We have not 1 but 3 Brains. My whole life was a lie!#HRLADYSHIP Heather Gupta • January 30, 2017
Did you know, you actually have 3 brains?
No, this isn’t some random mumbo jumbo, but a proven fact.
Here’s the science bit. Actually, the neuroscience bit.
According to eminent scientists, you have three fully functioning and complex brains – in your head, heart and gut.
Recent developments in neuroscience support over 3000 years of spiritual traditions, wisdom and even yoga, to prove that you have neural transmitters, complex adaptive neural networks, and “intelligence” in each of these areas. Which effectively defines them as brains.
We all use phrases like “my gut instinct” and having the “guts” to do something. We “wear our hearts on our sleeves”, and we will sit down for a good heart to heart” with someone. These idioms are not random, but rather express the fact that each of our 3 brains plays a different function in helping shape our lives, our decision making and our progress through life.
The Head, or “Cephalic Brain” – for those who like to use complicated words – concerns itself with cognitive elements including language, narrative and storyline. Its function is actually to be Creative, even if logic and reason is applied in the pursuit of that creativity. The Head Brain is actually unique to humans and is what differentiates us from animals.
The Heart, or “Cardiac Brain,” is your emotional brain. The heart is the seat of Compassion, and the brain that causes you to go all gooey over the object of your affections. It’s also the place you’ll instinctively point when you’re talking about your crush. Animals also have a Heart brain – just talk to a cat or dog lover who will tell you all about how their animal responds to them with love and affection.
The gut, or “Enteric Brain” relates to the very deepest sense of who you are. It is the brain of Courage, responsible for protection, and self preservation. When you’re afraid, or anxious, you’ll feel it in your gut, and you may even end up with literal gut reactions including diarrhea and vomiting. Again, animals are great at listening to their gut brains. Just see the way they react to a potential threat – hackles up, teeth bared, ready for a fight.
(For geeks amongst us – the cephalic brain is known to have 50 -100 billion neurons; the cardiac brain 30 -120,000 neurons, and the enteric brain 500 million neurons).
If this still sounds like a lot of new age gibberish, think about a time when you’ve had to make a decision, or when you’ve felt pulled in two different directions. Perhaps your head was telling you that you should leave a relationship which wasn’t going anywhere because logically, it was preventing you from finding true happiness elsewhere. But at the same time, your heart brain responded with an emotional and compassionate reaction, flooding your mind with memories of the good times you’d had together. And all along, your gut brain was warning you that to remain in the relationship could spell disaster for you in the future, and urging you to run, far away. The internal struggle, the dilemma felt very real, and this is the reason why many people remain in relationships which they know, deep down, to be toxic.
The challenge for all of us is to align our three brains, and make sure that we are listening to all three, when we are taking decisions. Problems occur when there’s a breakdown of communication between brains and we listen to one at the exclusion of others. When we understand how our brains function, and how they can work better together, challenges can be more easily overcome, and a new form of “enlightened” consciousness can emerge.
Start with the knowledge that you have three brains. Learn how to listen to them (through finding “quiet time” or in meditation) and think about a complex situation from the perspective of all three. Stress can also cause the three brains to “disconnect” so try and find ways to manage your stress levels. Incidentally, alcohol may seem like a great option to manage stress but unfortunately this only succeeds in temporarily quietening parts of your brains rather than connecting them!
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