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When you have a bad feeling that something is going to happen...

Updated on July 25, 2013
Lisa HW profile image

"Lisa" , a "social sciences enthusiast" and Mom of three grown kids, writes from personal experience/exposure and/or past research

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It Isn't Necessarily Something of a Paranormal Nature

Most of the time, when you have a feeling that something bad is going to happen, it is caused by one of three things:

1. There is something that you know is going on that has the potential of resulting in something bad happening; or else is a matter of increasingly defying the odds of having something bad happen.

Just as we often pick up "subtle vibes" from meeting new people, we often pick up (without ever realizing it) similar subtle vibes about ourselves and any number of situations. My most memorable example is that when I was expecting one of my babies I "just felt like" the baby would be born early. There was no outward reason to think that, and the doctor didn't take me seriously when I told him I "just had a feeling" the baby would arrive too early. Once I reached five months along I had dreams about having a tiny, tiny, baby. (In one dream, the tiny baby was sitting happily in a crib, so they weren't horrible dreams.) On the first evening of the childbirth class the instructor asked who thought they may not go the whole six weeks. My hand just seemed to go up without my really having any reason to raise it. The class was to meet for a second time the following week. I was not there. Instead, I was delivering my baby at 34 weeks.

The baby was born breech, and it was discovered that he had been in an odd position. I had always known that my "baby bump" was kind of off to the side; and I had been far more uncomfortable than anyone should be so early in the pregnancy. The point is I was probably getting those "vibes" that something was "off" with the pregnancy, even though all seemed generally normal. With the next pregnancy I recognized the absence of feeling "off".

There are any number of those kind of "vibes" we can pick up on when there's a situation that is "sending them". The "carefree" person who knows he has several fire hazards in his home may not really pay much attention to the risk, but somewhere in the back of his mind he may know he's living a little dangerously. Some who feels his life is out of control may pick up on "vibes" that tell him something bad is going to happen.

2. You may be particularly stressed out and anxious (and possibly suffering from depression, as well).

With regard to stress and anxiety, when we're under stress or anxiety we start to live "under the influence" of "stress chemicals" and the changes in our bodies that occur when we're living under stress. We aren't are "usual calm selves", so that, alone, makes us feel more generally nervous (needless to say). Depending on the number of causes of stress, and the severeity of stress/distress, we get can to a point where we don't just feel uncertain or ungrounded, we can start to get into the "what's-going-to-happen-next" kind of thinking.

Going through recent (or fairly recent) grief or serious loss; or going through too much grief or serious loss in too short a period of time; can contribute to that kind of thinking. Even when we think grief or loss occurred "a while ago" there are times when we underestimate how long it takes to fully bounce back from such things.

A friend once described the way life's troubles come like this: She said troubles can be like frosting on a cake. Some people can have a thin layer spread over the whole cake (as when many, many, smaller troubles keep occurring over a long period of time); or they can have "one, giant, lump dumped in one spot on the cake" (as when some extremely devastating loss occurs). In both types of situations a person can develop that sense that life will come at him from out of the blue and "kick him in the head" once again. We learn from our experiences, and sometimes we learn that bad things come at us "out of the blue". Sometimes, too, we over-learn that hard lesson and can have a difficult time finding our way back to a more appropriate, realistic, sense of well-being.

3. Some people, for whom everything in life is generally good, develop a worry that the odds of having something bad happen will inevitably turn against them. Depending on the person and his experiences, this worry can be either relatively minor or, instead, an actual fear.

In general, this kind of thought is something that doesn't bother most people much, even if it has occurred to them and they've had to tuck it in the back of their minds. Some people, however, are plagued by more disturbing degrees of this kind of thinking. This kind of thinking, though, is usually more "open" than that feeling people sometimes get that something bad is going to happen, even though they don't quite know what it may be.


Needless to say, anyone plagued by too many worrisome thoughts or feelings should consider seeking professional help. Often, however, by being aware of how "spooky" thoughts can occur as a result of that subtle awareness that we (or people close to us) are inviting disaster, or as a result of living with a generally "unsettled" feeling as a result of stress/distress; we can better understand the roots of those "spooky" thoughts and see them for what they truly are.

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    • profile image

      Bart Simpson 6 years ago

      Hithis is the fact of life aswell. Its good.

    • profile image

      Bhartimethwani 6 years ago

      Hithis is the fact of life.

