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Subliminal Messages: What are they and do they work?
We all have heard of them "Subliminal messages". It's fascinating to think we can enter commands to our minds and use them to our own benefit. It's frightening to think that we can be influenced by commands put into our brain by something or someone without us noticing. But before you run to put your tin foil hat on read on and learn a bit more about them.
Subliminal message: Is a signal or message, some times embedded in another object, designed to pass below the normal limits of perception. These messages are indiscernible to the conscious mind, but are perceptible to the subconscious or deeper mind: for example, an image transmitted so briefly that it is only perceived subconsciously, but not otherwise noticed.
Laboratory research has explored the extent to which subliminal stimulation is reaching our brain. Latest studies show that subliminal messages do enter the brain.
Scientists at the University College London (UCL) have found physiological evidence that invisible subliminal images do attract the brain's attention on a subconscious level. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the study looked at whether an image a viewer wasn't aware of - but one that reached the retina - had an impact on brain activity in the primary visual cortex. The result is that the brain is logging subliminal images that attract our attention without us having the impression of having seen anything. Similar studies have been conducted with sound waves bordering the human perception levels (20Hz to 20kHz).
Now the question is does our brain understand the messages and is there an impact on our behaviour.
The truth is that in order for messages to influence us: 1)Need to have a meaning to the receptor. 2)Need to associate to something we know or feel 3)Have to reinforce a desire.
A message being caught by your subconscious, but not being understood will do no effect, for example receiving messages in Chinese and you don't speak the language. An interesting effect here is that if you later learn Chinese, the previous subliminal messages stored in your mind will start to make sense.
Even if the message is understood, an association to our reality is important. Take the message "The house must be white". Wait a minute, what house? If you where to paint your house, now it would make sense to your subconscious and an inclination towards white would be set.
To be more effective a message has to endorse a desire. If you are opposed to a goal, the messages won't have great effect. Up to now there is no hard evidence that subliminal messages make you do things you don't want to. What about messages in commercials and advertising? If you see a movie where many scenes show for example a Pepsi can in the background. Maybe you didn't really notice it, but your mind recorded it. Yet it doesn't mean you are going to run out and buy Pepsi. Although if you where thirsty an association could be made. When you go for a drink and are deciding what to buy, a Pepsi soft drink would be a stronger choice than before.
Affirmations are the best way to encourage yourself to bring to reality the outcome of a desired goal. Through our life our conscious mind forms beliefs, and many times those beliefs are negative and form a barrier. Many times we don't achieve goals because we think we are not able. Subliminal affirmations bypass that barrier and tells the subconscious to change that belief to what we want to be our new belief. In this case subliminal messages are effective. The power of subliminal affirmations is only limited by the person's conviction and belief that the affirmations are working. If the affirmations are only done half-heartedly, those are the results that will be received. But if a person believes completely in achieving the goal stated in the affirmation, then situation is almost sure to be achieved.