Your subconscious mind never rests according to research from Dr. Marcus Raichle at Harvard University, who believes that “auto pilot” thinking can either be a help or a hindrance.
When we sleep, mediate or even daydream our conscious mind switches off, but our subconscious or deeper mind continues to run whether we are aware of it or not.
Researchers have found that subconscious thoughts, which are often imbedded so deep in our psyche, can be tied to chronic stress and mental illness but also, success.
The theory is known as “The Default Mode Network,” and in his study, The Brain’s Default Network: Anatomy, Function and Relevance to Disease, Raichle highlights that the constant chatter of subconscious thoughts that are on replay in our minds could lead to disease if they are negative, or success if they are positive.
When our brain is at rest, our subconscious mind becomes the strongest and this internal dialogue that we sometimes unknowingly carry around begins to present it self. It is through meditation, creativity and listening to our intuition that we begin to understand what our subconscious mind is saying.
Looking at brain scans, scientists have confirmed that when the mind is daydreaming or not involved in the current external environment, the parts of the brain that are usually ‘silent’ light up the strongest. These include the medial pre fontal cortex, medial temporal lobes, medial parietal cortex.
Raichle believes that when we daydream, or turn off our conscious thoughts, we are tapping into our stream of consciousness or the Default Network.
“The default network is most active when one takes a first person perspective centered upon one’s own body as opposed to a third-person perspective,” claims Raichle.
“Rather than let the moment pass with idle brain activity, we capitalize on them to consolidate past experiences in ways that are adaptive for our future needs.”
Many scientists agree that subconscious thoughts can be seen as automatic survival systems as often our behaviour is conditioned by our subconscious.
Through his studies, Raichle discovered that those who had a hyperactive ‘default mode network’ often had autism, schizophrenia, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.
He also determined that those who were able to effectively tune into their subconscious thoughts and channel positive messages were more successful and happier in life.