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      Shahbaz 6 years ago

      Thanx again for understanding...i wanted to say that its not about age..cause i have seen and heard enough bad news and i used to think like the way you think and its human nature...i understand that!!!...and above all my father is a pshychiatrist so you can imagine what i ahve seen in my life...and since my father is a pshychiatrist it is also the worst part...you can understand why..anyways thnx again..and dont envy this hot whether cause there is nothing to envy...its not hot its very hot!!!...

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Shahbaz, I neglected to say earlier, too, that I'm sorry to know you're friend has something like a brain tumor, and that your other friend's mother passed away. I do know that if enough of those bad things start showing up, it can also be natural to start wondering, "What next?"

      It can be scary, no matter who, or how old, someone is to have strange physical symptoms. If not scary, then at least unsettling. It DOES make us wonder, "What on Earth is this?" I have a friend who has frequently had one kind of strange symptom or another, and he's been diagnosed with things like anemia and Vitamin D deficiency as explanations for some of them (at one time or another).

      Take care. Hopefully, it's nothing and it's all just coincidence. (By the way, I envy your hot weather right now. We're just starting our Winter weather here, and I pretty much hate it. :) )

    • profile image

      Shahbaz 6 years ago

      First of all Thanks a lot Lisa. It really helped me in understanding that may be its just stress, low or high blood sugar..or may be i am not old enough to handle the ugly truth of life..atleast till the next time i am releved..thanx again...

      But again..i live in India...and according to docs reports my ex-girlfrnds tumor started growing just weeks before the day i fell sick...As i have said i live in India...and here best frnd means Brother nd some times more thn a brother...so she is like my sister...and about that death...may be you are right may be its just "in my life"...but just minutes before this terrible news..i told my frnd that something bad is going to happen..and i guess this post is just about having that strange feeling it doesnt go like "When you have a bad feeling that something is going to happen IN YOUR LIFE"...it goes like the other way...its just about that strange feeling...and about physical sensations..hhmmmm...its hot here in India...so sweater no, shirt no..but i can follow up on wht i hv eaten or drank..or may be i should go to a docter and have a complete check up and then come back to you..you are right i should not panic...may be its just low or high blood sugar...anyways thanks for your concern..take good care of yourself...

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Shahbaz, I don't think anyone (myself, included) can tell you (with 100% certainty) what the feeling you've gotten is. Some people are the kind who assume there's some medical/scientific explanation. Others would feel certain that the feeling you got was more than coincidence. Personally, I'm someone who looks for a scientific explanation to this kind of thing. Can I tell you with 100% certainty that I'm correct? No. Just as people who put "spooky" reasons on having something like this occur cannot, truly, be certain about what they would believe this is; neither can I, even if my guess tends to lean more toward the "scientific explanation" direction.

      The fact that you got that feeling that something bad is going to happen could very well have been caused by reasons similar to those described in the Hub above.

      What your post made me wonder, though, is whether you had the physical symptoms you didn't have an explanation for, and whether you've "looked for" reason to associate the experiences with that "something bad". For example, one the one day you first mentioned, there were two unrelated things. One thing is ex-girlfriend's brain tumor, but if you think about that, the tumor had "already happened" before anyone got the news. Also, I don't know how old/young you are, but those of us who have lived more than a few decades of adult life could pretty much write an book-length list of how often we've heard bad news about someone else (including people from our past). Then, the matter with your friend's sister getting a divorce wouldn't even strike someone else (like me) as all that "personally bad" a thing for you. I don't mean to underestimate how you may feel about your friend's sister's divorce; but something to ask if how close does someone need to be to you in order for you to consider "something bad happening" in your life? My thinking is something like a divorce (never a pleasant thing, of course) for my friend's sister really isn't in "my life". It's more "in my life" than, say, a stranger's bad news, I suppose. Where would you, though, draw a line between when something is "in your life" (as compared to being "someone else's bad news"). Also, where, for you, is the line between "something bad happening" and "the usual, run-of-the-mill, bad news about someone else"? The example I gave above from my own life involved having my best friend killed, having my own set of substantial-enough injuries, and feeling as if my life was turned upside. To me, that's a "bad thing happening" in my own life. The death of someone else's mother that I'm not all that close to anyway doesn't "qualify" for me.

      If you're young, those incidents of other people's bad news may have struck you a little more as "personal", because maybe you haven't lived long enough to have heard enough bad news from enough people you know. I have no doubt that hearing news about your ex-girlfriend's brain tumor was upsetting and shocking for you, and it certainly "qualifies" as a "big thing" and a "bad thing". Still, there's that fact that she had the tumor before anyone knew about it.

