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Distinguishing Mind from Heart: Which One Are You Listening to?

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Distinguishing Mind from Heart: Which One Are You Listening to?

“Follow your heart” have been watchwords for centuries and with good reason: we know instinctively our heart’s intuition yields the highest outcome. But if you’re like me, you may have found at some point in your life that following what you thought was your heart got you into trouble. For example, you might have felt guided by your desire to eat another piece of chocolate cake, but then you felt bad afterwards. Or you were tingling and your heart beating fast about dating a certain guy, but it turned out to be a bad experience. Why? Because your mind can easily confuse an emotional pull for heart intuition, and we follow that allure instead. It takes practice to discern the difference.

What signals are you listening to more?

I often thought I was following my heart only to discover I was really just following my desire. For example, I got into a relationship that felt very romantic but the romantic love feeling and my hormones overrode my heart’s whispering: “I don’t know about this.” I learned through trial and error that the lure of romance isn’t always what the heart really wants, which is heart resonance. Heart resonance is more fulfilling and less of a rollercoaster ride. Likewise, your heart may be talking to you when you hear “I don’t know if I should take the job even though it pays a lot.”

The heart often speaks to us quietly and with common sense. The mind tends to rationalize our desires and reactions. To help you distinguish between how your mind might sound versus your heart, here are some examples in the same situations:

Driving. Mind: How long is this going to take? Damn this traffic! Stupid driver, slowing everyone down. When are they going to widen this road? You pay taxes but nothing happens. She just cut in deliberately! (Give her the finger.) Heart: Traffic isn’t going to move until it moves—no use getting upset. Turn on the CD player and listen to some music. That woman is really upset. I’ll send her some heart.

Home. Mind: Why is this place such a mess? He just doesn’t care! Can’t stand those kids not picking up. They don’t give a damn about me. Where’s the remote? Why isn’t dinner done? Don’t look at me like that! (Blow up.) Heart: I really don’t like the house messy. We need a better plan for keeping the house in order. Let me arrange a talk with Stan and the kids afterwomen - facial expresions dinner. No TV or distractions until we’ve created a plan—with consequences if one of us doesn’t do what we agreed to and rewards if we do. It could be fun if we do it together.

Work. Mind: Who does she think she is? It’s not fair she gets the good assignments and I’m left with crap—makes me furious! He’s always sucking up to the boss. There’s no way to keep up—that damn printer keeps jamming! (Slam and break the printer tray.) Heart: Things are tough. Everyone’s running fast and trying to just keep their job. I need to keep my cool and not drain my energy, not get into the backbiting, make sure I take my breaks. My intuition says it would be a good idea to sincerely get to know some of these people better, maybe have lunch once in a while.

Up Next – Heart Lock-In Technique

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Read more: Family, General Health, Guidance, Health, Healthy Aging, Home, Inspiration, Life, Love, Men's Health, Mental Wellness, Nourishing the Heart, Peace, Self-Help, Spirit, Spirituality and Technology, Women's Health, , , , , , , , ,

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Deborah, from HeartMath

Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., is President and CEO of the for-profit Quantum Intech Inc (dba HeartMath Inc.) Deborah has been deeply committed to awareness development and personal growth for 40 years. Deborah is co-author with Doc Childre of Transforming Anger, Transforming Stress, Transforming Anxiety, Transforming Depression and Stopping Emotional Eating.

86 comments

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2:43AM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

I rely mainly on my Intuition. There are times where The mind and heart pull at certin strides in me and I must observe the Facts, Impact, and Resolution of that which I am called, to assist me in decisions.

6:48AM PDT on Mar 26, 2013

thank you

4:26AM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Thank you

7:28PM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:20PM PDT on Mar 10, 2013

There should be harmony between them...

7:25PM PST on Mar 5, 2013

Trying to let the heart rule when students are 20 minutes late for first day of class...

4:07PM PST on Mar 5, 2013

I AM A HEART PERSON AND ALWAYS AS A GENERAL RULE, FOLLOW MY HEART...BUT THERE ARE THOSE TIMES WHEN YOU KNOW THAT YOUR HEART HAS TO TAKE THE BACK SEAT AND LET THE BRAIN RULE THE GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCE...LEST YOU END UP BROKENHEARTED!!!

6:50PM PST on Mar 2, 2013

LISTENING TO MY BRAIN AT THE MOMENT!!!

12:25AM PST on Mar 2, 2013

Great to know, thanks for sharing. It even feels good to listen to my heart. It's happy.

5:33PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Oh heart, dear heart. It is calmer to really learn to listen to the heart. Thank you. Good read.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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