When Is It Good to Trust Your "Gut Feeling?"

Most of us experience ‘gut feelings’ at one time or another. Things like instantly loving or hating a property when we’re house hunting, or the snap judgments we make when meeting new people. Gerard Hodgkinson, a professor at Leeds University, believes gut feelings are the result of our brain doing what it does best: Analyzing information from our senses and comparing it to past experience. Now, that’s basically the process we go through when we make conscious choices, but, when we have a ‘hunch’ or ‘gut feeling’ the brain goes into overdrive and skips a few steps. Since it happens without our mulling over the pros and cons, the brain uses changes in body chemistry to get the message across. Here’s how to read those changes and make good decisions on the fly. This comes from Science Daily:

Something’s probably a good idea if:

  • You have a familiar feeling.  
  • You breathe easier.  
  • Or, you suddenly feel safe and happy.

 

On the other hand, your brain’s saying, “Whoa. Hold up!” if:

  • Your breathing becomes faster.
  • You get sick to your stomach.  
  • Or - pain gets worse. For example, your headache starts really pounding, or a muscle you pulled at the gym acts up.

 

Remember: They don’t call them ‘gut’ feelings for nothing. Your brain’s constantly processing information and regulating what goes on in your body. So, when it comes to making decisions, make sure you go with your gut.

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