don’t check in with your smartphone first thing. Check in with your subconscious instead. The minutes after you wake up are some of the most creative of the day and prime time to harvest the ideas your subconscious mind concocted while you slept. Get at them by doing a short, written “brain dump” first thing.
All you need to do is write down whatever comes to mind in regards to the questions you asked before going to bed. It sounds simple, but Hardy concedes it can feel awkward at first. “To be sure, you’ll need to practice this skill. It may take several attempts before you become proficient. But with consistency, you can become fluent and automatic at achieving creative and intuitive bursts,” he promises.
The results may impress you. “This simple routine will help you crystallize where you want to go, and how you will get there,” Hardy concludes.