A full explanation of the unconscious and the subconscious mind

By understanding the meanings and concepts of the unconscious and subconscious, one can learn a lot. In the best practice of diversity and inclusion, when we understand how our mindset works consciously, unconsciously and subconsciously, it will benefit us. Psychologists believe that when we can understand unconscious bias and subconscious bias, we can better control our emotions and reactions.


The three levels of mind models

The mental model has three levels: conscious, subconscious and unconscious. In short, consciousness defines our thoughts, actions, and consciousness. The subconscious mind is defined as the reactions and actions we are aware of when we think about it. Unconsciousness is defined as a recess deep in our past and memory.

The unconscious explained

Contrary to conscious thinking, where we can and easily recognize feelings and cognitions, we define unconsciousness as a deeper psychological process. Scientists agree that measuring unconscious mental events is difficult, almost impossible because it is not a neuroanatomical structure.

Unconsciousness is an automatic process. The human conscious mind cannot examine this process because it occurs under conscious consciousness. However, researchers hypothesize that unconsciousness affects human behaviour.

According to Freud, the unconscious stores all suppressed thoughts and feelings. These thoughts and feelings can be expressed in daily and unexpected situations, usually caused by triggers. For example, the smell of alcohol can trigger a repressive hatred of the father's alcoholism.

In theory, it is difficult to measure the subconscious, but Freud believed that we can obtain it through psychoanalytic therapy. Through psychoanalysis, the unconscious can be "leaded out" because people believe that suppressed thoughts and feelings are the sources of many psychological problems.

Examples of unconscious behaviour

Examples of unconscious events include depressed feelings, automatic reactions, complexes, and hidden phobias. Historically, feelings, thoughts, and reactions outside of human consciousness have been attributed to the role of God in determining motives or actions.

The most common example of unconscious behaviour is Freud's slip. This is a phenomenon in which a person has memory or language errors, such as calling a spouse by the name of an ex or calling something with the wrong word.

Listeners often interpret these errors as emotions hidden by the speaker. Although they are regarded as accidental, Freud believed that it reveals more than it seems. It is said that these notes show deeper and more true secret thoughts and feelings a person possesses.

Some research has been conducted to discover the correlation between these language and memory errors and unconsciousness. In theory, the more depressed a person's thoughts and feelings are, the more likely he or she will make language errors.

Another example, although more complicated than Freud's mistakes, is inherently racist. Psychologists and mental health professionals believe that even if we consciously oppose racist ideologies, everyone may have some conditions to internalize racism.

This is a disturbing thought, but by understanding and exploring our cultural makeup and upbringing, we may be able to face the conditions of racism. Conditioning is an important factor in analysing to understand where our unconscious behaviour originated.

The subconscious mind explained

The subconscious mind is a secondary mental system that regulates everything in our lives. From a psychological point of view, we define the subconscious mind as the part of the brain that is not currently in focus consciousness. Simply put, it is an obstacle caused by our thoughts, because the brain constantly receives information through our sense organs.

However, this obstacle did not stop everything. It stores information in the brain for later retrieval. You may have heard the saying that our minds will never forget anything. The subconscious mind is like a filter, so we are not overloaded by stimuli from the environment.

Examples of subconscious behaviour

The subconscious mind allows us to do things that we don't need to think about, but we can change them if we want to. A good example of subconscious behaviour is breathing. We don’t need to think about breathing at all, but we can change the way we control breathing and its patterns.

Other examples of the subconscious mind are subconscious memory or automatic skills. The pianist or typist does not have to look at the piano keys or the keyboard to know where the keys are. Auto skills are a learned skill at first, but when we repeat this action, the executive function will weaken over time.

Resistance to change is another example of a subconscious behaviour. Survival is closely related to our soul, but sometimes our intuition can be harmful to us. Intuition is a subconscious behaviour that tells us what to do and what not to do. However, intuition can sometimes be wrong.

We may think that finding happiness is good, but the changes we need to make to achieve happiness may bring us fear and pain. Fear and pain are not necessarily bad things, but our subconscious mind may tell us otherwise, preventing us from making this leap.

The difference between the unconscious mind and the subconscious mind

Unconsciousness and subconsciousness are two completely different phenomena. Unconsciousness is an automatic process and cannot be used for introspection. In contrast, the subconscious mind is part of our conscious process and is not actively in focus consciousness.

You can get the subconscious mind through introspection, and you can recognize your behaviour, motivation or impulse in the subconscious mind. Due to the lack of better words, the unconscious cannot be "called." For example, it will be much more difficult to deduce or determine the origin of your deep-rooted phobia, but you can easily change your breathing pattern.

Because of their subtle differences, it is not uncommon for some people to use these terms interchangeably. One of the easiest ways to understand them is to imagine an iceberg. What is visible is conscious, and below and deeper are the subconscious and unconscious.

When the entire structure is put together, the iceberg is bigger than what the naked eye can see. However, the tips and the following content are more than compelling. Although introspection cannot be performed unconsciously, its origin can be found with the help of mental health professionals.

To conclude

For professionals and laymen, the study of human psychology is very interesting. Understanding the unconscious and subconscious can help us better control our emotions and reactions. When we can find the anchor point of our thinking and behaviour based on what the brain experiences, it may allow us to have a better and healthier consciousness.

In the world where we create a diverse and inclusive society and workplace, understanding how we make decisions and judgments consciously, unconsciously, or unconsciously is vital to us. After all, you are fully aware that there are too many types of diversity that may affect our decision-making. Awareness is our first line of defence against discrimination and prejudice.

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