Intrapersonal communication starts with a stimulus. Our intrapersonal communication is the reaction to certain actions or stimuli. These stimuli could be internal, originating from within us, or external, coming from an outside source. These stimuli are picked up by the sensory organs (PNS) and then sent to the brain. This process is called reception.
The sense organs pick-up a stimulus and send it to the central nervous system through the peripheral nervous system. While we receive all stimuli directed to us, we pay attention to only a few. This is because we practice selective perception. Only high ‘intensity’ stimuli like loud sounds, bright colors, sharp smells, etc. are perceived and the low intensity stimuli are over looked.
The next step is processing of the stimuli. It occurs at three levels. These levels are cognitive, emotional and physiological. Cognitive processing (thinking) is associated with the intellectual self and includes the storage, retrieval, sorting and assimilation of information.
Emotional processing (feeling) is associated with the emotional self. This does not have anything to do with logic or reasoning. All our emotions and our attitudes, beliefs, and opinions interact to determine our emotional response to any stimulus.
Physiological processing occurs at the physiological level and is associated with our psychological self. This kind of response is reflected in our bodily behaviors like heart rate, brain activity, muscle tension, blood pressure and body temperature.
The next activity in intrapersonal communication is transmission. Here the sender (transmitter) and receiver being the same person, transmission occurs through nerve impulses.
Intrapersonal communication also has feedback. Here it is called self-feedback. The next element of intrapersonal communication is interference or noise. A sudden sound disturbing our thought process is interference. Another form of interference occurs when we process some information at a wrong level. For example, we are supposed to process bad news rationally i.e. through cognitive processing. But we often react to such news through emotions. The opposite is also a case of interference.