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Subconscious Mind

Subconscious Mind

While many see the unconscious mind and the subconscious mind as synonymous, they are markedly different. The unconscious mind contains those elements that influence us on a subliminal level; all our experiences and information are stored there, influencing our actions in ways we have a difficult time controlling. In contrast, the subconscious mind is part of our conscious awareness; it constantly takes in and stores information, altering the way we react in various situations based on the information stored therein. Our conscious mind might remind us to have a positive tone with a coworker we constantly disagree with, but our subconscious mind might override that and impart negativity in our voice during casual conversations with the individual. The conscious mind reigns in our actions, but the subconscious mind is what prompts our various emotional responses.

Another way of looking at the subconscious mind is that it acts as a filter for an individual's perception. People are constantly being bombarded with information - sights, sounds, smells, etc. The subconscious mind is able to filter through this and ensure that only the most important information is actively being processed by the conscious mind at any given time. The rest exists in the subconscious, noticed but not committed to any active thought processes. In addition, the subconscious mind serves as a repository for information that can be called upon at any given moment. Data is stored there for retrieval later, but that content is not being actively used at the moment in question. For example, an individual unquestioningly remembers their home address, even when they are not using it; this information is stored in the subconscious mind, able to be called upon when a person's attention is directed toward it. Because there is so much information that an individual is expected to remember without significant recall effort, this component of the mind is believed to make up the largest portion; some researchers believe it makes up well more than half of what the brain is capable of.

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