The Neuroscience of Resilience: Intuition

(Post 8/9 in a series)

As we learned in The Neuroscience of Resilience:  Insight and Awareness, “To cope with the mysterious and precarious unpredictability of life, we have to be able to expand our perspective from ‘why me?’ to ‘why not me?'”  To realize my pain is part of the pain of the human condition, and get on with the work of coping.”  As we continue on in this series on resilience, we are exploring the following questions:

Can we build up our own resilience?  How?  What does the brain and neuroscience have to do with it?

If you haven’t seen the previous posts in this series, I highly recommend you begin with the first article where we explored how regulation of the autonomic nervous system helps us to stay calm and engaged.  It will be useful for you to have the background information and read the follow-up pieces so you can more easily follow where we are going.  Now let’s at another aspect of the neuroscience of resilience:

Intuition – the “gut” feeling

Besides a more clear and conscious knowing of what’s what and what choices we can make to cope most resiliently, the pre-frontal cortex allows a person to sense into their own core values, to know at a deeply intuitive level, what’s right for them to do or not.  We call this a gut feeling because the ANS – breath, heart and gut – are involved.  But intuition is a deep and profound knowing often below the level of conscious processing of what makes the most sense.  The pre-frontal cortex integrates that “felt” knowing with conscious knowing and allows our intuition to guide our choices.

See the last post, The Neuroscience of Resilience:  Morality

(This is an permission granted adaptation of the June 2010 newsletter by Linda Graham, MFT, with permission).