How the Mind Works, Hypnotherapy, Sydney & North Shore


For simplicity it is easy to think of our mind as being made up of 3 parts. By understanding what their roles are, how they interact together, and how they affect our feelings, emotions and behaviours – we can become far more insightful towards ourselves, and more tolerant of our partner, children, parents, friends and work colleagues.


There are 3 parts to our mind:

1.    The Conscious Mind

2.    The Subconscious Mind

3.    The Unconscious Mind


1.    The Conscious Mind

Our Conscious Mind, which is less than 20% of our total mind, is the part of the mind that enables us to operate in the now… interacting, thinking, analyzing, planning, communicating and doing.


It is the part of our mind that defines who we would LIKE to be – that part of us that tries to have good intention, to behave in ways that are congruent with the beliefs and values that we try to put into practice. Note the word TRY!!


2.    The Subconscious Mind

Our subconscious mind is where feelings and emotions are generated. Imagine a vast database containing every past experience – with the strongest and most influential ones being from our childhood – that time of our life when we are learning about the world around us and how we fit into it – from our parents, siblings, teachers, etc. It acts like filter, processing everything that we experience consciously.

Every experience stored in our subconscious has a belief connected to it. That belief was our interpretation of the situation at the time we experienced it. Even if we now know consciously, looking back, that the belief is wrong, it is very difficult to change.


For example, a critical parent can leave a person with a belief that they were never good enough, which as an adult develops into low self esteem, perhaps making them overly sensitive to differences of opinion. The truth however might be that the parent just wanted them to do even better than they were doing, based on their past experiences.


3. The Unconscious Mind
The unconscious mind is responsible for all actions and behaviours. Actions range from keeping the body running as in heart and lungs, protecting the body such as in fight or flight, or defending the body in all sorts of ways that might include behaviours (responses) such as anger, aggression, addiction, withdrawal, or manipulation.

These behaviours are triggered by the feelings and emotions that are generated by the subconscious mind. Because they are non thinking behaviours, they may not in our best interests. In fact, at times, they can be extremely unhelpful … or even dysfunctional.

Yet because they are the result of our non-conscious minds working independently to our conscious mind – we have trouble controlling them.


Science has proven that our non-conscious minds operate at speeds thousands of times faster than our conscious mind does. Therefore, feelings, emotions and subsequent behaviours are happening before we have even consciously processed an event.


It is important to note that when we are stressed we tend to bypass our conscious minds and operate from the non-conscious. Behaviours therefore do not always represent the real ‘conscious’ person. Knowing this can make us far more tolerant and understanding.


* Disclaimer: "The results may vary from person to person"