People usually associate subliminal messaging with mind control and other CIA-related things, and expect that anyone exposed to it will immediately turn into some kind of killing machine, or will start speaking Spanish like he was born in Spain, or… Well, we can’t talk about mind control (haven’t tried that one yet, sorry 🙂 ), but the submininals are something we know a thing or two about – and it’s nothing like that.
When you read more about how subliminal messaging works, you will understand that the subliminal messages are something we’re dealing with daily, and that our brain “allows” some information to go directly into our subconscious simply because conscious dealing with them would mean a massive information overload that we wouldn’t be able to handle.
That’s one of the the “natural” uses of subliminal storing of different pieces of information we’re receiving in our everyday life. However, subliminal messages can be willingly received as well – that is, you can choose to receive some messages that you feel will be beneficial to your mental or physical health. And it has its roots in science, but we have to be careful about what we’re expecting to get from them. No, they can’t harm us (not the positive subliminal messages used to enhance some of our natural abilities), but sometimes people feel the need to look for magical solutions, some that won’t require them making any effort – and this is certainly not that kind of help.
What Subliminal Messages Can Do for You
The studies on subliminal messages show that they do work, but they give the best results when trying to convince someone of something they want to be convinced of anyhow. For example, there’s been a research where a theater used subliminal advertising to sell popcorn and soda. The sales rose at a very noticeable rate, but this were the people coming to watch the movie, and they were already “familiar” with the idea of eating popcorn and drinking soda there. In other words, the idea has already been planted in their mind – the subliminal messages have only pushed them to act upon it.
When you put this concept to work, it can bring amazing results along with your own will power. That means that if you are driven to succeed and are consciously doing everything you can to ensure your success, then subliminal messages will effortlessly enhance your motivation and push you towards achieving your goals, by shaping the new patterns in your unconscious that will help you align all of your forces in one direction.
Essentially, the audio subliminals (the type that we prefer) are just sentences, spoken positive affirmations recorded just out of our conscious level of hearing (it’s been proven that they work best if our conscious mind doesn’t “hear” them). For example, if you want to stop smoking, the affirmations that you will subconsciously hear can be something like: “I am a non smoker”, or “Stopping smoking is easy”.
Now, these sentences won’t be of any help if you’re listening to them and holding a lit cigarette in your hand; but if you’re working on quitting, if you’re 100% committed to that goal consciously, and you need some extra help in enhancing your willpower to resist temptation, the subliminal affirmations will help you remain strong.
As for your Law of attraction success, subliminal messages won’t work if you don’t make the effort yourself: think about your desires and focus on them, make vision boards and wish lists, read about how manifestation works, take action when you’ve attracted the opportunity – the subliminals will help clarify and enhance the thoughts that are already going on inside your mind.
The subliminal Law of attraction albums that we use contain affirmations like: “The law of attraction is working for me every day” and “I am attracting abundance into my life“. And they work for us, because – well, as you can see, we really believe in the Law of attraction, and are committed to making it work.
History of Subliminal Messages
Will you be shocked if you hear that the usage of subliminal messages can be traced back to at least 5 century back? That’s right! Ancient Greeks used the science called rhetoric as a way of influencing people, and that’s the first known usage of subliminal messages in history.
You see, subliminal messages can be put into any kind of visual or audio piece as fragments that our conscious mind doesn’t register – including speech. This is done by placing slight, almost imperceptible, emphasis on certain words in a sentence, or by using the words with more than one meaning. Well, even the Ancient Greeks knew how to do that.
This kind of persuasive speech has been used by great orators that are closer to our time – Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill used it to inspire people.
First Studies and Experiments in Subliminal Messaging
Studying subliminal messages as we know them today started somewhere in the mid 1800, and in 1897 Dr. E.W. Scripture published a book called The New Psychology, in which, for the first time, are mentioned some basic principles of using subliminal messaging in the context of subtle persuasion.