      I'm just wondering if your situation is a matter of having the odd physical experiences (which could have had you feeling bad anyway), and then connecting things you would have heard about because of when you heard about them. Lots of times we hear all kinds of awful news, or have bad things happen to us, personally, without any strange feelings ahead of time (or just before). We're more likely to notice if we've had "some weird feeling" and then heard about something bad.

      As far as the physical sensations go, it could have been (and might be again) anything from a rise in body temperature because you wore a particular sweater or shirt, or the heat was on higher that day; to something like low or high blood sugar or some other metabolism "off-ness" related to something you ate, drank, or didn't eat or drink.

      Sometimes we may have something like the beginnings of a head cold that our body fights off. If you had a temporary fever or feeling of suddenly being hot, maybe it bothered/worried you enough to make you wonder why you had that, and there's at least the chance you got yourself into that frame-of-mind that was feeling unsettled and uncertain and wondering why this happened.

      Apparently (and here's a link that refers to it: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/interactive/discussion/... if you're stressed and/or tired you may have a rise in body temperature.

      I guess I'd suggest you go over whether you've been sleeping right, eating right (or eating and drinking the same stuff you always do), and even what whether you've got a new seater or jacket you've been wearing. If you don't feel well (and can't figure out why) again, think about seeing a doctor to see if you may have some kind of infection (or at least if the doctor can suggest possible reasons for what goes on).

      My personal opinion is (and, again, I can't 100% guarantee I'm correct, but nobody who would disagree with me can guarantee that it's anything "spooky" either) the only thing that should at all make you feel nervous or scared about the physical symptoms might be a matter of whether you have some medical condition that needs to be addressed. Keep in mind, though, that every once in awhile we feel sick for no apparent reason and it passes without our ever really identifying the reason.

      To be honest, even if I can imagine myself thinking the way the "spookier-minded" people may think, the stuff you've described just doesn't, to me, look "spooky enough" or related enough to the other stuff to even wonder if it's anything "spooky".

      I think there's at least the chance you're borrowing other people's "bad things" and using them to "confirm" that the unusual physical feelings you experienced were more than something like low blood sugar or tiredness. I wouldn't be surprised, either, if you're a young person for whom hearing any serious bad news at all my be relatively a new thing in your life. That's not meant as an insult, or to be condescending. There's a phase of life in a lot of young people's lives (at least those who haven't dealt with much bad stuff happening around them) when the problems of so many people around us start to seem more serious, and when we're suddenly more aware of all the rotten stuff that can happen to people we know.

    • profile image

      Shahbaz Ahmed Azmi 6 years ago

      Just 15 days back, when i was in my office, suddenly i started feeling that i am ill. My body temprature rised unbleviebly. So i went back home took some pills but nothiing worked. At this moment for the first time i had this feeling that something bad is gonna happen. i went to sleep with this feeling and when i woke up i was completely fine. I mean i felt a little weak but temprature reading was normal but that feeling was still there.After two days, when i was heading towards my hometown i came to know that my ex-girlfriend is suffering from brain tumor and her family and she found it out only two days back the day i fell sick.When i reached my home i came to know that my best friend's sister is going through divorce.And she received the divorce paper on the very same day when i fell ill.Today after two weeks (29-11-10) i again felt the same way. Just after ten minutes of this feeling i came to know that my good friends mother is no more. Can anybody tell me what is this feeling...whats wrong with me..its kinda scary...

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Eiddwen, I read the Hub you mentioned. I didn't comment yet, because, needless to say, the nature of the Hub requires some thought before commenting. I'll be honest. The situation with your daughter makes me feel that there's isn't anything "worthy of the loss" that I can appropriately say.

      Then again, having a family member who lost her young child, I also know that other people's not knowing what to say can lead mothers (or fathers) to feel isolated as a result of that.

      cindyine, I'm guessing it either makes you great at reading gut instincts, a major pessimist, or else - as you suggest - psychic. :)

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 7 years ago from Cape Town

      Sometimes I get a bad feeling something is going to happen, and usually I'm right. Does that make me sort of psychic?

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      Thank you for the kind words and I really do enjoy your hubs. I'm on my 4th hub at the moment , actually 4th and 5th. My first hub called 'From This Moment On' is about how i clung on to doing something positive after both tragedies. You've got so many hubs and so far they are all brilliant and I'm sure they will continue to be so. Take care

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Eiddwen, I'm so sorry to know you've lost your daughter (as well as having gone through those other things); and, again, thank you for such kind words.

