At some point in our lives, we have all experienced an uneasy warning or feeling in our stomachs telling us to go with a particular choice, over another. Perhaps that felt like butterflies in your stomach, confirming that what you know is the truth. This feeling can sometimes be incredibly subtle and isn’t always so overwhelming that it needs our immediate attention, which is why it can easily be missed.
This feeling or warning signal can be defined as our intuition. Our intuition holds a very quiet space within our bodies, but if listened to correctly it can change the course of our lives. Your intuition is essentially a psychological process where your brains uses past experiences and cues from the self to make a decision. This usually tends to happen quickly so the decision may feel natural, almost like second nature - that doesn't register on a conscious level. We all have an intuition, but it takes the ability to tap in and connect to it in order to use it. The more we learn about our intuition, the more we can utilize it to shape our lives.
The human brain has two operating systems. The first is quick, effortless and full of instinct. Intuition gathers your past experiences in order to make a quick decision about if something feels good, bad, right or wrong, and continues to use these patterns daily. It all happens outside of our consciousness. The second system is slower to respond, and is more analytical with decision making. Our instinct allows us to use our body as a compass. The more we cultivate our somatic awareness, the more sensitive we become to understanding these alerts within us and our ability to tap into our intuition is strengthened.
Intuition is a way the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious. The sharper this line of communication is, the better you will be in trusting all of your decisions to support the best version of you.
Ways to Sharpen Your Intuition:
Listen - Try and take a moment to feel every sensation or warning in your body or breathing. Listen to the messages that are coming from your gut within you.
Trust your gut feeling - Research suggests that emotion and intuition have a physical presence in our gut (referred to as our “second brain”) and this feeling emitting from our enteric nervous system is important to consider when wanting to understand the messages our body is communicating.
Feel - You will be able to feel your intuition if you allow yourself too. Allow yourself to feel all the signs within your body, both the physical triggers like goosebumps or the pit in your stomach and the less obvious triggers like the feeling of just ‘knowing’. You’ll know when something is off or right. Trusting your intuition gets easier the more you practice.
Release - Negative emotions can cloud intuition, which can create bad decisions. Allow yourself to release the negative emotions that don’t serve you to make the best choice with your intuition.
Become mindful of who you are around - People who drain you or add unnecessary noise will make it more difficult to connect with your intuition. Keep people around who enrich or empower you to make the best decisions.
Look within your environment - The more your intuition knows about the current state and surroundings, the better it can protect you by making the right decisions.
Connect with others - The ability to pick up on the thoughts, feelings and intentions of others is referred to as empathic accuracy. The more time we spend with people, the more we can finely tune our empathic accuracy by being able to pick on the signals of others. This prepares your intuition to pick up on patterns and better inform you with what feels right or wrong.
Be silent, still and meditate - Solitude allows you to turn down the noise of the world or your surroundings, and allows you to pay attention to the signals your intuition sends that we may miss. Let your mind wander and be open to what comes to you, allow mindfulness to get rid of mental clutter to connect with your intuition.
Use your dreams - Dreams are a big way the brain processes information from the day, as they can be rich in lessons or messages. Pay attention to your dreams in order to access information that may not process when we’re awake.
Test your intuition - Write down smaller hunches for what you think might happen tomorrow or in harmless situations and see how often you’re right. Intuition can lead you to some beautiful experiences and lifestyles but should always be followed with a balance of rationality and common sense. This truly is the key to allowing yourself to step into a life that trusts in your abilities beyond limits, and become free from fear based living.