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Subconscious 101

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

By Jenny Peterson

I feel that a majority of people don’t really know much about the subconscious and all the amazing things it does. This isn’t out of ignorance, it is simply because it's not taught. I mean when’s the last time you saw subconscious 101 in your high school child’s list of classes?

If you have ever wondered “what is the subconscious and what does Jenny mean when she refers to it?” or you simply want to heal your chronic conditions, I will provide you with an understanding of this important part of the brain that sadly doesn’t get talked about or taught enough.

I will teach you the basics of the subconscious, which will hopefully bring to light its importance so you can focus on the work that really matters to create the life and health you desire.

The healing work that myself and my team teach is 60% subconscious work and 40% conscious . Yes, German New Medicine is a piece of the work that we teach, but honestly it is not where the work is. It is really just a targeted starting point for us. GNM is just the explanation of disease and symptoms, the real work that is needed to heal happens through subconscious/conscious work. This is why having an understanding of what the subconscious is, is so important.

So lets dive in…

First I want to tell you all the different names for the subconscious. There are a lot and you will most likely be familiar with some of them depending on who you follow or what healing work you have studied.

So here are some other words that mean your subconscious:

  • The limbic system

  • The autonomic nervous system

  • The Psyche

  • Your ego

  • Your Inner child

  • The unconscious mind

  • The hidden mind

  • The voice in your head

  • Brain

It's amazing to me how this one area of the brain has so many names yet no one really explains that all those names mean the same thing! In my mind, this just leaves it even more confusing for people. Can’t we all just use the same word?

So now you know, when you hear those other words, what they mean.


If you ask most people to define what the conscious mind does, you’ll get varying answers.

Some believe that the conscious mind is where you do all your thinking and logical reasoning. But that too doesn’t entirely distinguish it from your subconscious. Your subconscious mind is the storage place of all your memories, emotions and habits and is in fact very good at influencing your reasoning and logic.

So when I compare the 2 minds, there are 2 things that stand out in my mind that the conscious is.

  • It is your ability to direct your focus.

  • It is your ability to imagine what is not real

Your subconscious can’t do either of these and these two very important abilities can change your life. I will get into these a little later.

The conscious mind is also in control of your voluntary muscles and movement and you experience your five senses through your conscious mind.

When the conscious mind wants something, it uses willpower to achieve it. But when the willpower isn't strong or consistent enough to get results, then it often means that the subconscious mind is fighting against the conscious mind. When that happens, the subconscious almost always wins.

When it comes to healing, or anything else that you want in your life, as much as you want it or will it to happen and it doesn’t, I can guarantee that it is because there are subconscious patterns getting in the way. Your subconscious has proof that this thing you want actually feels like a threat, which is why no matter what you do, it doesn’t happen.

This will make more sense as you learn about the function of the subconscious.


I like to refer to the subconscious mind as our computer. It's literally working for us 24/7 to keep us alive.

  • The subconscious is constantly at work, staying a lot more aware of your surroundings than you realize. In fact, over 2 million bits of data every second. If your conscious mind had to deal with all that, you would very quickly become overwhelmed and not be able to get anything done.

  • Instead, your subconscious filters out all the unnecessary information and delivers only that which is needed at the time, around 7 chunks of information. It does all this behind the scenes so you can perform your daily work efficiently.

I like to break down the basic functions of the subconscious mind into 4 areas:

  1. Storage

  2. Re-Playing stored programs

  3. Protection/Survival

  4. Guiding your Autonomic Nervous System

Let's talk about each of these areas.


Everything that has ever happened to you, whether you consciously remember it or not, is stored within the subconscious. This is an amazing design because it means that you don’t need to learn things daily in order to function. You operate off of the programs that are stored. But as you will learn, this can have its downsides.

The events that are stored are what your subconscious references for everything you do. If you had a good experience with something, then your subconscious likely is programmed with positive beliefs around that topic. If you had a negative experience, then it likely senses danger around that topic and wants to protect you in similar situations. Every person is unique and therefore, while one person can have an experience and it have a negative impact on their life, another person can have an identical experience that doesn't negatively impact them.

Your emotions are generated from the subconscious. All of your beliefs and perceptions about yourself, the world and everything in it are stored in your subconscious mind. It is the place where all your memories and experiences since birth have been stored. It's from these memories that your beliefs, habits, and behaviors are formed and reinforced over time.

This is where all of your “programming” is located. A majority of this programming happens before the age of 12. This is important to know because despite how old you are, if you haven’t changed your programs, you are literally operating from the perceptions that you created from the first 12 years of your life.

Now if you didn’t have parents that were consciously aware, which I would say that is all of us, this is concerning right? As you know, kids under the age of 12 don’t have a mature way of seeing the world, so how they perceive situations will be coming from that lack of experience and maturity. Sadly, most adults are walking around with perceptions based on a child's point of view because of this.

