Photo credit: Foter.com
The secrets of the human heart are many, and as we advance in sophisticated technological research methods and innovative software we can start unveiling at least some of them. The vital organ of emotions has been a research topic in prominent studies but we are just in the last decade or so using new measures to explore the heart’s intuitive intelligence.
To understand how the heart as part of our holistic body system perceives information, which is out of the scope of the immediate human awareness, the researchers McCraty, Atkinson, and Bradley used physiological measures such as skin conductance, EEG (electroencephalogram) and ECG (electrocardiogram) reports.
By showing 30 neutral and 15 emotionally stimulating images to the study population, they were trying to investigate whether the heart will react with changes in the above measures when faced with the option of future emotional stimuli.
Your Heart Scans the Future
Surprisingly, the study results have confirmed that the heart receives emotional content seconds before the stimulative event occurs and reacts with an accelerated heart rate. There was also a gender difference: female participants in the study had a mildly stronger response to the prestimulus. The accelerated heart rate is an intuitive response to future emotional stimuli. The heart processes the intuitive affect received in a shape of a prestimulus information in almost the same way it does for processing standard sensory stimuli.
The research results were an important evidence that although we may think that we react to only what is happening at the moment, that is practically not true. The perceptive tools in our bodies continually scan the future, so does the heart.
Defining intuition is a challenge that is not supported by a unanimous definition in science. Many disregard it as a fantastical and metaphysical idea, trying to explain it by alternative definitions, mainly including the brain. However, even the human neurological system is not that simple, and scientists are just starting to discover curious new findings of the “brain in the gut” and of new physiological functions of cranial sections.
An Exhausted Heart is not Intuitive
There is plenty we don’t know. Researchers from the American Heart Association completed a research on 26 persons younger than the usual age population examined in heart-associated research studies – healthy individuals under the age of 40. They discovered that, when overworked, people are weak, exhausted, easily irritated and demoralized and named this bundle of symptoms “life exhaustion”.
People become tired of life and lose vitality. Losing vitality is a bonus factor in the growing psychosocial phenomena, including anxiety, depression, and social isolation. When we don’t listen to its intuitive wisdom, the heart gets neglected. A neglected heart suffers a greater risk of heart disease.
As it turns out, there are many studies that back up the proverbial wisdom to “listen to one’s heart” when making an important decision. If you are a fan of the brain logic, you may want to include the heart as an additional weapon in your arsenal of life-managing skills.