What are subliminals? Stay abreast on this rising self-help trend

Subliminals are the latest trend in the self-help space. People say positive affirmations in subliminal videos can lead to self-improvement but is it true?

listening to music
Subliminals are being widely adopted to improve one’s habits, health and lifestyle. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Grace BainsPUBLISHED ON: 11 SEPTEMBER 2021, 15:00 PM IST

People across the world are tuning into YouTube, to consume ‘subliminals’, for self-improvement. These video or audio messages, set to rhythmic music and positive affirmations, are known to boost the mood, and motivate its consumers.

As per a study by Neuroscience of Consciousness, subliminal messaging could influence decision making up to 25 minutes after the message is presented.

How do subliminals work?

These messages act as stimuli, in the form of sounds or images. Another feature is that subliminals are often presented as faint or quick audio-video messages, which make them hard to perceive. The idea is to subliminally (existing or functioning below the threshold of consciousness) stimulate the brain, and positively impact thoughts and behavior

Subliminals are often used to boost morale, reduce stress levels, quit smoking, and manage weight.

happiness impact on your body
Subliminals can bring about feelings of positivity! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Key elements of subliminals

Most subliminals consist of positive affirmations, accompanied by music in the form of binaural beats.

Positive affirmations:

As per research published by US National Library of Medicine, positive affirmations are an expression that is repeated, often without thinking about it, used to introduce to the subconscious with a thought that can motivate you. It helps to remind you of your positive attributes and provide the confidence needed to accomplish goals.

Subliminals contain positive affirmations that are concise, and promote visualization as they are repeated. Affirmations should preferably be in the present tense, for example, “I am a winner”, “I will stop smoking”, or “I will not be defeated by negative criticism.” Visualization provides a way to implant pictures in your subconscious that complement the words that are repeated.

Tuning in to subliminals will lead to self-improvement. Image courtesy: Shutterstock


Music, in general, has a positive effect on one’s stress levels. As per research published by the journal The Arts in Psychotherapy, music has the ability to lower cortisol levels, thereby reducing stress. Rhythmic beats such as binaural beats, are especially helpful to induce a relaxing effect on the mind. These beats aid in slowing the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and decrease the levels of stress hormones.

A number of subliminals use binaural beats, which create an auditory illusion, caused by listening to two tones of music with slightly different frequency, one in each ear. This difference in frequencies creates an illusion of a third sound, which is essentially a rhythmic beat.

What to be careful of when it comes to subliminals?

There are some bizarre subliminals which claim to help change the eye colour, increase the height, or improve performance in exams. One should be wary of such subliminals.

Hence, learn to set and manage your expectations, when it comes to using subliminals. While the individual components of subliminals, such as positive affirmations and music, are associated with reducing stress and improving morale, there is currently no evidence to suggest that they are helpful for any other health, wellness, or educational applications.

About the Author
Grace BainsGrace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.


Can’t stop picking at your skin? Here’s how you can ditch this habit in no time

If you find yourself reaching out to scratch a scab or injury almost every single time, you might be a victim of a skin picking disorder. Here’s all that you need to know.

skin problems due to covid-19
Keep an eye on changes in your skin! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Geetika SachdevPUBLISHED ON: 10 SEPTEMBER 2021, 12:33 PM IST

You must have come across several people picking at their skin; let’s just say most of the time, it is harmless. But if this habit becomes a part of your daily routine, it is certainly a cause for concern, ladies. It then manifests into a condition called excoriation (or skin picking disorder). Under such circumstances, skin picking becomes so extreme that it can cause bleeding, sores and even scars. Those who suffer from this disorder try to remove anything and everything on their skin that they deem as an ‘imperfection’.

Here’s how you can recognise skin picking disorder

It isn’t easy to identify if skin picking has become a serious problem in your life, but some questions can definitely help:

  • Does skin picking take a lot of your time?
  • Does your skin have several scars, because you pick at your skin?
  • Have you ever felt that skin picking is hampering your social or professional life?

If you answered YES to these questions, you are certainly suffering from a skin picking disorder.

skin picking
Are you way to conscious about your looks? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How does the skin picking disorder develop?

“Skin picking is not dependent on any age; it can happen at any point. It can show up in various ways. For instance, if you have a rash or small injury, it might leave certain scars. You might not like its appearance and scratch it to make it disappear, which is most likely to worsen it. The second way is when you don’t realise that you are scratching a scab, and it happens because you are stressed. Every time you are worried, stressed or anxious, you unknowingly pick at your skin, and within no time, it just becomes a habit,” explains Khyati Doshi, a Delhi-based dermatologist.

This disorder is a part of ‘body-focused repetitive behaviour’. For some people, it can be about picking their hair or nails. Some psychologists categorise it as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder, because most people want to pick at their skin, out of habit.

skin picking
Skin picking won’t help ladies! Image courtesy: Shuttersock
Is there any treatment for this disorder?

Absolutely! This disorder can be treated with the help of both therapy and medication.

Also, read: Body shaming can wreck your mental health! But these tips from 5 influential women can help

“When it comes to therapy, there can be two methods that can be applied. In certain cases, the therapist can help you identify why you’re so stressed, and deal with the problem. And once the stressor is identified, there are several activities that are suggested that can keep them occupied. The second solution is to do it through stimulus control. Your therapist might ask you to wear gloves to prevent the urge to pick at your skin,” says Akansha Badhwar, a renowned psychologist.

There are certain medications that are also suggested, including serotonin or other antidepressants, anticonvulsants or antipsychotics. Make sure you do not take any medication, without proper consultation.

About the Author
Geetika SachdevGeetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you’ll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.


1 thought on “What are subliminals? Stay abreast on this rising self-help trend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *