Today I’d like to share with you one of the common life wisdom’s I’ve been told throughout my childhood (and still being told) that I never really got the hang of.
We’ve all been given the advice to follow our gut feeling, do what our heart tells us to, do what ‘feels’ right blah blah blah.
In case you’ve been wondering what the heck those sayings mean, you’ve come to the right place.
Because guess what!
I’ve got an answer that is sorta mind-blowing.
This explanation is grounded in biology. More specifically, in our limbic system.
The limbic system, as you may or may not know is the oldest part of the brain. Also commonly referred to as the ‘reptile brain’.
Psychologists, biologists and anyone who did their homework on how the brain functions will know that the limbic system is the part of the brain where our emotions and feelings originate from. It is responsible for our irrational and subjective thoughts and is the place where 90% of our decisions come from.
…and by the way, our limbic brain is reflected by other parts of our body too. For some, it is their gut, for others their heart. We all have a place that cramps when we get emotional about something.
For me, it is my stomach.
Through brain scans, scientists have found out that our limbic system has no neurons connected to the language center and hence has no capacity for language. To put into simple terms, we are unable to put into words what we feel.
This is why it is soooooo hard for us to accurately describe how we feel sometimes.
Questions like ‘why did you marry your partner’, are just as hard to answer.
Sure, we may come up with a bunch of statements that rationalize our reasoning. Saying things like ‘He/she is smart, funny, intelligent, they complete me’ are amongst the most common ones.
But there are also a million other people who are smart and funny, right?
The reason this question is so uncomfortable to answer is because it was an emotional decision you made back then when you decided to marry that one person. And as we just learned, anything that involves explaining something from an emotional standpoint is hardly possible, because our limbic system has no capacity for language.
Here are a bunch of other questions that may be tough to answer…
- Why do you do what you do?
- What is your cause or purpose?
- Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
Funnily enough, neuroscientific studies show that decisions made through our intuition are the ones that usually reap the greater outcome. Even if the decision goes against all rational facts.
fMRI scans (functional magnetic resonance imaging) has further shown that when people are asked to make a decision, the first part of the brain that kicks in, is the limbic brain. This is how we justify that 90% of our decision are indeed emotional and not rational.
So look, my point is, is that if you’re stuck in a rut right now, because you can’t make up your mind about something, or have been overthinking a decision for a week or even got to the point where you’re consulting your dog or cat about it, let me tell you that the first thought you have about a decision, is most definitely the right one.
Hope I could help,
Goodnight from Germany,