Definition: The term “Subliminal” comes from the Latin of “Sub” – meaning below and “Limen” – meaning threshold. In its simplest form it translates as “below threshold”.
To explain this a little better the word subliminal can be used to describe anything which is transmitted beyond the threshold of our perception. There are various types of subliminal messages – from text, to images, to subliminal audio.
Text: Text based messages are basically written information which is displayed faster than the eye can see – these can be used in tv / cinema – i.e. flashing a text based message for 1 tenth of a second, similarly they could be used in screen savers, or subliminal computer programs.
Images: Similarly to text messages images can be displayed for a short period of time, again embedded in videos. The Disney subliminal messages are famous and often use either fast text or flashed images.
Audio: Not to be confused with hypnosis, these consist of any audio message that has been manipulated so that we would not be directly aware of it – either at a higher frequency or lower frequency than the range of physical human hearing, or hidden behind music so they are not clear, as well as other methods such as playing the message in reverse.
If I can’t perceive them, how can they help me?
Well, in everyday life we receive thousands of subliminal messages every day. We don’t realize we are exposed to such messages, but there is simply too much information in our busy lives to consciously process everything.
However we do take in much more information than we realize here are a couple of examples:
- You walk out of a shop and start humming the song which was playing quietly in the store, yet at the time you paid little attention to it.
- You hear your name mentioned across a busy room and suddenly you are aware of their conversation, you then tune into it and block out all the other information.
These two examples show that our minds are always active, always processing the information around us, and this information gets stored in our minds often without us realizing it.
Just because you can’t consciously hear something doesn’t mean that your unconscious mind isn’t aware of it. That is the real beauty of subliminal messaging – you don’t have to physically concentrate on it, or study / learn anything, the messages naturally enter your mind.
Follow on in our educational series with our article about the dangers of subliminal messaging.