      After I decided to turn my long comment about that vague sense that something bad was going to happen, and after it turned long enough to make it a story, I kept writing and turned it into a story that (really) is way to long for HubPages. And yet, do I decide not to post it? No. Why? Because now it's all written - why waste it.. LOL

      Anyway, I don't know if anyone will ever want to be bothered reading it, and I don't expect anyone to. I guess, maybe, I wrote it because I think it's what helped me understand more about those "looming clouds" we can sometimes sense. Or else, maybe, I just wrote it because it seemed like time.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      Hi please carry on this is so interesting! I'm going to be totally honest here and there have been times when my senses have been correct when I.ve had that awful sense of foreboding that something bad is going to happen. For a good couple of years before I lost my sister in 1999 I did have these feelings but then again due to her mental health problems Maybe that answers that, I'm not sure! Then again a good couple of years before I lost my beautiful youngest daughter in 2009 I again had these feelings but then again my daughter was into drugs and alcohol abuse so maybe this explains these thoughts. I personally suffered so much abuse from the age of five or maybe younger and married a violent and abusive man. Stayed with him for 26 yrs until my sister died and have since met my brilliant partner and weve been together now for five years and our love has grown stronger and stronger and I feel so lucky now. Some people never experience such happiness and my heart goes out to them!! Please carry on with your story and I think you articles are brilliant . I've only been on HB for just over a week but I'm so glad I joined.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Eiddwen, thank you. I think that gut instinct you mention may be (at least in my own experience) the main cause of that vague sense something bad (or, as in the case of my premie baby, worrisome/frightening) is going to happen. My response here turned into a story, and I don't necessarily expect you (or anyone else) to read it all. Since it did, though, I figured I may as well leave it, rather than delete it. Apparently, for some of us with that "writer gene", once the word/thought valve gets opened things can turn into stories without planning them. :)

      I think I'm generally an optimistic thinker, mostly because I'm someone who generally feels capable of managing problems and having some control over what direction a lot of the "self-based" (as opposed to those "out-of-anyone's-control") things take. Thinking is different, maybe, from what we are "at the core" or by Nature, but I think, at the core, I generally remain "neutral" and let my thinking be the guide.

      I generally haven't lived my life getting that vague sense that something bad will happen, but I'm a big one for being overcome with "acute" worry about a specific, isolated, thing. For example, the night my daughter headed on an ordinarily hour-long highway trip in an ice storm that closed most highways and had even police staying off them, I was a complete "nervious, basketcase", absolutely convinced there would be a disaster. I had to remind myself most of the time things turn out OK, and in that instance my fear was unfounded. I don't think, though, my common-sense worry was unfounded. Those isolated, for-the-moment, senses that something bad will happen are pretty my "the story of my life" since I've been a mother (especially of grown kids).

      For me, the most memorable time I had the vague sense that someone bad would happen involved my girlfriend's buying a Volkswagon convertible. The day she called to tell me she'd bought this "adorable" car I got this awful, pit-of-the-stomach, feeling. I thought I was over concerns about what I saw as "death trap" car, but for the whole time she had that car I just had a really vague sense that "something big and bad was looming". It wasn't anything I was really thinking about "on an intellectual level". In fact, the only way I'm aware that it was there was by knowing the difference of how I felt before and after I had that feeling. That's how subtle and "deep" it was.

      I think what I must have done was process the conscious concerns "intellectually" and, maybe, "tuck them away in some "deep, mental, file". I think when I'd processed those concerns about the car it wasn't just the size of the car or the fact that the engine was in the rear. I knew my friend wasn't a driver who seemed to react quickly or be able to deal with more than one thing at a time when driving. She was a careful and generally good driver (never a speeder), but if she did something like change radio dial she'd briefly let the steering wheel slip ever-so-slightly until she finished turning the dial and got the car back straight.

      I never said anything to her about my conscious concerns, but I'd find excuses to be the one who drove pretty much whenever we went out. Life went on, and I thought I had the worry about the car's size processed; with the matter of my not being comfortable with it being sort of dealt with. Still, I had a "cloud" over what had previous been a sense of feeling carefree, and that cloud was such a vague sense that something was looming (but I didn't know what it was), it seemed completely separate from the conscious concerns about the car's size.

