We have all been there. You strongly feel that you know something, but you can’t explain how you came to that conclusion – rationally. It’s commonly referred to as ‘gut feeling’, or ‘instinct’ and usually turns out to be right. Life is not a straight path; there are many hills and valleys, and crossroads as well. Your intuition can help you find the way when you get stuck at a crossroads in life. This article explores various ways you can learn how to follow your instinct.
- Get into the habit of trusting your instincts – significantly, we are rational human beings. It’s thus hard to count on something that you do not completely understand. Of course, you shouldn’t always put your intuition into play. For instance, if you’re hiring employees, you want to focus on the qualifications, otherwise, you might accidentally discriminate. But when there’s no obvious after weighing your options, intuition becomes all you’ve really got. Think of intuition as a way of tapping into your subconscious mind, which has ‘archived’ all sorts of different information. So when rational choice fails, you can trust your instincts. Even some of the world’s best scientists have made discoveries based on flashes of intuition.
- Ask questions – ask yourself questions, and pay attention to the first answer that pops into your mind. Of course, you don’t expect this to be easy. Multiple thoughts might flood your mind all at once. Assume you’re looking at the list in a menu, and pick out the first thing that stands out to you. Make this a habit. Don’t try to dwell on any option, just pick something. Sounds scary? What if you make the wrong choice? Don’t worry. Intuition has its way of playing into your choices.
- Meditate – this is probably obvious. A still mind is a more intuitive mind, a more capable mind. Meditation helps clear the repetitive thoughts that are crowding your mind. It also clears worries so that you can have an easier time listening to your intuition. So work on identifying a meditative technique that’s above board, and feel comfortable using it.
- Pay attention to your gut – there’s a reason intuition is referred to as a ‘gut feeling’. Most times, a decision that you understand to be wrong brings some sort of discomfort in your stomach area. Learn to pay attention to this discomfort (gut feeling); it’s your subconscious alarm.
- Exercise your brain – learn to exercise the right side of your brain. Science has derived that intuition draws from the right hemisphere of your brain. This is the same side responsible for holistic thought, nonverbal, and expression. Activities such as visualization, brainstorming, painting, dancing and being creative can help sharpen your right brain.
It’s also important that you learn to listen to the various brains within your body. Neuroscience has identified that human beings have both complex and functional brains in the heart and gut. These are memory and intelligence points that tell us when something isn’t right through feelings, messages and hunches. For instance, you might feel nervousness and fear before you do something. That means that from the core of your heart, you aren’t ready to accept this. These ‘feelings’ prevent us from doing things that might not be good for us.