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?

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

  1. We are so trained to make decisions from our mind and often end up in indecision, the wrong decision or wondering for hours, sometimes days or weeks what decision to make and then needing to ask others for advice, etc. What this shows us is that when we try to make a decision from our minds we are totally lost. And as your blog reveals it serves so much more if we start to re-learn to listen to our body and make decisions from our body – this is a real key to an easy, joyful and fulfilled life!

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. My very first feeling when it comes to making a decision is a knowing which comes from and is felt in my body, if I second guess this knowing I allow myself to be influenced by my mind, and then what was a simple clear decision becomes complicated with the many scenarios my mind feeds me.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.’

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

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

  41. 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.

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