      One night when we were planning to go out my friend called and announced firmly, and as if she'd decided to finally take charge of the fact that I'd so often managed to make sure I was the driver, "I'm driving. You always drive." We had never talked about that, and if we had I may have tried to overcome my concerns at least once in awhile. In any case, I suddenly realized it had been bothering her, and I knew she was right that it was only reasonable she expect to be the driver more often than she'd been. So, it wasn't so much her obviously planned "firmness" that made me just agree she drive that night. It was my sudden awareness that she had been bothered my usually being the driver, and my sense of fairness. That night I wished she knew that, because I wished she'd known if she'd simply talked about it I would have found a way to overcome my concerns and have things more fair in her eyes. I'd always thought, since I had more money than she did, she was happy not to spend on gas.

      That whole evening was a bad night. Places we tried to find we couldn't. Places we decided to go instead were closed or crowded - that type of thing. We weren't arguing or anything like that. We agreed that nothing was working out and were trying to think of the next thing to do. Secretly, that vague sense I'd had about something looming seemed to peaking that night, and I just wanted to go home. It was a dark, cold, March, night. The Volkswagon didn't have much of heater. Maybe that contributed to the overall sense of that "cloud looming". I'd been miserable, fed up, cold or tired before, though, and this was like no feeling I'd ever had before (no matter how many things I may have had to have concerns/worries over).

      We decided we'd just go get a sandwich (because we hadn't eaten) before heading home. We'd gone out around 8 and decided to get a sandwich by around 10:30.

      continued in next comment box (I don't know how much space there is before it runs out)....

    • phoenixgbr profile image

      phoenixgbr 7 years ago

      Most of the time its bound to happen. We remember when we think something bad is going to happen and it does. We don't remember the other 100 times when we feel something bad and nothing happens.

      Simply the human mind making connections, looking for patterns etc. Completely natural as opposed to supernatural.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 7 years ago from Wales

      I can't say that I have ever had a feeling that something bad is going to happen. I think I'm too much of an optimism to allow myself to dwell on that side of living. However I have followed my gut instinct whenever I'e had a bad patch to struggle through and at the end of the struggle I have come up trumps. I thoroughly enjoyed your hub.

      Thanks.

    • thehands profile image

      Jorge Vamos 7 years ago

      Yes, usually I notice when people have a "bad feeling about this" that they can't place, it's based on a real fear and paranoia from actual things that might have happened in the past and doesn't seem too magical to me.

    • nikki1 profile image

      nikki1 7 years ago

      Nicely done :D

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      rex, thanks - and thanks for the challenging questions. I'm sorry I don't have an answer to them, though.

      This Hub focuses primarily on those times when people feel they "get some message" (or than through the usual "Earthly means") but when it isn't anything more than our own anxiety or awareness that something is going on with someone (or ourselves) that is likely to lead to trouble.

      Generally, I'm not qualified to explain what doesn't appear to have an "Earthly" explanation. I suppose the two-week thing could be a coincidence and/or that because it's something memorable you remember those coincidences more than other, less meaningful, ones. I had a girlfriend (for 40 years of so), and we would be amazed at how we wouldn't talk for a long, long, time; and when one would call the other it would turn out some big thing was going on in the other's life. We saw it as some kind of "ESP", but then, too, there's the chance that it was a matter of odds. If you don't talk to someone long enough it's likely some big thing will have happened (and if it was a big, bad, enough thing the person would still be dealing with it within x number of years from the time it occurred).

      As for the goosebumps things, the only "Earthly" guess I'd have about that might be similar - you may remember the goosebumps when something happens, but forget/disregard those times when you get them and know it's just because you're cold. I'm not saying that's all it is; and as I said, I have no real explanation. I do know some people seem more prone to looking for signs of "non-Earthly messages" and may place more significance on some of the smaller things that seem to happen. (I'm not suggesting you're one of them, by any means, because, as I said, I'm not qualified to know whether "non-Earthly" messages actually are sent/received at all. I do know that some people are more "tuned in" than others, so I don't think anyone can rule out the idea that "non-Earthly" things take place. Where, and whether, being "more tuned in" crosses from "just being more tuned in" to something paranormal I'm not sure too many people really know.

      I do know that a whole lot of things that on surface seem "like something more" are often easily explained.

      I wish I had a better answer than this, but I just don't.

    • profile image

      rex 7 years ago

      Hey I have a question. But firstly nice article I really enjoyed reading it. But I would like to know two things. Firstly: I sometimes have a feeling that something BAD is going to happen and exactly 2 weeks later something does happen but it has always happened like this since I was a kid. And secondly: The feeling that when something happens to someone close to me I feel a frost on my body and goosebumps. Where does this come from? maybe you can help me since I've been looking for answers to this for a long time

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Adam80, thank you. I think you're probably right, not just about humans, but also animals. There's a lot that's still not known about a lot of things.

