Making Decisions: The Body is the Key

By Christoph Schnelle, Australia

I talked to a professor of statistics about PhDs and he told me about one of his PhD students who wants to find out how people make decisions. This student puts people into a FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine and records their brain activity while they make decisions.

Might there be a simpler way to investigate how we make decisions?

From my work with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I have learned that it is much easier to make good decisions when I am in touch with my body.

What does that mean in practice?

As an example, victims of major accidents, when interviewed, regularly say that they were either very depressed or very happy, euphoric even, just before the accident. When you are euphoric or very depressed it is difficult to feel your body – there is something much stronger going on – perception is swamped by the euphoria or the depression and it is actually quite impossible to feel anything subtle that may be happening in the body.

It is also true that when people overanalyse a decision they have to make, then the quality of their decision making goes down. When we overanalyse we get very mentally active and involved and thereby lose contact with our body.

If I make a decision when I am emotional, it tends to be, actually it pretty much always is, a worse decision than when I am not emotional but able to feel what is going on. When I am able to feel I am by definition aware of my body, but when I am emotional I have found out (and had it confirmed countless times through my own experience) that I am in a reaction to a feeling. Clearly, when I am in a reaction I can’t feel my body properly – except aches and pains maybe, but nothing more subtle.

As a financial adviser I have also seen that worse decisions are made when people lack confidence. In that lack of confidence we contract; it actually feels like we shrink into ourselves and we lose contact to our body as well. Equally, when we are over confident, we are not in touch with our body and our decisions tend to be impaired.

Other people might also be aware of this connection between being in touch with our body and the quality of decisions we made: have you noticed how many shops play loud music and what that does to how easy it is to feel our body?  More subtly, have we noticed how muzak (the background music played in big shops) may put us into a dreamy state and we later notice how much longer we stayed at the shop and how much more we have spent?

238 thoughts on “Making Decisions: The Body is the Key

  1. Christoph it was great to read this blog again. To make decisions with emotions playing havoc in our body is pretty much how society makes decisions. Emotions seem to rule the world. But there are people like yourself and others that are realising that this is not the way.

    Making decisions from the body is very much different. There is no doubt, there is no chatter, it just is. And once this decision is made, there are no thoughts of going back to that decision because, it is just absolute, end of discussion…

  2. Christoph what you have highlighted is the importance of connecting with our bodies, and in turn, our decisions are based upon these connections. Everyday we are faced with these choices and the more we relate to our bodies, the stronger the relationship we have with it, so much better than the relationship we have with our minds. Which can take us to many places, than exactly where it is needed, the body.

    The current role I’m in brings to my awarenesses that I’m lacking in confidence. I can feel the impact it has on my body and how hard it feels, so then everything about me is suppressed. Very notable when we start to connect with our bodies, but also the refinements as we connect more and more with our bodies. It’s a massive difference when we live from the body than living from the mind. A working, but a beautiful unfolding progress.

    1. It is so true when we live from that connection to our bodies, our lives are not complicated. The simplicity way of living is very much different. No stimulation, no diversity, no smogers board, too many choices to choose from, it is THE one – simple.

  3. I hate that feeling of being fooled – you know where you get excited about a purchase and then get home and realise it was not a good choice at all….this is where it is important to look back and feel where we allowed ourselves to get pulled away from the body, distracted away from our true mentor and advisor, the body.

    1. Henrietta any choices made using emotions are to be observed. When we are euphoric, it gives us the high, and then we hit the low/lull period, then we know it was the emotion that led. Whilst in contrast, the body leaves us with an internal feeling that can’t be described or hung on to, it’s never stagnate. It’s forever evolving – a marked difference.

  4. Once again Christoph, I love how you have talked about loud music and background muzak as being ways of distracting us from feeling our body and hence more likely to make impulsive shopping decisions or spend more time in the shop than intended. These are subtle but quiet strong ways of affecting people and influencing us in making decisions that we might not feel were the right ones a little while later…

  5. Thank you Christoph! This is great insight and also confirms for me that I should not make any major decisions when I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed out for as you say this is when I am least connected to my body and not making the decisions in the best interest of myself or those around me. When we have a chance to just be, the knowing of what to do is easily accessed and not something we have to think about too much.

  6. What you have described about listening to the body is like a phone call, as soon as emotion, reaction, or false perceptions enter it’s like placing static on the line. We now can’t hear the truth from the body.

  7. And here we are trying to do life from our head, constantly figuring things out, and no one teaches us to live from the body, and businesses do what you describe here – surely that is not a coincidence.

  8. I’ve learned over the years that the choices my mind makes void of the body is a bad choice made. My body makes choices that are supportive and loving even if they don’t match (and often don’t) my coveted mental pictures of how things should happen. This is great because those mental pictures are never worth the effort.

