Don’t trust your heart

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heart brain

How many times have you heard the following ‘follow your heart’ or ‘what does you heart tell you ?’ these are very common phrases used day in and day out by us all. Should we really trust this approach? Afterall the heart is only a muscle.

Just when I think I have it all figured out, along comes a life changing choice to make. I am currenyly finding it hard to make decisions just now. I seem to be caught in a constant turbulent vortex of indecision and dilemma. Why?

When it comes to choosing things it is very easy to start analysing the choices and eventually get paralysed by the analysis. Some say listen to your head or what does you heart tell you? and until recently I didn’t really pay much attention to the actual sense beyond the feelings based around decision making.

The heart is only a muscle. I hate to remove the romance, my point being the heart is a large muscle which pumps blood around the body, it has no intelligence of any sort so let’s draw a line under this.

Ok, so the heart is only a muscle and when it comes to making decisions the heart is not involved in the process. There is however definite neural activity which is at cross purposes.

Thinker

Consider a choice, on one hand we weigh up the pros and cons and analyse the information available to us at the time. On the other hand we may possibly associate the potential choices with projected feelings; for example if I do this how will it make me feel? (this is a natuaral selfish trait, we carry out actions initially based on how we feel then we naturally progress to consider others) ok, so we imagine the choice and we attempt to project a feeling considering this choice, we may do this through daydreaming, visualising or simulation using our senses to try and capture how the projection of making this choice makes us feel, the resultant projected image will trigger a release of dopamine, serotonin  and oxytocin. The feeling of potential reward will be enough in some instances for us to be swayed toward a certain choice or we may be inclined to weigh up the choices collectively with the analytical argument and thus we will make a decision either based on feeling, feeling and facts, or for some facts only.

We associate the heart with love and love being identified as the ultimate feeling us humans can experience and so the association with the heart is an easy correlation. However it is not the heart it is only the head which gives you 2 choices. The brain initiates the release of chemicals into our neuro systems based on potential reward and if it so happens that our body is producing normal levels of the neurogical chemicals then it may be to overwhelming to fight against the more logical analytical view.

 

The choice process is very much a complex issue and although most of us use a combination of fact and feeling some of us do find it hard to make decisions even with all the information because in some circumstances the chemicals are not working the way they should be either to much or not enough is being produced and can often lead to confusion and indecision.

We rely more than we would care to admit on the chemicals released in our brains to make decisions. We identify with so many things based on potential reward and ultimate satisfaction, food and sex being the main catalysts. But the brain follows the same process when faced with any decision and that is the ability to create chemical release which is a marker of how potentially rewarding or satisfying the end game will be. Factual based decision making is generally easy and when we put pen to paper and look at the pluses and minuses we are often shown the answer. ‘We seek afirmation from chemical release’ FACT.

I am left wandering if indecision is a manifestation of chemical imbalances within our brain and whether we should ask ourselves more often if we are looking after ourselves enough to ensure brain power remains at it’s best.

Our existence is a finite collaboration of many things. Some would say complex and impossible to calibrate but I disagree. I believe we can help ourselves massively by understanding how important dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin release is for our wellbeing.

The heart is not the heart you want to believe in. The brain is the heart! Just let that register, the brain is what will always light the way or in some cases not shed enough light. Feed your brain and your body with the right stuff and life will illuminate.

Now, don’t take be taking all this to heart, just use your head and live free and informed. If all else fails trust the facts.

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