For example, one of the biggest beliefs I see is “I’m not good enough.” Most of the time, we can trace this back to childhood situations where this started, either back in school or at home. This is where these beliefs are rooted and they are still operating based on that program well into adulthood.

This is actually an example of how efficient the subconscious really is. It continues to use those references to stay in alignment with those patterns. Changing them requires being uncomfortable and having to exert energy to change them.

It doesn’t like that. This is why change feels so hard.

The subconscious is programmed by repetition. The more something gets repeated in your life, the bigger that record gets and the more it will continue to play automatically. Hint: you know those thoughts that keep coming up that you want to go away? Those were programmed at some point, now they are on autopilot. You created that program, so the good news is you can also change it!

Re-Playing Stored Programs

The subconscious plays an important role in our day to day functioning. It works hard at ensuring you have everything you need for quick recall and access when you need it. It's an efficient machine and wants to access things as quickly as possible to retain energy.

For everything you experience, how you respond will be based on the stored programs. Your emotions, thoughts, behaviors, habits, perceptions, beliefs, and fears are automatic responses.

Suppose, you had a bad experience with a dog and it left you with the belief that dogs are scary. Now whenever you see a dog, you will feel fear because of this belief and experience.

The daily habits you have are also automatic subconscious programs. Through repetition you have programmed what you do from the minute you wake until you go to bed. 90% of your day is all programmed habits. This again is why it is so hard to change a habit, it is wired into your subconscious and it doesn’t like change.


The primary purpose of your subconscious mind is to protect you both physically and emotionally. It does this fiercely and oftentimes without you even being consciously aware. It doesn't distinguish between an emotional threat, like public speaking, and a physical threat, like a grizzly bear about to attack.

In both scenarios, the subconscious will automatically put the autonomic nervous system into a fight or flight response to protect you. This can cause your heart rate to increase, adrenaline and other hormones to be released into the body so that you can either fight or get away. It's all done in an effort to protect you.

This is exactly how symptoms happen in the body. How you respond, your perception (which is from your programs) , whether its that you didn’t feel good enough (because that feels like a threat to survival) or you physically were attacked, it is going to respond.

Your body adapts to survive and it gets that command from the subconscious.

So lets say you feel separated from your mom when you are a little kid. That feeling is a threat to your survival according to your subconscious. So it sends a message to your body, “hey we need to adapt because there is a threat.” So while you are feeling this separation feeling, your body is already making changes to survive but you don’t see it, you may only feel anxious or have an increased heart rate. Your body is at this time taking the hit for your stress so it can continue operating.

But then, when you get home and see your mom, that feeling goes away, you no longer feel separated. Now that sends a message to your body that it is all good and you feel safe. This is when symptoms start to show because your body has to come back into homeostasis from the changes it was making while you experienced that stressful time. This is when a rash may occur since it was connected to feeling separated.

The rash is an indication that you have resolved this particular stress that happened.

Now most people will only see the rash but they have no idea all the things that had to happen behind the scenes in the subconscious in order for it to show up.

This is your subconscious’ way of keeping you safe.

Another way that the subconscious keeps you safe is by making sure you continue to operate from old programming. Now this can have a down side, depending on what that programming is.

Change is a threat to your efficient automatic subconscious, it wants to keep things the same. It also has all those memories stored for reference that it protects you from having to experience again.

So this is where those old programs can get in the way of the dreams and desires you have. We call these secondary gains. They keep you stuck so you don’t have to experience “pain” again.

So, for example, let's say you want to heal your chronic condition but you know if you heal, that you would have to take on more responsibilities. Your subconscious has proof in its storage box that taking on more responsibilities means that you may burn out, get overwhelmed or maybe fail at them.

This “pain” is something that your subconscious wants to avoid. Because it wants to avoid that pain, it will find reasons to stay where you are at. Keep you from healing. Again this is all out of protection. It is one of the biggest areas that we find people are not addressing when it comes to healing.


The subconscious also guides your autonomic nervous system which is the part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, blood flow, organ function, digestive processes, and healing.

If its normal activities are interrupted by abnormal or prolonged emotional disturbance, it causes disruption to bodily functions, which results in mental or physical symptoms or both.

I hope you heard what I just said.

This literally summarizes how symptoms/disease is manifested. Your bodily functions know how to function on their own through the subconscious but if they are not healing, it is because of something within the subconscious that is interrupting it. The emotional disturbance is rooted there based on all the stored programs.

This should be great news to you because then you know exactly where to focus to heal. This is why I only focus on the subconscious with the work that I teach because it starts there. Yes, what you eat is important, but do you think that you will choose healthy food if you don’t love yourself first? This is why so many people fail at making dietary lifestyle changes. They don’t work on their subconscious first! Everything is rooted there.


