A psychological researcher named Andrea Polard identified 2 modes of consciousness in which your brain can operate.She labelled these basic mode and supreme mode. The basic mode is our standard mode where we focus on goals, relationships and achievements. This helps establish priorities and structures our life. In terms of Paul Gilbert’s Three Circle model, this mode helps us to extend our consciousness to establish drive and enthusiasm. The supreme mode is simply being present. It counters the stress and worry of the basic mode in order to keep us in balance.
The basic mode is our natural evolutionary mode. As we have a natural instinct to overemphathize and protect against risk, the supreme mode of functioning must be consciously chosen and persistently practiced. It requires letting go and this can be very difficult for your basic mode to accept. The supreme mode offers many benefits. As a statistic we take in 11,000,000 pieces of information per second and only process 40 of them consciously. The other 10,999,960 pieces of information are used outside our conscious awareness. If we tap into our supreme mode of functioning we can gradually gain access to this unconscious information. It can help us avoid worry and stress and find innovative solutions.
A simple 3 step guide to tapping into the supreme mode is as follows:
Prime the Subconscious
Phrase the information or guidance you are looking for in the form if a question. For example, “What is the best way to solve problem x?” At this stage you can jot down what comes into your mind but then let it go and move on to step 2
Relaxing Your Analytical Mind
The three main techniques for relaxing the analytical mind are meditation, exercise and sleep. In all of these activities you are not focused on the issue you are trying to solve. In meditation you may be following your breathing which activates the non-linguistic parts of your brain so the thinking part recedes. Exercise naturally focuses on physical movement and when we sleep when we allow ourselves to drift into unconsciousness.
Noticing the Solutions
The final step is to notice the solutions that arise. It is important to be relaxed and paying attention for signs rather than rushing to grab them. It is important to consider anything you might normally regard as silly or random as they may lead you to a novel way of viewing things. Sometimes you will notice things that have never caught your eye before. The key thing is to be mindfully aware of what you are noticing. Keeping notes of what you spot will be very insightful. Life is constantly feeding us information and being able to tap into the subconscious information helps us free ourselves from worry and stress.