  9. I find the process how decisions are made fascinating and well worth further research, especially research that is broader than just investigating mental processes.

  10. Research is all about the quality of the questions we pose and of the answers to them. Yet, how we assess quality is the key. We can rely upon existing knowledge that has been unchallenged up to then or has resisted well the challenges or, alternatively, we can make it about the body. The latter is pretty much, an unexplored path that holds an immense potential and that offers a unique path to universality.

  11. It is a great point you make about the effect music and ‘muzak’ can have on us if we are not bringing our awareness to it. There are many ways that we can be played by the vibrations coming through media, music and advertising.

  12. Thank you Christoph, simple and relatable observations and experiences you share. Being present with the body is key, the body clearly knows and keeps things simple.

  13. This is evidence of the fact that our mind is never static. We think we are the owner of our choices in that our thoughts are ours and we are in control of what we think or choose. But there is more going on because our quality of thought changes with our state of being which means that our choices are influenced if not governed by the energy we are in.

  14. Everything changes when we are connected to our bodies, and if we’re not, we will eventually be shown the impact through our bodies.

  15. Connection to our body is key in everything we do in life, so simple and yet very powerful when we live and move in this way.

  16. This is brilliant. Who would have thought that ‘making decisions’ doesn’t have to involve a computing process up in our head, listing pros and cons?

    1. Listing the pros and cons is much slower than the body that can instantly know yes or no to a situation. I can logically make a choice but it is still void of energetic truth.

  17. When we get distracted and go into our head we correspondingly lose our connection to the clarity and wisdom of our heart – and if we are honest we all know this is true.

    1. One of the big shifts for me was getting out of my head and more in my body, which meant I could feel again, feel what was true for me and what wasn’t. and being more conscious in the body, it is easier to make decisions.

  18. Most of the time I am aware of the background music when I am in shops, as it can be very annoying when it is too loud or very hard, which makes me leave the shop very quickly. It is great to bring this up as most are not aware of the impact the background music has on our emotional state and the correlation of how long we spend in the shop and how much we spend!

    1. Yes, how the music may put us into a state of mild euphoria, reducing our ability to make decisions.

  19. I am one who always used to “overanalyse a decision”, going over it again and again and so totally confuse myself in the process. I could never understand why so many of my decisions turned out to be such disasters. But recently I, like you Christoph, have come to know so clearly that if I do not make a decision from the truth I feel in my body but instead rely on my mind, the outcome is more often than not very different than the one I had foreseen.

  20. Overanalysing a decision, in other words being indecisive is a very tiring and time consuming process I know so well, the other way I know too and that is the complete opposite, my body is wise and gives me the answer instantly.

  21. Thank you for sharing the awareness that when we lose connecting to feeling our body then accidents great and small are likely to occur.

  22. Muzak is in place so people linger and spend more in a shop, a clever marketing device that only works when we are not present and not connected to our body.

  23. What an interesting list of ways we can disconnect from our bodies. It demonstrates our mastery in this domain – an area in which there is no decent return on our investment!

  24. It is so true Christoph, that we make far wiser decisions when we are guided by our connection to our bodies. As we grow up we are not taught this and in fact we are shown how to override the truth of our bodies from a very young age. However this truth has never left us and the beautiful thing is that at any point we can bring ourselves back to re-establishing and honoring relationship with our bodies, and the truth that it never stops offering us.

    1. Spot on Carola – this is something we can come back to at any point should we choose to do so. Thankfully our body cannot run away from us, even though we try to run away from it all of the time! Our body truly is our saving grace 😉

  25. Loved the part where you wrote about the music shops play to entice you to either stay in the shop longer or make a purchase you would probably not have made if the music wasn’t playing, it’s interesting how distracted we become through background noise and how it effects our decisions.

  26. It is great reading this again because what you write is so sensible and makes so much sense it is a wonder that we don’t pay more attention to these simple and very practical facts.

  27. If we make decisions from our minds then they will not be true, our body has the wisdom, we just need to stay connected to it, and being in reaction takes us away from our bodies, ‘when I am in a reaction I can’t feel my body properly – except aches and pains maybe, but nothing more subtle.’

  28. This is a great study of how we are so used to being stimulated from the outside and how this actually takes us away from ourselves and makes us less stable with our own inner truth.

  29. It’s a very intriguing subject Christoph and super important to ‘connect to’ and relate. It makes you stop, and that’s a vital step in the decision process – space is created. The more space the more awareness there is. The more awareness the decision will be in line with a truer outcome.

