Saturday, May 14, 2011

Follow your Heart

You have heard the phrases “Trust your gut”, “Listen to your heart”.

Most of us are conditioned to dismiss what our gut tells us, and would rather “use our head” to think logically and rationally instead.

We are conditioned to think that "using our head" is a sign of maturity. Only the feeble minded, let their heart and gut "mislead" them.

It may surprise you to learn that modern neuroscience has discovered that following our gut or our heart may not be so far fetched or frivolous after all. Neuroscience has validated what the ancients from across the world had understood all along. Neuroscience has confirmed that the ancients’ belief that the heart and gut have a mind of their own is not a misunderstanding of the human anatomy. Trusting in our heart and gut has basis in how the human mind works.

First, let me ask “Where is our brain”?

Many would say that our brain sits on top of our shoulder, inside our skull.

While it is true that our brain has the highest concentration of nerve cells in our body, nerves cells are spread throughout our body. Besides our head brain, our intestines and stomach, and our heart also have high concentrations of nerve cells. Like our head brain, our gut and heart are truly equipped to think and feel.

Neuroscientists estimate that the nerve cells concentrated in our gut have about the same capacity as a cat’s brain. Hence, our “gut feel” has basis in neuroscience.

In 2002, there was a case of a heart transplant recipient reporting a new found love of certain kinds of music and food, and the memory of certain places which he had never experienced before, prior to the transplant.

The heart transplant recipient’s new tastes remained a mystery until it was revealed that the heart donor was a music and food connoisseur and adventurer, and had loved those music, food and places reported by the transplant recipient.

It seemed that the loves and passions of the heart donor were stored in his heart and they were now transferred to the transplant recipient along with the donated heart.

So listen to your heart, it truly has a mind in its own right. Give your heart a voice in your decision making that it deserves, as your cognitive brain in your head is not the only seat of intelligence that you have.

Following your heart is not a sign of feeble mindedness. Indeed, it is a mark of true wisdom.

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