      I do think, though, we have to be careful about "assigning" "picking-up" to what sometimes isn't. There are coincidences; but a more glaring example of "assigning picking-up" when there was nothing to pick up might be something like what I did the night my daughter broken down in the middle of a Winter night on a highway. I know the potential risks were real, and it was reasonable to worry; but I started to get "creeped out" and start wondering if feeling so "creeped out" was some kind of bad feeling beyond plain, old, worry. I took it from being concerned, to worrying, to imagining scenarios I was worried about, and on to wondering if I was doing more than imagining - and then on to one, big, overall, creepy feeling that felt like it could be more than plain, old, worrying and anxiety.

      When she arrived home safely it was clear that I wasn't picking up on anything - and only getting myself all creeped out with worry (for lack of a more polished way to describe it).

    • Adam80 profile image

      Adam80 7 years ago from Omaha, Nebraska

      Great article!

      I think people can pick up on things that aren't obvious and right on the surface. I know there have been times when weird things pop in my head for no reason and later on they are validated in real life. That is different than just worrying or knowing something is going to go wrong becuase you have been neglegent.

      For example the other day for no reason what so ever a part of a movie came to mind. I went home and not 2 hours later while flipping through the channel that part of that movie was on TV!

      Our brains work with electric impulses; just like other electric things they create fields and waves. I wouldn't be surprised that in 50 years they figure out that some people are more adept at picking up on these waves and fields than other people.

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hummingbird5356, thank you. There have been about three times in my life when I haven't listened to that instinct - and each time the consequences were disastrous (really disastrous).

      What can be tricky, though, is sorting out what's "legitimate instinct" from what's caused by anxiety.

      I young woman I know was parking her car in a snowy city. Her young children were in the backseat, and her husband was with her. She said, for no reason she could pinpoint, she got a bad feeling about the parking space. Her husband reassured her it was fine, and she listened to him. A snowplow came and smashed into the back of the car. Her little children weren't hurt, but she said she would never again ignore her own instinct. That kind of thing is a "legitimate instinct".

      Then there was a thing I did when my father was hospitalized after a serious heart attack. I was going to the hospital to visit him each evening after work. I was afraid he'd die (and in fact he later did), so I was a "nervous wreck". He was there for a month. One evening in bumper-to-bumper traffic and rain my car stalled. I became overcome with the weird, horrible, feeling that he had died; and that I hadn't gotten to see him before he did. I was kind of panicked and knocked on some lady's door to ask if I could use her phone (no cell phones at the time). It turned out my father seemed to be doing reasonably well, and that "feeling" I had that he had died was just a matter of being wacky because of anxiety and worry about him. At the time, I was so "sure" that my feeling was accurate and that he was already dead I didn't even consider that I might be wrong. Once I learned I had been wrong, I was able to recognize the "feeling" for what it was.

      The young woman in the car (above) wasn't living in overall anxiety. Her feeling/instinct was associated with just the isolated circumstances surrounding the parking situation. In the situation with my stalled car, I had "expanded" way beyond the immediate circumstances and potential consequences and pretty much imagined I had been hit with "some kind of ESP thing".

      Since then, when I've had some of those "bad feelings" (which isn't very often), I've known to step back, ask myself if it was the anxiety "talking", and stop myself when it has been. Things have always turned out to be fine when that has happened.

    • Hummingbird5356 profile image

      Hummingbird5356 7 years ago

      We all have an instinct if something is right or wrong. You should always listen to your instinct. It is usually right. This is what I always try to do. I have never made a mistake when I have done so. An excellent hub.

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 7 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Lisa, it is so true that we feel the vibes when something about to happen. Thank you for sharing the story with us!

    • Lisa HW profile image
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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Missi Darnell, I think it is possible to have all three.

      I'm guessing there's a good chance someone with all three things going on at the same time for too long may be someone who tends to lean toward being anxious all the time. Also, one sign of depression can be a "sense of impending doom.

      Still, even for someone who wouldn't otherwise be anxious; it would be possible for all three of the above circumstances to "blend together" and create the "right mix" of anxiety.

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      Missi Darnell 7 years ago from Southern California

      Good article, is it possible to have all three?

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      privateye2500 7 years ago from Canada, USA, London

      "Suffering" is OPTIONAL.

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      Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      bonny2010, thank you. I do think it's important for people to pick up on some of the "signals".

