Self-suggestion is one of the methods included in the framework of a more general concept – “mental self-regulation”. Psychic self-regulation (PSR) is understood as various methods of independent influence on one’s own mental state (and through it – on other functions of the body) by using primarily words and mental images corresponding to words.
Let’s understand what “words and mental images corresponding to words”. Suppose someone uttered the word “table”. And we immediately have a mental image of the table. We begin, as it were, to mentally see in front of us the object called the table. Depending on our life experience and interests, this “mentally visible” table can be large or small, wooden or plastic, square or round, dark or light; written, dining, billiard, operational – that is, whatever. But after the word “table” we always involuntarily begin to “mentally see” the table, and not anything else. Thus, in connection with words, mental images corresponding to these words arise in the brain. In turn, mental images that appear in the brain, as a rule, receive the appropriate verbal design. For example, we saw that it was raining heavily outside the window. Immediately, a mental image of a heavy rain arises from direct perception, and we (sometimes involuntarily) say to ourselves or in a whisper the corresponding words – “heavy rain”. Or speak them loudly. If you want to report a change in the weather to someone who has not yet looked out the window.
Whatever a person thinks, one cannot know his thoughts until he starts talking. Of course, one can guess something by the expression of his face, by separate movements of the head, hands, etc. d. but it will all be speculation. Only after words are spoken aloud (or written) that correspond to the thoughts and therefore express them, we can know what the person was thinking about.“Language is the immediate reality of thought” – in this formulation, which belongs to K. Marx and F. Engels, the essence of the relationship between mental images, which are elements of thinking, and words that form these mental images, is very briefly and precisely defined. – elements of speech.
However, sometimes the gesture can be so expressive that words are not required. For example, if a strict father threatens his disobedient son with a finger, then the words “look at me, dodge!” You can not say. Son, and so everything will be clear. Undoubtedly, the “sign language” is very rich. In particular, based on it, the art of the pantomime theater was built, the content of the performances in which is clear to everyone, although people of different ages and nationalities can sit in the hall. But nevertheless, it is the speech given by nature only to man that is the most informative channel in communication between people.
Often we ourselves say or hear from others such words – “I think.” Let’s analyze them. Suppose I think of my teacher. What does it mean? This means that, firstly, I mentally “see” this person, presenting more or less clearly various details of his external appearance: shape, height, facial features, hair color, cut of a suit, etc. e. All these details, as it is not difficult to see, are of a visual nature. But there may be details of a different nature – say, auditory, tactile, olfactory. So, for example, thinking about the teacher, you can mentally “hear” his voice, “feel” the shake of his hand, “smell” the smell of cologne he uses, and so on. d.
Each of us – depending on which sense organ is leading, – mental images corresponding to this sense organ predominate. In particular, people who have a leading organ – a rumor, after the word “rooster” first of all “hear” “k-ka-d-ku!”, And only then “see” the rooster. But for the overwhelming majority of people, the leading sense organ, carrying about 80–85 percent of all information entering the brain, is vision.
Naturally, the more details of a different plan, determined by the functions of various sense organs, arise in our thinking in connection with the object about which we think, the more precisely and concretely these details, the richer and more diverse the mental images of this object. Consequently, mental images play the role of original bricks, which make up what our thinking is busy at the moment.
There is such a thing – “disciplined thinking”. The essence of his ability at a particular moment to operate only with such mental images that are needed in this situation. If a wrestler, going to the carpet, has chaos in his head of various thoughts like “Win or lose? And what happens if I lose? What will the coach say? Comrades? She? … “and m. d., then there can be no disciplined thinking and speech. This athlete is doomed to failure in advance, because in his mind there are no clear, very specific mental images aimed at competently conducting the struggle.
With disciplined thinking, only those images that are determined by the nature of the upcoming competition are present in the mind. Moreover, these mental images should be connected not with the goal – “Win!”, But oriented towards the means of achieving the goal – then it will be achieved as if by itself. Why?
