top of page

How To Tap Into The Wisdom Of Your Five Brains For Superior Decision Making And Habits

Written by: Michele Jazzalyn, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Have you ever asked a family member, friend, or colleague for advice to help you make a decision? Perhaps that person's feedback left you to ponder a new idea or gave you the green light to act. Likewise, you have multiple brains within your body that are waiting for you to listen to their essential information.


Survival Head-Brain (1)

The survival head-brain observes the world and regulates essential functions to keep you safe. In addition, this brain serves as an invisible file cabinet for your subconscious mind. Your subconscious stores your beliefs, fears, experiences, memories, and habits. Thus, it drives 90% of your behaviors, as well as your decisions!

Because the decision-making process differs from changing a pesky habit, we must work with the brain differently. The survival brain loves to keep you in your comfort zone. So, you have to send messages to your brain instead of listening to the program in your head. Reprograming your mind also requires consistent thinking and acting on what you want to do or create.

For example, imagine that you read an insightful book about letting go of other people's opinions. Two days later, a woman shares a negative opinion about a product you offer. You feel upset, but remember what you read. So, you decide to let it go. Even though ugly comments continue to flow your way, your awareness keeps you from reacting. Eventually, you realize that you are no longer are upset by the triggers that formerly hurt you. The result is that you went from thinking to acting to being that new behavior. But, do not expect your brain to accept a new habit fast. Be patient and consistent; not perfect.

Emotional Head-Brain (2)

The emotional head-brain has a fundamental role in conditioning us to repeat pleasant experiences and avoid painful ones. For example, you may remember a wonderful trip to Ireland and choose to repeat the same journey. But, you refuse an offer to ski with your adult friends because you recall the pain of breaking a leg when you were a child. On the flip side, if you can't remember where you put your keys, that is because your brain does not store your dull routines.

Thinking Head-Brain (3)

The thinking head-brain is about logic, learning, planning, and deciding. Although it has distinct differences from your survival brain, they affect each other by connecting rational thoughts with reactive responses. For instance, your survival brain may know that you fear speaking and wants to keep you safe. But your thinking brain can change your opinion with logic. That being so, you may agree to speak at an event. But, that experience may be your first or last, depending on the outcome.

Heart-Brain (4)

Your heart-brain reaches out to the world. It has more neural pathways running from your heart to your head than your brain to your heart! The HeartMath Institute* also found that your heart increases access to your intuition, determines your interests, provides a sense of meaning, and connects you to your feelings and environment. Your heart brain also influences alignment with your values and true feelings about relationships. It is your primary source of passion, compassion, empathy, and understanding.

Gut-Brain (5)

Your gut-brain engages with the world and has a profound connection between food, mood, and self-preservation. Nutritional Psychology correlates your gut bacteria to how your feel, eat and behave. For example, your gut produces 60-90% of your body's serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood and processes your emotions. Therefore, maintaining a healthy digestive system is vital to clear decision-making. At its best, your gut-brain is the root of your courage, teaching you to follow your gut instinct.

How to Check-in with Your Five Brains in Five Minutes or Less

By listening to the information in your head, heart, and gut brains, you have differing perspectives collected to make better decisions. Use this same process to help you replace any unwanted behaviors you want to transform.

  1. Take three deep breaths, exhaling slowly to calm your central nervous system.

  2. Tune into your head-brains. What thoughts do you have about your current situation? Focus on reasoning, logic, plans, and past experiences

  3. Tune into your heart-brain. Imagine your breathing through your heart. This process helps to uncover the values you have for this situation. What is your best intention, or what do you care about most?

  4. Tune into your gut-brain: What intuitions or hunches do you have about your current situation?

  5. Take one deep, slow breath in and out. Reflect on all your thoughts, values, intentions, and gut feelings collected. Then, ask yourself, "what shall I do now? Listen for the answer.

Suggestions from Research: A robust body of research reveals that stress and negative moods block decision strategies, while positive attitudes facilitate intuition and decisions. But, studies also point out that embodied habits are likely to keep leaders relying solely on their intellect. For that reason, coaches may play an essential role in guiding decision-makers to accept a new strategy.

In summary, I share a great quote by George Loewenstein:

“With all its cleverness, however, decision theory is somewhat crippled emotionally and thus detached from the emotional and visceral richness of life.”

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Michele Jazzalyn, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

"Michele is a Transformational Health and Life Coach, Speaker, and Author. After conquering major health issues, she founded Make Healthy Fit and discovered her life purpose.

Michele chose a new path for healing her health after learning that she was at high risk of heart attack and stroke. She stopped the cycle of dieting. Within two years, she shed 115 pounds, reversed her heart disease, insulin resistance, and eliminated medications.

Shortly after renewing her lifestyle, Michele experienced horrific emotional trauma. So, she dove into Spiritual Psychology education to gain new life skills and help others nourish their mind, body, and spirit to rise above diversity.

Using Neuro-Renewal™ coaching methods, Michele helps women break through the inner barriers and blind spots that prohibit them from living healthy, joyful, and fulfilling lives.

Michele is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and a recipient of IIN's top ten author award for her book, Journey Beyond the Plate, 7 Clear Lifestyle Practices™ to Sustained Weight Loss.

She is also a graduate of Elite Universities Breakthrough Coaching Certification Program, Evolve Academy's Spiritual Psychology Program, and a registered influencer with the American Diabetes Association, educating and seeking change on Capitol Hill."



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page