Embrace Your Inner Voice

Isn’t it a beautiful moment of victory when you yell out:

“I knew it!!”

_i knew it.png

Source: Signmee

You yourself are surprised by how you knew it. You start to think that you might possess some divine sensations or that you could be a psychic. The more possible explanation, though, is that your intuition guided you to know it… But how?

All of us encounter this “gut feeling”, whether it is about people, a place, or about your own destiny. Sometimes, we commit the worst mistake of not taking those gut feelings seriously. That could possibly be because we can’t find a logical explanation to our inner voice.

We squeeze our Pre-frontal Cortex in hope to understand where this inner voice comes from. What we should squeeze instead is our Amygdala, located in our Limbic System, which consist of brain structures mainly involved in our emotions, motivations, and pleasure.

This how our limbic system looks like:

_limbic system.png

Source: Biosci

Our Amygdala:

Our amygdala determines what and where memories are stored in the brain, based on “how huge an emotional response an event invokes” (biology.about.com).

Okay, why might our amygdala be the master-mind behind our “I knew it” moments?

Let’s say you meet this person — let’s call him Sam — who you just cannot stand the sight of. Your inner voice tells you to stay away from him, but you can’t figure out why. You can’t recall seeing this person, but… your amygdala does.

Your amygdala tells you that this is the same person who bullied you in middle school, so stay away from him.

What happened here is that you couldn’t consciously remember Sam, however, your amygdala clearly remembers him.

Surprised?

What until you check out the following story.

The Handshake

According to a study done by Claparede(1911) mentioned in Feinstein, Duff, and Tranel’s article, an amnesic patient, who has memory loss, was approached by a man who hid a pin between his fingers. The man shook hands with the amnesic patient, which elicited some pain in the patient.

handshake

Source: Bpblogspot

The patient is amnesic, right? So, she can’t possibly remember the man who hurt her…

Nope, she actually did!

When the amnesic patient was approached once more by the man who hid the pin, the patient refused to shake his hands! When the patient was asked why she didn’t want to shake his hand, she wasn’t able to give a reason.

How amazing is that?

The patient refused to shake the man’s hands because her “inner voice” told her not to. Her amygdala stored the unpleasant memory of getting hurt and let the patient act accordingly.

 The amnesic patient’s inner voice saved her from getting hurt… doesn’t your inner voice do the same?

Our second powerful inner voice (aka the unconscious mind) :

The amount of the information we process daily is enormous! But, do you know what the scariest, yet mind-blowing finding is? You are not even aware of most of the information you process daily!

Amazing, right?

I know!

One of my all-time favourite quotes is the Chinese Proverb:

“Two-thirds of what we see is behind our eyes.”

We usually see what we want to see; or what our unconscious mind wants us to see. As the social psychologist David Myers suggests: Your unconscious mind is “’reading’ your surroundings” for you, as mentioned in Courtney Helgoe’s article. That’s why we could find ourselves resistant to someone or something without conscious awareness of why so. It might be because it reminds us of a previous incident or because it presents some kind of danger that we simply aren’t consciously aware of.

Point is: if I was asked to name two heroes, I would unhesitatingly name my amygdala and my unconscious mind, because they direct me to follow my inner voice and, in turn, make the best choices.

Your unconscious mind and amygdala have your back, so don’t you break it!

Appreciate your inner voice, listen to it, learn from it;

And embrace it.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

For the full article about the amnesic patient who refused the handshake, click here.

For the full article about how your unconscious mind might be reading your surroundings for you, click here.

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2 thoughts on “Embrace Your Inner Voice

  1. Hello! My name is Henry. I went over this post and I found it is very interesting to read since I always wanted to find out what makes me think “I knew it” moments. The moments definitely made me being a psychic. Similarly, I often get this feeling when I am driving down the streets to my school campus. I can sense the signal in front of me will change to red within 5 seconds. AND I get it all the time. Your post gives the specific biological term for the sense. I have spent my time to search for “AMYGDALA.” Also, I can see you have done authentic research for amygdala. That’s great. I think you can improve your blog post if you use more pictures relate to the topic. The image doesn’t have to be academically relate to the post. Put something funny but relate to the topic. For example, an image of a man points his finger to his head. Something that can visually give readers some break between paragraphs. Also, try to use a page break after you introduce your term, amygdala, on your post. Thanks for the great post!

    Like

  2. Hello Henry! Yes, the topic of the “inner voice” has always attracted my attention and elicited many thoughts, so I enjoyed writing this post a lot!

    I really appreciate your positive feedback, Henry! I also applied the changes you suggested, and added more pictures, so thank you a lot for that!

    Like

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