Test: Which is dominant in your personality, the heart or the brain?
Test yourself as to which is dominant in your personality. Put both your hands clasped together, like in a prayer. Try to notice which thumb, the right or the left, is over the other. Now, try to unclasp your hands and do it the other way around (if you’ve done it right over left at first, try switching it to left over right, or vice versa). It feels weird right?
If you’ve got right over left on your first try, it means that your brain is dominant. It is through logical thinking and analysing facts that you base your decisions and actions. On the contrary, if you had your left thumb over your right thumb, it means that your heart is dominant. Emotions and passions are what drives your life.
Do you think you got the right answer? That is one famous myth that seem to have been considered by many. But what about the other factor on our decision making? The gut.
The three brains
According some studies, we actually have three brains: the head brain, the heart, and the gut. They all have their own networks of neurons and distinct functions. They all have their voice of their own and the ability to influence our decisions and actions.
We cannot yet consider the heart and the gut a brain-brain like what we learned about the head brain in our general studies. But the two greatly influences our way of thinking through the connections of the several functions within our body. We’ve most definitely already have learned of the head brain. It functions mainly as a source of our logical thinking, the one that processes the facts, our perceptions and whatnot. The heart is responsible for our deep emotions and great passions. It sends signals to our brain which inhibits or facilitates its activity. It releases compounds that could, in the process, release hormones that could trigger both physical and psychological effects. The gut, on the other hand, is responsible for the chemical processes and the digestion in our body as we know it.
Did you know that the gut is considered as the second brain? According to recent studies, a tremendous amount of information flow has been detected from the gut to the brain through the vagus nerve. And this flow is mostly going up than going down, meaning the brain receives more information or signals than it gives. There is more to the “butterflies in your stomach” when you’re in love or to the “nauseous stomach” when you’re in a stressful situation. It is your gut’s way of sending signals to your brain, which the brain then acts upon. It calls for action or sends warning to the brain, which the brain then understands as “oh, a warning” or “we’re on high.” And unconsciously, it continuously transmits information. It is mostly responsible for the sense of danger, your limitations, your safety, etc.
More often than not, we make decisions without any hassle; we do it unconsciously. Like simply picking whether to eat a cheesy pizza or a fresh salad, or saying “yes!” to that engagement proposal or not. Because oftentimes, one brain or two dominates the other. And we don’t realize the results of our everyday decisions until it has already fully taken toll on our lives, until we reap the outcome. Nevertheless, there will be times when dilemmas are unescapable. These will be the kind of moments where decision making seems to be a stretch of the bone. The obvious times where all of the three brain’s perspective all have a point but greatly varies.
So, what to do?
While unity in the three brains is challenging, it is important to train yourself into accessing and balancing them. It is helpful in improving your well-being to have a powerful and peaceful mind. You can equate it with a couple to understand them. In order to have a smooth relationship with your partner, no matter how greatly different you are from each other, conversation and compromise is always key. Quarrel, separation, or argument only produces stress and negative energies.
The more frequently you use one function, the more it gets developed. And conversely, the less you use it, the more it recedes. So practice to balance the three until the conscious effort becomes a natural habit.
Tips on balancing the three brains
…and arriving at a well-thought conclusion
1. Meditate. Meditation helps you to focus and relieve stress. It helps you be mindful and conscious of your surroundings, and puts you in a positive light.
2. Get out of the box. Remove yourself from the situation and look at the whole picture.
3. Hear out others. If you can’t seem to detach yourself from one thinking, try to hear out other people with a different type of thinking and consider them. But still take in mind that an advice isn’t an order. It is still supposed to be validated by you.
4. Pay attention to your deep self. Listen to your dominant choice of action and evaluate it. Where is coming from? Is it from the brain? The heart? Or the gut? And then try to hear from another brain deep within you.
5. Alignment. Compromise on the opinions emanating from each brain. Try to align what your three brains are telling you.
6. Think ahead. Try to predict what will be the outcome if you do A, B, or C. Which one yields a better result? Does it make a difference whether in a short term or long term period? Could a certain solution still be improved with the points the other solutions focuses on?
7. Experience. Has it happened in the past? Will it still be applicable to the current situation?
8. Take on the necessaries. Choose the facts to take into consideration. Not everything counts.
9. Write it down. It gives you a better look, like it has just become real, and like you’re an outsider.
10. Use a timer. It could be few minutes, an hour, days, or even weeks. It totally depends on you and the necessity of coming up with a firm decision. Don’t stress yourself out but still think it through. And when you’re done deciding, move forward.