In the 1920, the folks on BBC were the first (as far as we know) to use subliminal messages to influence broader masses. It’s when they started broadcasting on radio for the first time – at a time, people thought that radio was something sinister, the voice of the devil (well, we can understand that – people talking from the inside of a box!), and the BBC wanted to change that attitude:
(…) they placed certain phrases using backward masking in their jingles. (…) A radio jingle was aired, which sounded completely innocent, but when played backwards it reveals a different (true) purpose. The words “This is not a noose, no really it’s not” can clearly be heard. (Source: www.umich.edu)
During the World War II a machine called tachitoscope was invented; tachitoscope was briefly flashing pictures of enemy airplanes to the pilots, helping them to recognize enemy plains in a battle.
In 1957, a market researcher named James Vicary claimed he could make people buy things by using hidden messages in advertising. That same year Vance Packard, an American journalist and author, published his book The Hidden Persuaders, where he criticized the use of covert techniques in advertising, and media influences in general – and that’s when the subject of subliminal messaging really took off.
James Vickary has conducted an experiment in a New Jersey movie theater: he used tachitoscope to flash the phrases “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Eat popcorn” for 1/2000 of a second during a movie, and he found that the sales increased (58% for popcorn, 18% for Coca Cola) after that.
In the article Is subliminal messaging real? we have mentioned this experiment, and explained how subliminal messages can only influence someone to do something that they were already thinking about doing (people in that theater were thinking about drinking soda and eating popcorn anyway, so subliminal messages just “helped” them go and actually buy them), but this experiment has raised many eyebrows, leading to an enormous response from the public imagining possible effects of subliminal perception on the future.
Vickary, who even founded a company called Subliminal Projection Company and coined the term “subliminal advertising”, later claimed that the experiment was a hoax, but the use of subliminal messages was banned from many countries nevertheless.
During 1970s and 1980s there have been many other studies, with different results; the term was already widely known to the public, and even used in some bizarre contexts – famous is the case from 1985, where the families of two boys who committed suicide claimed that the words “Do it” that Judas Priests subliminally put in their song “Better By You, Better Than Me” have pushed their boys to such a step.
Subliminal Messaging Today
Today, we know a lot more about how subliminal messages work, there are hundreds of self-improvement programs that use subliminal messaging to help people improve their lives, and these are based on real scientific studies: New York psychologist Lloyd Silverman showed that smokers who want to quit and are exposed to subliminal messaging are 5 times more likely to succeed than those who haven’t had a “subliminal support”.
Some other studies even show that the exposure to subliminal messages has led to actual improvement of IQ levels and academic performance.
It’s however important to understand that, in order for subliminal messages to help us achieve our goals, we have to pursue those goals consciously as well – or, in other words, they can’t make us do what we already aren’t willing to do, but they can greatly help us in conquering the resistance of our unconscious mind. To learn more about the processes in our subconscious and the effects of subliminal messages, you can check the other articles in the section of our website dedicated to subliminal messages.
And Vickary’s experiment? He never released a detailed description of his study, but 50 years later, a recreation of his experiment was made during International Brand Marketing Conference MARKA 2007. The results were interesting, to say the least: 81% of those exposed to subliminal advertising choose a brand they were subliminally exposed to over the other one.
Is Subliminal Messaging Effortless?
Well, this depends: what actually do you mean by that question?
Subliminal messaging is effortless, in the sense that you can do whatever you want while listening to some subliminal album that someone else created, and let the affirmations sink into your subconscious. There’s absolutely nothing that you have to do to make your subconscious “hear” the subliminal messages. Let it play in the background as you’re washing the dishes, preparing a business presentation, or just resting on your couch.
If, on the other hand, you want to actually benefit from listening to them – then it’s a whole other story.
Sorry to break it to you like this, but do you really expect that you can just play an album, and to see all of your problems miraculously gone, all the negative beliefs that have been holding you back re-wired, and you suddenly turned into a person you’ve always wanted to be? No, of course you don’t 🙂
But subliminal messages can be an extremely useful aid to help you reach the goals you’re consciously pursuing.
Here’s The Deal: When Subliminals Can Help?
In the article that talks about how our negative beliefs can sabotage our conscious manifesting efforts, we have explained the reasons why many times, even when we’re doing everything right, it just seems like the Law of attraction isn’t working – or like it’s working in the wrong direction: it’s our subconscious mind’s fault.