Just like the subconscious mind avoids situations that it considers to be dangerous to you, it also attracts you to situations and people that prove it's beliefs to be true. In other words, whatever beliefs are stored in your subconscious mind will be played out in your life because in essence, they are your truths or your reality.

This is why two people can be experiencing the same exact situation but walk away with two entirely different accounts of that experience. It's because they are literally viewing that experience through the lens of their subconscious beliefs.

For example, let's imagine that an 8-year-old child experiences the divorce of her parents. It's a fairly civil divorce, but the child wasn't told very much by her parents about why the divorce was happening. She decides that it must be her fault and in her decision, she also decides that it's because she is "not enough" to keep them together.

This belief gets stored in her subconscious and as she matures into a young woman, she is still dealing with a subconscious belief that she is "not enough". It gets played out in relationships and her career. Each time a setback occurs, she interprets it as the cause of her not being enough. In fact, she actually is attracted (subconsciously) to situations that prove that she is indeed, not enough because that is her belief, her truth.

So if you ever wonder why you attract certain situations or people, again it is going back to the subconscious.


Your subconscious mind's primary role is to protect you which is another way of saying, keeping you out of danger. When you experience emotional stress, it means that your subconscious mind is interpreting the event or thought that triggered the stress as dangerous or threatening. It gets that interpretation from past experiences.

For example, some people experience stress when public speaking or flying on an airplane. This means that there is an underlying belief in the subconscious that there is some sort of threat when doing these activities.

Even if the person's conscious mind uses reason and logic to try and make themselves feel better, the subconscious mind still senses a threat and therefore, puts the body into a stress response. The result can be increased heart rate, adrenaline rushes, sweaty palms and everything else that goes with a fight or flight response.....even though their life is not threatened.

It is really important to note that even though the conscious mind uses willpower to try and convince the person that giving the public speech or flying on an airplane is fine, it can't control the outcome. That's because the subconscious mind, the protector, will typically win when it doesn't agree with the conscious mind.

It disagrees if it has proof within its storage, from the memories and perceptions, that what you are saying is not true.

This is why working on the old subconscious programs is so important before you decide to consciously start directing it.

Your conscious is very powerful but until you clean up the programs in your subconscious that are driving your conscious ways, the subconscious will win.


So at this point, I hope you are excited about your subconscious. Why should you be excited? Because just because it was programmed in the way it was, doesn’t mean you can’t change those programs. Just like programs in a computer, you can replace them.

Staying a victim to your programs is ….. staying a victim.

Your desire to change them has to be stronger than they are. That usually happens when we have hit bottom. When our health is bad, or when those programs are negatively affecting our life in a way that we don’t want anymore. This is why you often don’t see people making drastic changes until they have hit a certain point. The shit has to get deep before we decide to make change.

For me, I no longer was willing to let my son be influenced by my negative patterns, I needed to be the wife and mom I wanted to be, I was sick of seeing the look on my husbands face when he came home from work and saw me laying on the couch, I was sick of not being able to get in my car to get groceries, I hated looking in the mirror and not loving me, I was sick of it all.

I needed to be sick of everything around me to find the desire to change. Once I had that desire, nothing stopped me and my life and health were completely changed because of the changes I made within my subconscious.

Next, you may be wondering what is required to make these changes.


If you want to affect change in your life and health at a core level, then you will have to work on your programs that are held in the subconscious mind.

Yes, there are healing programs out there that don’t do this deep level work and only focus on conscious work, I call those surface level techniques. While those techniques can be helpful, I often see people end up right back where they started maybe a year later because the deep work wasn’t done.

If you want to pull a weed out for good, you have to pull it from its roots.

Core level work is going to be unique to you and your experiences. You need to identify the patterns that are wrecking havoc on your life, which often reveal themselves through your symptoms. Once you identify the patterns, making the connections to where they were established is incredibly powerful to making changes in the subconscious.

Until the subconscious mind is reprogrammed with a different belief, life can be a vicious cycle of wanting something on a conscious level, but avoiding it on a subconscious level. It can be frustrating because ultimately you sense that you have the capability to change, but you just can't seem to make it happen.

The key to making the change is changing the subconscious mind's beliefs.

Essentially you are changing the files of proof that your subconscious has stored. Once you do that, then you can come in and use your conscious to rewire new programs.

Remember, take out the old, put in the new.

Remember what I said at the beginning about the conscious and its 2 most important abilities?

  • Your ability to direct your focus.

  • Your ability to imagine what is not real

These are two very important abilities that only your conscious can do and you can take advantage of them once you let go of the old subconscious programs.

