The Heart Knows First! Keys to Developing Intuition
Have you ever had an intuition about something before the event happens? Perhaps, you are thinking about someone you haven’t seen for years and out of the blue s/he calls you. Or you sense you need to call a friend because your heart is telling you something is going on and s/he needs your help. Intuition is defined as the ability to understand or know something without conscious reasoning.
There are several different types of intuition:
- Energetic Sensitivity–a sense about something when you are nearby, based on energy.
- Implicit Knowledge–the ability to apply some previous information to a current but unrelated situation. For instance, when a nurse can look at a stranger walking by on the road and sense that he or she is having a heart attack and needs immediate help. This intuition is based on some previous knowledge or training and is applied in an unrelated situation.
- Non-local Intuition–This type of intuition is quite fascinating and is being studied by major research organizations, including the HeartMath Institute. My earlier examples about friends far away would be examples of this type of intuition. It is when your heart senses something based on no other information than a deep connection. Often this connection is not bound by time or space.
Fascinating Research on Intuition
HeartMath has been studying how its tools can enhance this type of intuition. In a recent blog entitled “A Deeper View of Intuition”, HeartMath concludes that ancient cultures understood “the heart is the source of wisdom, higher intelligence and intuition.”
Here are details about one of the HeartMath studies on this topic. 26 people were put in front of a computer and told they were being measured for stress reactions to a variety of emotionally charged random images. Some of these images were of scenes that would make you feel happy like bunny rabbits and beautiful flowers and others were frightening scenes including car accidents and war that usual elicit fear, sadness, and other upsetting emotions. Each study participant was connected to EKG (heart monitors), EEG (brain monitors), HRV (heart rate variability monitors) and skin sensors. Half of the participants were trained in a HeartMath tool called Freeze Frame® and the other half were the control group. The images were random. Not even the computer knew the order of happy versus fearful pictures. The results were fascinating in many ways.
Gut Instincts Come After Heart Intution!
The heart sensed what image was coming up before the brain or the body. In other words, if there was a scary image about to appear, the heart rate sped up and became less coherent. If a sweet picture like a bunny rabbit was up next, the heart rate calmed down and the variability smoothed out. (see this blog for more information on coherent heart rhythms)
There is an order to human emotional reactions and that is: heart first by several seconds, then brain, and finally the body, including sweating and gut reactions.
Just as intriguing was that the group trained in the HeartMath tool for increasing coherence were more accurate in their correct predictions of the picture and quicker in the time it took the heart to sense what was coming up next.
Why Is this Important?
According to the same HeartMath article, these studies demonstrate that becoming coherent by accessing the heart’s wisdom can lead to better decisions and more intuitive wisdom. This has great implications for schools, businesses, and governments.
As David Straus, CEO of Reason Ventures, put it in their article, “The (aha moment) emanates from the heart and is fueled by its intuition. True visionary leadership develops inside the heart, not the brain. And it is there for each of us to grasp … we simply need the awareness of how to access it.”
Here is the tool to practice if you want to access more of your Heart’s Intuition.
Practicing Freeze Frame® can be particularly helpful when you feel stuck in your decision-making or you feel a conflict between your heart and your brain. This same tool can be used when you need a shot of creativity for a big projects or when groups are working together to solve big problems. Imagine how many big issues we could solve if we just paused for a few minutes and ask for our heart’s intuitive guidance and then made a commitment to follow its wisdom.