How to Follow Your Intuition

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:15
Intuition is "knowing" something without being able to explain how you came to that conclusion rationally. It's that mysterious "gut feeling" or "instinct" that often turns out to be right, in retrospect. When you've whittled down your...
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Intuition is "knowing" something without being able to explain how you came to that conclusion rationally.[1] It's that mysterious "gut feeling" or "instinct" that often turns out to be right, in retrospect. When you've whittled down your options and are stuck at a crossroads, getting in touch with your intuition can help. You can make the best of your intuitive gifts by doing exercises to develop your intuition, learning which types of situations call for intuitive decisions, and getting to know how your intuition feels and functions.

Method 1
Method 1 of 3:

Developing Your Intuition

  1. Step 1 Write about your feelings.
    Keeping a journal can be a great way to get in touch with your feelings and unlock your intuitive side. Write out whatever you are feeling or thinking about without worrying about rationalization or your judgmental inner voice. Stream of consciousness writing, or just jotting down the first word or thought that pops into your head, can help you become more aware of what’s going on in your subconscious mind.[2]
  2. Step 2 Meditate.
    Meditation can help you become more in tune with the intuitive signals your body is sending you. Try some basic meditation techniques to help you become more mindful of your physical state.[3]
    • Find a quiet and comfortable place to meditate where you will not be bothered or distracted.
    • Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and focus on the sensations of your own breathing. If your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention to your breathing.
    • Try doing a “body scan.” Lie down, close your eyes, and mentally focus on each part of your body in turn, starting with the toes and moving up to the top of your head. Be aware of any sensations you are experiencing in each part of your body, and make a conscious effort to relax any tensed muscles. When you are done, focus on your entire body for a few minutes. Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing.
  3. Step 3 Distract yourself.
    While it may seem illogical, distraction can actually help you come to a decision. Your brain processes information on a subconscious level even if you are not actively focusing on it or thinking about it. If you find yourself struggling to make a decision, do something else for a while. Then return to the problem, and go with the decision that feels “right.”[4]
  4. Step 4 Sleep on it.
    Sleep is important for resting and repairing our bodies and minds, and it also helps process information that we take in during the day. If you’re having trouble making a decision, try putting it aside and getting some sleep. When you wake up, you may find that your intuition has led you to a decision.[5]
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Method 2
Method 2 of 3:

Knowing When to Use Your Intuition

  1. Step 1 Use your knowledge and common sense.
    If you are in an unfamiliar situation, trying to solve a complex problem, or need to make an important decision, do some research or seek advice before letting your gut take over. Your intuition will work better for you if you use it along with practical knowledge, reasonable expectations, and an understanding of your options.
  2. Step 2 Listen to your intuition in familiar situations.
    Our brains are great at recognizing patterns. This allows us to come to decisions quickly and without much conscious thought. You have probably used this type of intuition while driving or riding a bicycle. Once you’ve practiced something a few times (like giving a speech, performing a musical piece, or playing a sport), try letting go and letting your intuition take over instead of referring to your notes, looking at the clock, or thinking about every step.[6]
  3. Step 3 Listen to your instincts about people.
    Our gut reactions to other people are a survival instinct. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel fearful of or nervous about another person for no obvious reason, you may be picking up on subtle signs that are not apparent to your conscious mind. Be on guard when interacting with someone who gives you a bad feeling, even if you’re not sure why. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, remove yourself from the situation or seek help.[7]
  4. Step 4 Listen to your instincts about your health.
    You know your body better than anyone else. If you feel that something is wrong, even if it’s subtle or you can’t clearly explain it, seek medical advice or attention. If you still feel like your concerns have not been addressed after seeing a medical professional, get a second opinion. You may be picking up on something your doctor hasn’t.[8]
    • You may also develop a strong intuition about the health needs of people you are close to. If you are the parent or guardian of a child, or if you live with someone who has health problems, pay attention to your intuitive signals about their condition. You may get the sense that something is wrong even if they do not bring it to your attention or notice it themselves.
  5. Step 5 Let your intuition help you with big decisions.
    If you’re faced with a big choice like making a major purchase, deciding which college to go to, or getting married, logic and practical considerations are important. But once you’ve weighed all the pros and cons and narrowed down your options, you are likely to get the most satisfaction out of your choice if you let intuition guide you to a final decision.[9]
    Malcolm Gladwell
    Malcolm Gladwell, Writer

    Trust your intuition. "Truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking."

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Method 3
Method 3 of 3:

Getting to Know Your Intuition

  1. Step 1 Listen to your gut.
    It’s not just a metaphor – we really do some of our “thinking” with our guts. Your “gut brain” may let you know that you’re stressed or excited before your mind does by giving you a stomach ache, a feeling of butterflies in your stomach, or that distinctive sinking feeling that you get when you hear bad news.[10]
    • If your stomach hurts or feels uncomfortable when you’re dealing with or even thinking about particular situations or people, this is may be your body telling you that they are a source of stress for you. Be aware of these signals, and take a break or avoid the triggering situation or person if possible.
  2. Step 2 Follow your nose.
    You may not always be aware of it, but your sense of smell can be a powerful survival tool. Your nose can tell you if something is unsafe to eat, and can even help you evaluate another person’s emotional or physical state. Boost your sense of smell by exercising regularly and avoiding pollutants that damage your sense of smell, like cigarette smoke.[11]
  3. Step 3 Use your eyes.
    When you enter an unfamiliar situation, take a quick look around. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of everything you’re seeing, your eyes may pick up on important visual cues that can contribute to intuitive responses. For example, you may subconsciously pick up on subtle changes in another person’s facial expressions or body language beyond what is immediately obvious. If something seems amiss or alarming about a person or situation, it might be because your eyes noticed something that your mind didn’t.[12]
  4. Step 4 Pay attention to your physical reactions.
    Dangerous or uncomfortable situations may trigger a physical stress response. In addition to an upset stomach, you might feel your palms sweating and your heart racing. In some cases, our bodies pick up on the signs that something is amiss before our brains do. Listen to what your body is telling you: these stress reactions are a signal to the conscious mind to be on guard.[13]
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How Can You Tap Into Your Intuition?


  • If you have experienced past trauma or currently deal with anxiety issues, your sense of intuition may be affected by your experiences and overall mental or emotional state. If you experience hypervigilance or are concerned that your intuitive sense may be exaggerated or distorted, you may wish to discuss these issues with a therapist or general practitioner.[14]
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