  30. This is so key. What state are in we when we make decisions? I know for example that I cant think straight if I go into a shop paying loud music. It totally affects my thought processes and makes me a little on edge. Something I’m learning is that we ought not to be hurried into making a decision. Its OK to give yourself time and not feel pressured to give an answer on the spot.

  31. Wow, I had not considered the use of music in shops and how it might affect decision making around purchases but it makes perfect sense. This has been really constructive to read giving me a lot of insights into the decision making process and body connection.

    1. Yes Melinda, it has such a strong but subtle effect – I too had not considered this in depth and now feel to be more aware of it and actually observe how it works on myself or others to influence us in all these strange ways. Shop music or background music certainly has a sway on us when we allow it, that I can feel is so true.

  32. This is such a great description of what happens to our body when we contract. “it actually feels like we shrink into ourselves and we lose contact to our body as well” It is no wonder then that any decisions that we make in this state will not come with care and consideration, ingredients required for wise choices. Coming to understand this I can now see why so many of the decisions I made in my life did not have the outcome I was aiming for as they came from a body that was not living in its fullness.

  33. This is a great blog to read when you are trying to make a decision! Thank you Christoph. Connecting to the body makes things very simple. We may not always like the messages we receive but if we remain aware of our bodies at least our decisions will be truly informed ones.

  34. As a wise man (Serge Benhayon) we know says – ‘the body is the marker of all truth’ and when we are in conscious presence with it, true answers are there, rather than solutions.

  35. A true choice considers the whole. In other words, making a choice knowing that is will affect everyone else ensures that the choice is true and clear.

  36. Spot on Christoph, staying connected to the body is key to everything – it allows the space for us to access the deep wisdom and knowing we all have within.

  37. Our ability to be present with our own bodies, is key here isn’t it… I had a serious car accident many years ago now (serious for my car… I came out with just a few bruises, and some deep personal learning…), where my car went off the road down a fairly steep hill and was written off.
    At the time this occurred, I was caught deeply in the emotional angst of some relationship entanglements I was in then – longing for ‘another life’, and not feeling able to deal with what I needed to well and truly face ‘at home’. It is so important that we deal with anything that may be troubling us (to the best of our ability), and not let anything going on in our lives leave us caught in reverie, fantasy or disconnection from the realities at hand – a very deep learning.

    1. Great point. This also shows us that we not only have a responsibility to our body, our car and our wallet but also to other bodies and road users to not get caught up in emotional entanglements.

  38. These are beautiful observations Christoph – true science… What I have learnt from Serge Benhayon over many years now, and continue to integrate and apply in my own daily life, is that without connection to and awareness of our own bodies, we are effectively ‘lost at sea’ – with no guide nor compass to hold us in connection with our essential selves, and thereby at the mercy of whatever currents (thoughts and influences) that may be about us.

  39. A great example Christoph of listening, feeling and responding to the messages from our body. As you have pointed out our body carries all knowing wisdom, available to us in every moment.

  40. You bring beautifully to the fore how many distractions we have created that let us not be in touch with ourselves. And we have made this way of being our normal – anything we do not want to feel we distract ourselves. What you encourage here is to do actually the opposite and allow us to feel to be connected to what is more truly going on for and with us to then be able to make a decision that is free from the emotions that constantly drag us in all directions.

  41. Thanks Christoph. I’d never considered before the relationship between the state we’re in and how our body is, and how this affects our decision making processes. If we’re in any form of contraction, depression or unable to feel the body, it makes sense that decision making becomes difficult because there’s no connection to the knowing of what needs to be done. Or, if we have felt that knowing but aren’t used to listening and acting upon it, we can easily dismiss it and go off into our heads to try to work out the answer – when really we already know. It reminds me that building and maintaining that consistent connection with our body has so many benefits – easier decision making being just one of them.

    1. Exactly Bryony – we are pretty much walking around with an internal navigation system that we constantly have access to. We cannot escape our body, so why not make best buddies with it and allow the wisdom to be expressed as a guide throughout life?

  42. I probably would never understand a report based on FMRI analysis – it would be too technical, too ‘scientific’, but when you present it like you have, Christoph, based on your own experience it is far more relatable and easier to become interested and understand – and opens up a possibility for me to also be a curious scientist of life myself.

  43. I totally agree Christoph and think what you’ve shared here is actually huge – being in touch with our whole body and aware of what we’re feeling on a deeper level can make a big difference to the kind of choices and decisions that we make.

  44. It is great to bring this kind of awareness to the fore for many will not stop before making a decision and contemplate the importance of connecting to our bodies and how this will then affect the quality of not only the decision but what we then move forward in.