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      bonny2010 7 years ago

      I believe we invite problems if we ignore the small signs which we do when we are in a hurry - this theory has born fruit time and time again for me. I enjoyed your hub and like what you write about - thank you

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      nora2biz 7 years ago from Bratislava

      The sixth sense is so important. We all have it, but many times we do not use it, because we are so self conscious. It takes time to awaken it.

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      Gemynii 7 years ago from Texas

      I can truly identify with this hub. Thanks for sharing! Great piece of writing.

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      rebekahELLE, thank you for sharing this.

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      rebekahELLE 8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      Another great book about intuition is, The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker. It is full of very insightful information and ways to help us tune in to our intuition. The root word for intuition means "to guard, protect." It is a fascinating read and a 'must read' for any woman, especially a single woman.

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Nisha shan, thank you. I agree that worrying about a problem won't solve it; although there is the kind of worrying that can lead to constructive preventing or fixing of a problem in some cases. Other times, when there's nothing we can do about something, worrying only makes it worse.

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      Nisha shan 8 years ago

      It is an excellent blog. Because worrying about a problem is not going to solve it. It is better to prepare for it. Nice blog and very informative.

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      wendy_isaiah, thanks. Maybe you're right.

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      wendy_isaiah 8 years ago

      I think what you went through are called mother instincts. I felt and dreamt I was having a boy way before I had a sonogram. Guess what when at 4 months when I went for the sonogram the nurse asked me if I wanted to know the sex of the baby and I told her I know its a boy. She said yup your right.....

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      Tom Cornett 8 years ago from Ohio

      I never know what is coming ahead but I usually always feel it. Great hub here...I definately relate to it. Thanks! :)

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Note to Anne, who e.mailed me:    Anne, I'm not someone who would be able to make any guesses about what any of the things you mentioned may mean, if, in fact, they mean anything at all.  I don't happen to be someone who believes in omens or signs, so I've never done any reading about things of that nature.

      Based on what you wrote in the e.mail, I tend to think you may be anxious about flying; and when people get anxious they can get to "thinking spooky".  There's at least a chance that you're kind of looking to make "omens" out of anything that relates to the flight date if you're anxious about it.  Again, though, I know I am not the person to know whether what you've noticed means anything or doesn't.  Since I don't tend to believe in that kind of stuff, I want to say it means nothing.  Who am I to say, though.....

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      AEvans, countrywomen - thanks. I'm not sure it's any particular gift; but the premie baby situation was, for me, I think the most "dramatic" and memorable of these "weird feelings". The other part of the story is that one day my husband just stayed home from work for no apparent reason. We planned to go out for dinner, and I said, ""We have to get a car seat for the baby. Maybe we could do that too." He agreed. The water broke in the restaurant, and we never got to get the car seat (which maybe means my "feelings" weren't quite as timely as they needed to be :) ).

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      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      One of my cousins had a similar issue where the baby was upside down (feet out first) and she felt it very early too. Sometimes heightened level of self awareness where we are completely in tune with our bodies (and mind) results in receiving those subtle signals. I have seen those who do certain yogic postures and breathing meditations have the ability to sense certain things. I join AEVANS in saying it is a gift which very few have. Thumbs up for a fantastic hub. :-)

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      Julianna 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Very clear explanation , we all always seem to have those feelings at one time or another and some believe we are nuts. You went with your feelings with your unborn child, and someone should have listened. What you have is a gift from God , and use it wisely. Thumbs up Lisa!!!:)

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      goldentoad, thanks. I think you're right about some people wanting to be prepared.

      wittywriter, thanks.

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      wittywriter 8 years ago from Concord New Hampshire

      Wonderful article!

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      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      I think some people believe they have to be prepared, not so much worried for the bad things that are just a part of life.

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Amanda, thanks.  I'll look for it.

      cindyvine, I tend to think that's true (although, of course, there are some women who do seem to be completely without a shred of that kind of thing  :) ).  My sister and I have both observed that once we had kids we started to just kind "always have our ears scanning even the smallest sounds/differences within range" (like "ear radar" - if there could be such a thing  :)  ).   Once we got used to living in that "mode" we've both discovered that we just stayed in, even after all the kids have grown.  We've both observed that it's like, before kids, our ears were "just regular" - and after kids, they're just always scanning, even without our thinking about it.   I can only assume it's a matter of a brain's getting practice taking in information in a certain way and then never forgetting to operate that way.   We all do the same thing with subtle variations in things like how the sunlight/sky look at different times of day.  I just think it's kind interesting how we miss a lot of those things unless we stop to think about them.

      futonfraggle, thanks. (My kids absolutely loved "Fraggles" :) )

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      futonfraggle 8 years ago

      What a great hub that we can all identify with.

