Have you ever been in a situation where your “gut feeling” told you one thing, but your rational mind said another? If you went with your brain rather than your intuition, there’s a good chance you ended up regretting your decision. Your intuition is the subconscious leader that many people fail to give proper respect to. But learning to listen to this internal compass could help you make better decisions and live a more fulfilling life.
“I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it,” explains Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, to The Huffington Post. “It’s different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis … It’s a knowing without knowing.”
It’s unconscious reasoning, the guidance that compels you to turn left when all signs may be pointing right. It’s often the whisper inside that can lead you to the best results possible, if you will just learn to let go and give it a chance.
Intuition is commonly associated with New Age mysticism or a metaphysical way of thinking, but it doesn’t have to be so. Our intuition was here long before anyone even gave a word to it, and it will be here long after other fad words expire.
“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” said Ivy Estabrooke of the Office of Naval Research, who is investigating the power of intuition which has helped troops make important and quick decisions during combat.
Whether it’s deciding which job to take, which direction to turn when you’re lost, or how to handle a conflict in your family, intuition sometimes knows better than the rational mind. The problem is that many of us have buried that little voice so deeply within, we have a hard time hearing or feeling where it is guiding us.
The good news is that your intuition is still there, you merely have to learn to hear it again.
To better listen to your intuition, try:
1. Meditation: Spend time in silence, simply listening.
2. Commune with nature: Aim to get at least sometime outside every single day.
3. Creativity: Tap into your internal artist by drawing, writing, painting, or making music.
4. Learn to listen: In general, listen to friends, families, silence, and yourself.
5. Be body conscious: Learn to appreciate the little signs and signals from your body, when it tells you it’s tired, joyful, in need of love, or getting sick.
6. Let go: Warm up to the idea that you don’t have to control everything. Life is going to happen whether you overthink it or not. Relax.
7. Stay positive: A 2013 study in the journal Psychological Science found that being in a good mood boosted participant’s abilities to make intuitive calls in a word game. So smile!
Working on becoming more intuitive requires you to adopt healthier habits and a healthier mindset. These are things that are good for your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, no matter your end goal. And if cultivated regularly, they could lend themselves to better decision making and more happiness overall.
Credits: Elizabeth Renter of naturalsociety.com, where this was originally featured.