Remember, when it came to attention, I said that it was not possible for us to keep focused attention simultaneously on different objects. Therefore, if we (even involuntarily) focus on the goal “Win!”, Then the means to achieve this goal will come out of control of our attention, we will no longer manage them purposefully. And the goal is victory! – may not be achieved. Thus, it is very important to be able to keep in mind only those elements of thinking, that is, those mental images that are needed in this particular situation – nothing outside! Only under this condition can we say that thinking was disciplined.
So, between thinking, a process whose essence consists in operating with concrete mental images, and speech, elements of which are different words, there is a certain interrelation: a word gives rise to a corresponding mental image, and a mental image, as a rule, can be named, decorated with an appropriate word . It is useful to think deeply into this conclusion – it will help to master the technique of auto-suggestion later on.
Opportunities words . The expression “the word can be killed and can be resurrected” is known. The meaning is correct, but the essence of the process needs to be clarified, because not the words themselves have an impact on the person, but those mental images that arise behind the words. After all, the same word causes completely different mental images in different people. Say the word “liar” to a notorious liar – and he may only grin awry. And the same word, pronounced to an honest person, can cause him a severe heart attack.
Therefore, in order to be correctly and better understood, one should use such words that in a given audience are capable of evoking the necessary mental images. For example, if, talking to athletes, to say: “explication of the intensional”, then these words will cause nothing but perplexity in them. But psychologists (though not all) are understandable.
The nature and quality of the connection between a word and its corresponding mental image depend on a number of conditions. Here are some of them.
The first is congenital features of the nervous system. Some of us are more, while others have less gift of figurative thinking. Saying, say, the word “lily of the valley”, some can immediately imagine the appearance of this flower and even the smell, while in others this image is recreated much worse and turns out to be paler. It should, however, be noted that the ability to have bright, imaginative ideas can be developed if we are engaged in special training – in particular, using the opportunities of auto-suggestion.
Secondly , different words with different powers evoke the corresponding images. So, if we imagine that we eat bread, we will not have at the same time almost no tactile and taste sensations.And if you “replace” it with a slice of lemon, then the majority involuntarily will begin to salivate.
Third , the more accurate the words used, the stronger their action, the brighter the images associated with these words. That is why simply the word “lemon” gives rise to quite a common idea in our consciousness and, therefore, it is not such a vivid idea. But if you say: “Juicy, sour slice of lemon” – this will cause a lot more associations. It is very important to emphasize that bright images cause the same changes in our body as real stimuli. Therefore, we can start, not only because the snow suddenly fell on the collar, but also imagining how a cold, wet lump began to spread along the neck and between the shoulder blades. The brighter the mental image, the more its action, similar to the action of a real object or phenomenon.
The fourth is the intonation with which words are pronounced. The passionless, monotonous speech has a mainly soporific effect. But speech is intonationally diverse, emotional can change the mental state and behavior of a person awake.
Fifth , all the words and the corresponding images that are associated with the numerous functions of the human body can be divided into two large groups. The first one consists of mental images about processes controlled and controlled by consciousness. These are mainly functions of the musculoskeletal system. The second consists of those who do not obey our control , our volitional efforts and orders. This is the activity of the internal organs: heart, gastrointestinal tract, endocrine glands, liver, etc. p. Everyone knows from their own experience that representations belonging to the first group are easier to implement. For example, having said “clenched a fist” , it is easy to imagine the corresponding movement, and then physically execute it. But such words as “palpitations become less frequent” can be correctly pronounced and even give a good idea of the desired result, but it is unlikely that with the usual waking state of the brain it will be possible to slow the rhythm of the heart’s activity.
Sixth , it has long been established that words and their corresponding mental images affect the functions of the body much more when the brain is in a dormant state. This circumstance is used both in hypnotic suggestion and in the process of self-suggestion, which will be described in detail below.