By continuously being in charge of your own thoughts through directing your focus and using visualization, you can influence what programs the subconscious mind constantly runs. Do this often enough (and with enough emotional energy) then it will start to reprogram your subconscious.

And when that happens you’ll experience change on a very deep level!

It’s very much a top down approach. After all, it’s how your habits, behaviors and beliefs were created in the first place.

This ability of your conscious mind to direct your attention and awareness is one of the most important powers you have, and to create change in your life you must learn to control what you consciously focus on.

But how do you do that? The actual skill of directing your focus is quite simple … all it comes down to is making a choice. Deciding how you will think and what thoughts you will allow into your mind will determine your destiny. It can literally be used for constructive or destructive means.

Our mental thoughts are probably the only one true freedom we have in this world that we can actually control. A man can be physically trapped in prison in absolute inhumane conditions and yet still be free in his own mind. We alone can choose how we are going to respond to our experiences in life.

One of the truly great things about the subconscious (and one which we need to take advantage of to affect change) is … it obeys orders!

People often think that the subconscious is in charge and you are merely at its mercy. In fact, it is the complete opposite. Your conscious mind gives it the direction, the environment if you like, for which it operates in. The subconscious will only deliver the emotions and feelings of what you continuously think about.

Now I’m not saying it is as easy as changing what you think of in one moment and your entire life will be changed. In most cases your default programs have too much energy attached to them to change instantaneously. This is why the work we teach is over a longer period of time because it is not realistic to make changes in a short period.

Awareness is the first step to change and allows you to identify your mental, emotional, and physical patterns. Once you become aware, then you can take the second step of changing and influencing your subconscious mind, so that over time it starts to operate differently.

This is the road out of pain and other health ailments that just won’t go away or don’t go away with traditional medicine or many types of treatments.


The other important ability of the conscious mind is the use of visualization. Your mind can literally imagine something that is totally new and unique – something you’ve never physically experienced before. By contrast, your subconscious can only offer versions of what memories it has stored of your past experiences.

But the really neat trick is that the subconscious can’t distinguish between that which the conscious mind imagines and what is real, so whatever is brought up by conscious imagination and intently focused on, it looks at it as a memory.

Visualization can be used to create some amazing results. In one sporting study three groups of people were tested on their ability to improve their free throw accuracy in basketball. They were tested at the start of the experiment and at the end.

One group was instructed to physically practice free throws for 20 days in a row. The second group was not allowed to train at all. The third group spent 20 minutes a day getting into a relaxed state and only imagining themselves performing the free throws. They were also taught that if they missed in their minds, to adjust slightly and see themselves getting it the next time.

At the end of the experiment the results were incredible. The group that physically practiced each day improved their score by 24%. The second group who didn’t practice understandably didn’t improve at all. But the third group, who had only visualized doing it, actually improved their score by an amazing 23% – nearly as much as group one!

Don’t underestimate the power of the conscious mind.

So now, I hope you are excited about the conscious mind too. The subconscious and conscious are very critical to creating change in your life and health. No one else can do this work for you.

Remember to keep this simple…… what is in your subconscious influences everything from the addictions you may have, your relationships, your health, your finances, everything in your life. The perceptions you have of life experiences are based on what memories are stored in your subconscious. They are the proof. If you want to change your health or life you must address those first and THEN you can do the conscious work.

The things that trigger you, your emotions, fears, and symptoms, all reveal what programs you need to work on. You are unique and this work will be unique to you.

I know this may seem daunting because it feels like you have so many old programs, but the truth is that most people are operating from 3-4 main programs and there are subprograms that are running from those. You really just need to work on the main programs and the rest disappear.

At MBR we simplify this whole process for you. We dissect it piece by piece, layer by layer. Keeping it simple and focused. Giving you the exact things you need to do.

If you would like to learn and use the MBR method to clean up the unhealthy subconscious programs that are affecting your health and life, please request a custom healing plan so we can direct you towards which of our products best suits your situation.


We get it, you're desperate to have your illness be a thing of the past, not something that defines your days. But trying to heal WITHOUT a custom plan is costing you precious time, money and energy!

You are unique, your symptoms are connected to very specific patterns within your subconscious.

Without a plan unique to you, you will continue struggling and miss out on the life you deserve to be living! To help you get started on your long-lasting healing journey, we would love to provide you with a healing plan that is unique to you. Get your custom healing plan today!

You can also Download my free healing guide, “Why Can’t I Heal” where you will learn the 5 reasons that you haven't healed despite everything you've tried. These are the missing pieces to your healing and the key to resolving your symptoms for good.

Jenny Peterson is the founder and CEO of Mind Body Rewire (MBR). She teaches those that are overwhelmed with trying to heal chronic symptoms how to simplify their healing by focusing on just one place, the subconscious mind. Learn more about MBR here.


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