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How to Deal With Your Heart vs. Head Conflict


By: Dr. Gwen Smith

From as early as the time when we started reasoning we've had mental conflicts that seem to cripple our actions from time to time.


Not one of us is immune. No matter the level of training or enlightenment that we have achieved, we've all experienced some level of conflict between our 'heads' and our 'hearts' in the past. Whether or not we move forward depends on the approach used to address the internal conflicts.


Before looking at some of these approaches, let's define 'head' and 'heart' to ensure that we remain in the same discussion.


The Head

 This is the consciousness and source of processing current information. It's our thinking processes.


We often think that we are using our consciousness to arrive at solutions, when in fact those decisions are arrived at using data embedded in our subconscious minds.


In your consciousness you'll find your will power, the rationale you use to justify your actions and your analytical responses. Whereas your subconscious mind controls your habits, strategies, impulses and physiological controls. 


The Heart


There have been varied interpretations of 'heart'. Consequently it's important to clarify what is meant here in this discussion. The heart, the gut and the intuition are interchangeable in this conversation. They mean the exact thing. Its that place where you get a sense of being right for you or 'wrong' for you.


This will in turn affect your feelings; whether or not you have a great feeling or a not so great feeling about the actions you are about to take. It's important to point out that this feeling can be thrown off by whether or not your subconscious mind is on board with your gut sense.


Conflicts between Your Gut and Your Subconscious Mind


Let's look at an example to the above. If you are in a situation where you have a life altering decision to make, let's say to get married to a wonderful significant other; you've known this person for quite some time, everyone speaks highly about him or her, and it's all great and positive feedback all around. Your gut is fully on board and you sense that it is the right thing for you.


Despite this however, you have some subconscious insecurities about something you are not currently aware of, maybe, because you've seen all close friends' and relatives' marriages end up in disaster and you subconsciously (you're not aware) believe that all marriages end up in disaster.


You have some uncertain feelings, though you know this person is right for you, and you just can't seem to identify why you're not feeling completely elated about the decision.


In this scenario your gut (heart or intuition) is at odds with the deepest part of your subconscious mind. You are not aware of it and consequently you have stifled feelings instead of the sheer ecstasy that you should naturally be feeling. This results in your subconscious resistance or sabotaging of your relationship.


You may conclude the wrong ideas by engaging your head to reason through your current resulting feelings.


At times too, if your conscious (head) and your subconscious minds are in conflict, you will also lack clarity about what you need to do. This simply means that the data in your consciousness is not collaborating with what you have in your subconscious minds. There are ways to deal with these internal conflicts.


How Can You Overcome the Internal Conflicts?


In general there are three recommendations to overcoming the conflicts that occur internally:

  1. The first thing is that you need to release and step away. Often times fogginess of mind is a result of information overload and overwhelm. You may be trying to solve every minute detail without having much clarity. Stepping away allows free thoughts to flow. You can listen to some music, take a long walk, go dancing, watch a movie or just simply take a break in some remote quiet place. Relax and rest your mind and often times the answer comes to you by not thinking constantly about a solution.
  2. Meditate in a quiet place. Meditation relaxes your mind and produces similar results to the above. Connect with your gut, intuition or heart. All information you receive from your head should also be checked against your gut, then be in tune with the associated feelings that arise as a result.
  3. Detach from a special outcome. If you are intent on having a certain result, then when your heart indicates something else, you will remain in conflict from your head as you will always want to reason your way back to that result that you are attached to. So remain open to what shows up.


In the end remember that you heart (your gut or intuition) will typically always be right. The sooner you start listening to it and trusting it, the quicker you'll be able to get to your destinations in life. Where most people struggle is in letting their head run the show and consequently they keep repeating the same mistakes that could easily be released had they learned to listen closely to their hearts.

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2 Responses

  1. Chasity Williams

    Wow, this is completely true! I was stressed about where I should be by now in my life and just yesterday I detached from the specific outcome and had a breakthrough in my emotions!

  2. Admin

    This is so fantastic to hear Chasity! Seems like you have been doing some great work too.

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