Learn to Unleash the Power of the Mind
I genuinely believe in the power of intention, the power of positive thinking, the power of daily affirmations, and even visualization boards. So, it goes without saying that I also believe that the human mind has the potential to solve our problems if we stay quiet enough to listen to the answers. I talk frequently in my blogs about meditation. It is a difficult practice and results can be slow. You will learn to hear your inner voice as you learn to mediate, but we are a nation of instant gratification and learning to meditate is not an instant process. This is why I sometimes take a shortcut and have learned another way to hear that inner voice, it is as easy as closing your eyes and falling asleep.
When Your Mind is Fresh
Have you ever had a conversation during the day in which you were trying to remember someone’s name, or a reference to a movie that you can’t seem to recall? Then out of nowhere it comes to you in the middle of the night. I am not sure why this happens but it seems as though the answer is in our subconscious mind the whole time and it isn’t until our conscious mind let’s go and allows us rest that the subconscious can bring it to the surface.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “The body rests during sleep, however, the brain remains active, gets “recharged,” and still controls many body functions including breathing. When we sleep, we typically drift between two sleep states, REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM, in 90-minute cycles. Non-REM sleep has four stages with distinct features, ranging from stage one drowsiness, when one can be easily awakened, to “deep sleep” stages three and four, when awakenings are more difficult and where the most positive and restorative effects of sleep occur. However, even in the deepest non-REM sleep, our minds can still process information.” I believe this is why we can achieve some of our best thinking while we are asleep. Our mind is still processing information. Sometimes we have bits and pieces of information causing strange dreams that when we try to analyze, we become confused. Sometimes we have extreme clarity and when we wake up, we have total recall and even direction.
I know that when I have a problem to solve, be it a work problem, a life problem, or even a trivial problem, the more I think about it during the day, the farther I seem to get from finding a solution. However, when I go to bed at night, if I simply mention the problem out loud, and I keep a pen and paper on my nightstand (so I can write my dreams before I forget them), the answer will usually appear within a week or so. I don’t believe this is some psychic phenomena, instead, I think it is allowing my brain the freedom to do its own thing without me interfering with it.
A Practice to Try
For the next week, try remembering your dreams. Write them down as soon as you are awake. See if you begin to see patterns. Then, once you start to remember your dreams more easily, speak a problem out loud before you close your eyes. Do this every night for a while and keep writing your dreams down when you awake. You will begin to see your subconscious mind trying to give you the answer. And it is usually the right answer.
So, the next time someone tells you to “sleep on it” before you make a decision, take their advice. You may find the decisions you make after a good night’s sleep are better than the ones you may make spontaneously. And better decisions will always help you progress in your career and in your life.