  45. We have certainly created a society where we learn from a young age to be guided or more so led by everything outside of ourselves to make decisions from the responses we receive, and that our emotions define who we are. Yet as you have described so brilliantly Christoph, I have also discovered that there is another way that offers far more truth and steadiness in the way I live, as I am far more connected to who I am within and how my body feels. Through self- honesty I have discovered that our bodies are our greatest friend if we truly want to be guided to live with fulfilment of the love and truth of who we are in all that we do.

  46. Wow. This makes me realise how our daily living is completely loaded with so many things that would interfere with our state of being, hence the importance of making a conscious choice to be with our body.

  47. All kinds of things have come up when I’ve needed to make decisions, sometimes there is pressure, past experiences of making wrong decisions, needing to get it right, being reactive etc. I find that if I don’t give my self space to feel my body and am put on the spot that I make a hasty decision. You are so right on the music in shops, they are solely there to influence and bring up emotions.

  48. Thank you for your sharing. It is great how you regard making a decision. When we are connected to our body its easier to make a decision and when we are emotional the decision is not from the body but from the head. Our emotions can trap us in our heads and therefore cause my delay in decision making.

  49. Christoph, there are so many things in our day that can take us away from our bodies. I can really relate to the music in shops. There are some shops i just cannot be in as the music distorts so much in me. Music in the gym is much the same. It is odd that we are exercising our bodies but have music playing that totally takes us away from our bodies! It is not accidental that there are so many things in our day that stop us being present to our bodies as when we are in our bodies our reflection is very powerful.

    1. I completely agree Anne, that when we are in our bodies our reflections are very powerful and express so much more than words. Reflections are silent, have no investment in anyone getting it and very supportive when we are ready for more awareness of our next steps.

  50. One of the core teachings by Serge Benhayon is that the body is the marker of truth and you have highlighted this so very very well Christoph – thank you.

  51. So much wisdom in this short piece. With all of the examples its very easy to feel how any emotional state takes us away from the natural balance of our body – under or over confident for example where even the names indicate we have left ourselves somewhere in the middle with our natural confidence and presence. It’s also very revealing to feel how easily we can be manipulated by this tendency to leave ourselves behind – the loud music being disorientating and the music lulling us into a dreamy state. None of this affects us though when we make it our first choice to stay connected – yes it takes practice but it is very, very possible.

  52. Christoph I love what you have shared as it seems so true and I am wondering why most of us do not know this anymore. You need your body to make a true decision – if you are not in your body only your mind can made a decision. Have you ever felt the difference???? No, so try out by yourself and you will be inspired how precise your body knows what to do.

  53. I have noticed that when the radio is on at the shop where I work the staff are more easily distracted and not so present with themselves. There can be an illusion of happiness as the music appears to jolly us along and the sadder songs can have an influence too and it is not so easy to engage with customers on anything but a more superficial level. For older people and those with who are not 100% well, which is most of us, it is more difficult to communicate with background noises or sounds such as those from a radio. I imagine a lot of people might dispute this but it has been my observation so far.

  54. You don’t need a brain scanning machine to read this and see that it makes sense. When upset or small my choices and range of available or known choices I have in that moment becomes very limited in they require a need or drive to achieve and the choices are seemingly unlimited. Whereas when I am with my body it’s as if my scope of choices I can make in that particular moment are much more supportive and definite and don’t require second guessing or justifying. For example I was tired last night, while disconnected I could do loads of chores and tick things off my to-do list to ‘rest tomorrow’ – this would of drained me further and the decision from my body was: tired now/rest now. So simple but allowed me to feel the way I do now, more supported and steady from listening to my body.

  55. The first line of the title said it all – Making decisions the body is key – makes so much sense and highlights to me how important it is to take care our bodies, and from continuous self-care, to loving and honouring our bodies which is a great support to hear and listen to all its intelligence and guidance not only when we have a decision to make but in all our movements throughout our day.

  56. This connection with the body, actually being aware of your body and how it feels, is like a giant well kept secret on the path to a joyful and loving life, and yet it is no secret, and it is taught by Universal Medicine.

  57. Having lived a lot of my life in my head and mind, coming back to my body has been a God-send- literally…Listening to its messages and honouring those is transforming my life. Yet I notice when things are flowing and going well, i still have a tendency to be less aware of its more subtle messages.

  58. “From my work with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine I have learned that it is much easier to make good decisions when I am in touch with my body.” I absolutely agree Christoph. I now enjoy the decision as my body already knows the answer and I just allow myself to feel it. I know if I have allowed my mind to take over as my thoughts are all over the shop.

  59. Thank you Christoph for sharing, when I go up in my head and leave my body I can go into mulling , over thinking the situation thereby creating anxiety and confusion as to what to do. Staying with my body brings clarity and an easfullness in knowing what is next.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s