The research is overwhelming that the heart and the mind are linked in ways that we are only beginning to understand. Scientists now understand that the heart not only responds to emotion, but that actually plays a vital role in determining them. By recognizing and understanding the heart’s communication network with the brain, we may be able to achieve a better self-understanding than we ever thought possible.
Like many good things in our lives, the benefits if this body of knowledge come down to the issue of trusting ourselves. We use the phrase “trust your gut,” but this expression can be more accurately translated to “listen to your heart.” If the heart is indeed a functioning brain that offers us a sense of intuition or premonition, we need to learn to accept what it tells us.
In today’s culture, we are taught to be rational, logical beings. When we have an impulsive reaction, we are cautioned to think it over carefully before acting hastily. But what if after thinking it over that first impulse still feels right? Do you still trust your heart? Or do you look for ways to countermand it with logic?
If you do trust your heart, you probably have peace of mind. It is when we go against that inner voice that we experience stress and even lack of confidence. Oprah Winfrey writes on her website, “For all the major moves in my life—to Baltimore, to Chicago, to own my show, and to end it—I’ve trusted my instincts. I take in all the information I can gather. I listen to proposals, ideas, and advice. Then I go with my gut, what my heart feels most strongly.”
Whether you call it your intuition or instinct, the voice of your heart is what makes you, you. Think of Newton with his apple of Archimedes with his overflowing bathtub, and you will see that some of our greatest discoveries come in the moment.
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