Trusting Your Gut Instinct?
By Jeanette Lorandini
Go with Your Gut
Have you ever had a gut feeling about someone and you ignore it? You dismiss it as you’re just being too judgmental, afraid, or paranoid. Over time that feeling resurfaces and once again you minimize it or other people tell you to “chill out.” We call that feeling at Suffolk DBT “wise mind” it is a combination of emotions and logic. People experience wise mind in different ways.
For some, it is that still, small voice within that knows what is best. You may not always listen to that voice, but it quietly persists in its truth and wisdom.
The thing about truth is that over time everything comes to light. When I was little I often spent my summer days playing in the field close to our home. I would spend hours exploring, leading my small friends, practicing kindness, and offering guidance. From a young age, I was naturally maneuvering in the world from a wise mind state. I learned by having to be a “mini-adult” to observe people. Learned who to trust and who I should be on guard with. Today, I do believe because of my early experiences I developed a “wise mind” that’s imprinted as part of my being me. That my gut instincts evolve as truth.
This often happens with my older son. I will be thinking of him with a worrying thought and bam he calls or texts me that he doesn’t feel well. Or I have an urge to call him and he has that voice that says, “ I wish you were here, Mom.”
Or it’s one of those days and you’re late for your doctor’s appointment. Your inner voice is telling you to take the Northern State Parkway because there are no commercial vehicles but instead, you take the Long Island Expressway. As you get onto the expressway you see the brake lights and you wish you had gone with your initial gut feelings.
These experiences are way more than mere coincidence. As we’re now learning, that voice or feeling in your gut is simply your unconscious mind, taking care of you.
Science Behind this Implicit vs. Explicit Memory
There is a whole science about gut instincts. There has been tons of research on this and it’s a real phenomenon. According to Rebel Brown, NeuroBusiness Speaker, Consultant, Coach, and Author, “Science has discovered how that gut feeling actually works. It’s called implicit memory.
What’s an implicit memory? Well, first let’s talk about explicit memory.
When our unconscious mind processes our sensory data, it selects 126 bits/second (from a stream of 11M bits/second) to send to our conscious minds. Our conscious logical mind explicitly focuses on that selected data for analysis, action, and storage. It’s explicit because we can consciously recall it.
As our unconscious mind filters that 11 M bits/second, it also implicitly stores additional data based on our interests (mindware programs), its interests (threats or instincts) and the current moment. This data is not attended to on a conscious level, but it’s still processed. That means it’s readily available to our unconscious minds to guide us about our real world experiences.
When our unconscious senses a situation where this implicit information is valuable — it calls it up and shares it with our conscious mind. Our conscious mind hasn’t previously processed this information, so it doesn’t recognize its source or correlation with other data.
That’s why it’s a gut feeling, an intuition. Our conscious mind can’t find the facts to support it. It probably never saw those facts.
Even though our conscious can’t track it doesn’t mean it isn’t real. In fact, this implicit data can be as powerful, or more so, than our conscious reality.”
My Final Thoughts
Although, I wouldn’t gamble with my gut instincts or move to California because I kind of thought my gut was advising me of such. I would trust that most of the time if I listen to my quiet inner voice it speaks the truth. To learn more, fill out our contact form or call Suffolk DBT at (631) 828-2264.
Suffolk DBT proudly provides quality dialectical behavior therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, at their offices in Manhattan and Long Island, New York and online. Their experienced therapists specialize in serving teens, children, adults, and college students struggling with depression, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, and self-harm. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills and treatment can help you or your kids to manage emotions and work through life’s challenges. Suffolk DBT Manhattan and Long Island offer a free screening call so you can get started right away.