Take a moment and let that sink in.It’s really a useful thing to know.
Only 5% of your mind is conscious to you – the other 95% is buried, much like the underwater portion of an iceberg, in the other-than-conscious parts of your mind.
The parts of your mind that are below your conscious awareness contain your belief systems, your habits, your programming and many of your memories. When you learned to ride a bike or drive a car and you practiced over and over, your brain eventually habituated the motions necessary for the function and did you the favor of letting the info fall below your conscious awareness. That makes life easier for you and gives you more room in the conscious part of your mind.The brain is helpful that way.
Most of the time we don’t think about how we use the different parts of the mind – but I’m going to suggest that you develop a wonderful habit of using your unconscious parts consciously to take you on vacation even when you can’t get away.
Because it can’t distinguish between what is real and what is vividly imagined, you can use your imagination to activate your senses – to take you away for a few moments even in the midst of the busy-ness of the day.
Find a quiet spot. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice it moving in and out of your body. Allow its movement to relax you.
Bring to mind a relaxing place you love – the beach, the mountains, the forest or even a big rock where you’ve been before. You are about to take a short vacation. Allow yourself to bring back the memory of this favorite place using all your senses.
See what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt the last time you were there. Smell what you smelled and taste what you tasted, bringing back the whole experience and savor it. The more vivid the remembrance the more your body will respond as if you were actually there. In this state your mind can’t really tell the difference between imagination and reality, so your body will start to produce the chemicals of calm and the chemicals of joy that you felt when you were actually in that moment.Feel free to savor this exercise as long as you can.
The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it anywhere for as little as a few minutes and feel refreshed – so go ahead – take a hike! (Or a soak, or a walk or a dip or just find your most favorite imaginary outdoor spot and sit!) While you are there feel some gratitude and give the exercise an extra boost!