How Intuition Works - Backed By Science

How Intuition Works – Backed by Science – The Other Two Brains In Your Body

Steve Jobs gave a touching speech at the 2005 Standford commencement ceremony in which he said “Don’t let the voice of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

The immediate question that comes to mind is: OK, I want to do this. But how?

How do you hear “your inner voice,” that your heart and intuition somehow already know?

Your best friend on this issue is your own body. You need to rely on your bodily signals when you want to listen to your inner voice.

Why is that? In order to find some answers based on the scientific approach we need to dip our toes into a bit of anatomy of the human body, neurology and electromagnetism. 

Don’t run away just yet, I promise to keep things simple. 

How Intuition Works is Related To How Our Body Works

The thing is our brains and bodies are much more complex than we know.

By having a superficial look at how our nervous system is spread throughout our body we can easily see that: our mind is not just a function associated with the grey matter found in our skull. It’s much, much more than that.

Let’s look at how you are able to stay alive while going about your daily chores, without paying any attention to your body. How is that possible? It’s possible because your body is regulated by your autonomic nervous system.

Millions and millions of actions are taking place every second without your conscious awareness in order for your blood to circle, your kidneys to filter, your stomach to digest, your lungs to breath, your heart to beat and so on.

We have neurons not only in our brains, but also around our heart, in our gut and all along our body, spreading from our central nervous system.

Everything in our body is interconnected and regulated mostly through our autonomic nervous system. Autonomic, cause we are not aware of its actions and it goes on either we pay attention to it or not. We breath, pump blood and filter substances continously, either we are awake or asleep.

So, there is a huge pile of data that is stored on an unconscious level in our brain, about the internal activity that goes on in our body and about our environment.

Continuously adjusting, acting and reacting to the internal and external stimuli, our bodies are doing their job so we stay alive.

Thank God for that, imagine if we had to remember to breath, we would have been dead in a few minutes of browsing our newsfeed.

The Other Two Command Centers…Besides Your Brain

Scientific research on our body revelead that we have two other command centers, besides our brain located in the skull.

There are neurons in our intestines and around our heart.

And not just a few, but enough to make scientist call the enteric nervous system the “second brain”.

And studies made by the Hearth Math Institute revelead that the heart has an electromagnetic field 3 to 5 meters wide around, that constantly communicates with other people and our brain.

So based on these two alternative brains,

we might say we have two types of intuition.

One that resides on the gut brain, and that has as a main purpose to protect us from any potential harmful situations.

And one that resides in the heart, who’s drive is to move us forward, to make us expand and grow.

The first is mostly sensitive to fear-based situations, the latter to love and expansion.

Protection and expansion are their key words.

The Gut Brain

Our nervous system brings information from the brain to the various parts of our body and from these parts back to the brain.

That’s how it works. That’s how you circule your blood, you breath, you digest, you replace old and dead cells, you heal, you grow – without any contribution from your conscious mind, it all happens on “auto-pilot”.

So just because the newest part of the brain is not aware of the millions of operations that the older parts of the brain perform every second to keep us alive, it’s not a reason not to listen to its signs.

On the contrary, because this part doesn’t have words and can’t articulate its message in a language that the newer parts understand, we need to learn to decipher its signs and act upon them.

To make this simpler, when you get the sensation of feeling hungry or sleepy, what do you do? You act upon it: you go get some food or some rest if your present situation allows you to do so.

You are not going to say something like: “oh, that hunger sensation, I’m going to ignore it!”

You might, for a while, but in the end, your body will ask its rights otherwise you’ll get into trouble. You can’t survive too long without water, food or sleep.

Now, if the same intelligent system that keeps you alive, sends you messages about other things in your life – like the new person you just met, the job proposal you received, or the food you should eat, why would you ignore it? It doesn’t make sense, right?

This super-intelligent system not only regulates all your bodily functions so you are able to stay alive without ever worrying about beating your heart or filtering and eliminating the toxins from your food or your drugs, but also stores all your memories.

That’s how it learns to protect you in the future from similar dangerous situations that happened in the past. Even if you do not have any conscious recollection of them.

Now, does this mean that you should always and indiscriminately listen to your “gut feeling”?

As in all matters of life, the golden middle line is the best.

Past Trauma & Your Gut Feeling

There are situations when you might have suffered a traumatic event. Let’s say you had a teacher with red hair who punished you in kindergarten and made you feel humiliated.

You might end up as un adult to have an unusual reaction to all red haired women. You might find yourself avoiding any connection with women who resemble with that mean teacher.

But because you’ve forgotten about the teacher, you can’t explain why “you don’t like the red haired women”. You might think that “it’s just the way you are”.

In this case it’s not such a big deal, after all there are many brunettes and blondes, out there, aren’t they?

But there are countless other events that happened to you and that, unless brought into conscious awareness, shape your behaviour and your choices in life without you even knowing it.

Now, if your life is good and you are happy with it, it means you don’t have much digging to do.

But if you don’t like how your life looks now, you might want to start some digging and cleaning up old emotional garbage, before being able to completely trust your inner gut signals.

The Heart Brain

As far as the other type of intuition, the one that comes from the heart, there is an entire area of studies and experiments that have been made around the functions and power of our hearts.

The Hearth Math Institute, founded in 1991, offers many resources based on their scientific research that show without a doubt that there is much more to our hearts than meets the eye.

And that in the cases where we can’t atribute our intuitive abilities to our subconsciously stored memories or to our  unconscious brain processes, another theory might help us understand them: “our body is connected by sensory perception to a field of energy that enfolds the information we atribute to intuition.”

This is a topic that deserves an article or even a series of articles dedicated to it alone. So expect them here in the near future. If you want to be the first to know about them, make sure you sign up to get the updates.

The trick is to listen to both of them and learn to discern more and more what comes from fear and what comes from love. And then choose whatever you think is best for you.

And also remember to consult with your logical brain, it’s an amazing tool that helps you in so many ways. 

All my love,

Raluca

Resources:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/gut-second-brain/

https://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/intuition-research/

https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/the-math-of-heartmath/what-is-intuition/

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