For example, when we work on manifesting our dream house, we can repeat positive affirmations like: “I’m attracting my new house, I am doing everything it takes to attract my new house”; we can visualize the house of our dreams, or put it on our vision board; we can even do all the actions that come to our mind that should help us acquire that house – browsing the real estate ads, telling all of our friends that we’re looking for such house, looking at the offers of the real estate agencies… We can be focused on getting that house all day long – and we can still find ourselves doubting that we’ll ever own it. And that puts a stop to the process.
The reason for this is, most often, that somewhere in our subconscious we don’t really believe that we can manifest something so unbelievable big, or that we don’t deserve to have it. These sneaky little thoughts that appear from the back of our brain are enough to mess up the message we’re trying to send to the universe; the fear of actually owning the house of our dreams is translating our thoughts into something like this: “Well, probably it’s better for me not to be the owner of something so beautiful; I probably wouldn’t be able to manage it, and anyway, it costs too much, what if I lost my job tomorrow?” etc.
It’s our mind sabotaging itself, and in most cases, we aren’t even aware of it. The efforts that we’re consciously making are obviously not enough to make our mind believe that what we want is actually possible – and subliminal messages, which enter the subconscious directly, can push it to the right direction.
Combined with our conscious efforts, subliminals can do a tremendous job in “healing” our mind from negativity that keeps us from getting what we have asked the universe for – simply by aligning all of our thoughts and beliefs with our desires and actions. That, in turn, makes us even more focused, even more action oriented, and finally feeling that we do deserve, and can have whatever we set out mind to.
Seven Facts Concerning Subliminal Audio
Subliminal audio is a red-hot topic at the minute, it can get pretty controversial too. Visit a few different subliminal messaging websites and you will be able to read a range of different opinions, and myths about how it can be used, but here are my seven simple truths about subliminal messages:
1. It’s Popular with Celebs!
More and more subliminal stimuli is coming into the mainstream, and with high profile people like this coming out and admitting to the use of them it is now much more accepted as a form of personal development. It is not only Anthony Robbins who is advising of the power of subliminal messaging, but golfer Tiger Woods, and Stephen Spielberg have admitted to using it.
2. It’s Not Illegal
It is not “illegal” as claimed by some, but simply banned from use within advertising due to its unfair potential to manipulate consumers. It can be legally used to help support your own goals (see our article: what are subliminal messages for a more detailed explanation).
3. It IS Used in Ads
Reputable companies such as Coca Cola, & McDonald’s have always been accused of utilizing subliminal messages in their marketing. Coca cola for using subliminal photographs of nude females within their branding, and McDonald’s for showing an advert for a split second frame on the “Food Network” Television channel (amongst some other accusations).
4. You May Have Been Manipulated by George Bush
In the course of his election campaigns and speeches George Bush seemed to be applying a variety of subliminal techniques. This ranged from using subliminal audio as well as subliminal “triggers” to inserting subliminal messages straight into marketing videos.
5. There Is a Device Based on Subliminal Messaging
Research into subliminal messaging ended in research into and development of the “tachistoscope”. This is a military tool used to coach troops to identify enemy aircraft, and has since been adapted to aid the development of speed reading abilities. It works in the same was as subliminal image / video clip applications as it flashes photos and short sentences for just less than 1/10th of a second.
6. Subliminal Messages Aren’t a Magic Wand
If you were to believe everything you saw on television shows or in movies you may think that you will achieve an instantaneous / overnight final result using subliminal messaging. Sadly this isn’t possible. For whatever issue you need to fix, it will take hard work, and subliminal messages are only a useful aid.
7. It’s Widely Used by the Self Help Experts
Subliminal messaging is now a lot more extensively recognized by top self help experts offering subliminals, and even mainstream hypnotists like Paul McKenna offering subliminal audio as part of their product range. Because of this, more and more people are using them as a part of their self improvement efforts.
We like subliminal messages too – check back to our main page about subliminals for more information on how you can use them for manifestation.