It’s no secret that we live in an over-intellectualized society and try to make decisions only from our heads. We like data, facts and logic when it comes to making decisions. And yet, sometimes we don’t make decisions from our heads at all.
Sometimes we actually make decisions from our heart and gut. For most people, this sounds intangible. When the majority of people think of making a decision with their heart, they are usually referring to feelings. When they think of making a decision from their gut, they often equate it to intuition. These are both valid assumptions—the problem lies in that we tend to give these decision-makers less value.
We assume that it’s only the brain in our head that can gather information and make decisions, when in reality, our heart and gut play a role as well. In fact, some theorize that we actually have three brains: the one in our head, our heart and our gut.
Here’s how you can use your “three brains” to make better decisions in life—starting from the bottom up!
We’ve all had the experience of butterflies in our stomach or gut feelings when something doesn’t seem right. Usually we pay no mind, but the reality is, there are some serious neurological processes going on.
Your gut is actually home to over 100 million neurons, which transmit information. Your gut, oftentimes dubbed the second brain, is comprised of sheaths of neurons that line the walls of your gut, alimentary canal and anus.
This could explain why sometimes your stomach acts up when you’re uncomfortable or feel like something may not be quite right. It may also explain why we get butterflies when we’re falling in love.
Your gut is picking up this information, and then your brain synthesizes it. Your gut is saying: “I’m not feeling well” or “I’m excited,” and your brain then concludes, “Something’s not right about this situation” or “I’m attracted to this person and I’m a little nervous.”
Thanks to extensive research, we now know that the heart also literally gathers information we can use. For instance, when we shake someone’s hand, the heart produces an electromagnetic field that actually extends outside of the body. The heart then functions as a generator of bio-information, which tells the body how to react. The source of this information is then based on physiological actions like blood flow, heart rate and pulse pressure. This happens before the brain comes to a conclusion about the person whose hand you just shook.
The mass of grey matter between your ears is actually the last to know what’s actually going on. The reality is, your body is sending you clues all the time, and it’s up to you to notice and decipher it using your brain.
Your brain is great at processing and synthesizing data—it partly determines your mental state and plays a key role in body function, but it’s actually not the supreme decision maker in your body. It helps in the process, but your gut and heart are actually helping you make decisions long before your brain does.
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