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      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      They've always said women have better intuition than men

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      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Lisa, you might enjoy Malcolm Gladwell's book 'Blink'. It's about intuition, and it's a rivetting read.

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Amanda, thanks. I have a funny example of what you mentioned. Years ago I was working at a company. I worked there for years, so I had just gotten kind of used to picking up on how things went on. After a while, someone could just see "patterns" in how things went on. I worked with someone fairly closely, and for some reason I began "predicting" which of the "hot shots" would be the next go "shock the company" by getting (essentially) the heave-ho. My male co-worker (often not as skilled as women at this kind of thing) was amazed at my accurate "predictions" - and he'd keep asking, "how do you know?" I kept saying, "I don't know, I just do." I knew I had been "soaking in" barely perceptible clues/patterns; but that's not something you can easily explain to someone else. He would joke that it was "spooky" (he was a scientist, and neither of us leaned toward believing in the "spooky" for real). For the most part, I'm not particularly skilled at that kind of thing in "general life", but I had worked there for so long I just knew it (the way mothers sometimes know their kids). (I should have gotten some betting thing going or something, instead of wasting my isolated " work-ESP skills" by sharing the information for free. :) ) In all seriousness, though, police experts do tell people to trust their intuition. Intuition can be so weirdly accurate I can see how people would confuse it with something "spookier". I've never known what to think about whether anyone is ever truly psychic (beyond intuition), because I know I'm clearly not, so who am I to really say......

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      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      Nice work Lisa. There is a clear distinction between 'worry' and 'intuition'. As you suggest, intuition often comes from reading and understanding situations without being consciously aware that we are doing so. I've heard a lot about psychics who do 'cold reading' drawing clues from their clients reactions. I'm sure that there are those who are aware of using 'cold reading' and cynically tease their clients along, but equally I suspect there are those who read their clients reactions unknowingly and believe themselves to be the genuine article.

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      Cindy Vine 8 years ago from Cape Town

      Another excellent informative article.  Thanks for answering my request.

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      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      SEM Pro, my short reply to your question (before you bother reading more here) is, "no, I don't really have suggestions"  :)

      There's that "weird" feeling that something awful is going to happen, that's different from always worrying.   If I had a friend who was always talking about having that kind of sense (with no apparent reason for it) that something bad was going to happen, I think I'd mention that I had "heard" anxiety can cause that kind of feeling and suggest he do a little research (in "legitimate" psychology/psychiatry sources) on that to help him understand his "spooky" feelings more.  I'd point out that it is well known that panic attacks can come with a sense of "impending doom" (as a quick way to point out the well known connection between anxious feelings and "spooky" feelings), because that may help guide the person in a good direction for his research.  If he were to look up a few things about how anxiety causes a sense of "unsettled-ness" in legitimate sources he would also read when a person may want to consider seeking professional help.   People who have that "weird, spooky" feeling something bad will happen often do talk about it to others.  

      Being a "big worrier" can also come when someone is already stressed out/anxious.   The sense of concern with "plain old, big worrying" is more easy to understand because there is usually a real situation over which someone will worry (rather than just getting that vague feeling).   I know if I'm stressed out/anxious over something "in general"; and then one of my grown kids doesn't shop up when s/he said, I'm more likely to think something bad happened than if my day has been normal (in which case I'm more likely to just assume they left late or stopped off somewhere).  Being a "big worrier" can also come with just having a pessimistic view of life, and it come can with some of negative/hopeless feelings associated with depression.

      On the other hand, in the example I gave about the premature baby, people thought I was "just a worrier".  Sometimes the person who seems to worry too much does have some reason to worry and may know something more about a situation than the "non-worrier" person does.  Some people worry quite a bit but know how to manage their worry well.  Others don't manage it well.

      I have a friend who is (by anybody's standards) a "ridiculous worrier".  His worries are not unfounded, and much of the time he's actually quite right to be concerned.  Most of the time, though, he is unskilled at managing his own worries.  I've known him for a long time, and he's always been like he is.  Sometimes we will occasionally even joke a little about his nature.

      I don't think I'd ever suggest someone seek professional help unless the person were complaining about how his worrying was making his life miserable.  In my opinion, my friend worries too much.  In his opinion, I may not be "sufficiently aware of the reasons he sees for worrying".   At the same time, I have a friend or two who sees me as too much of a worrier; while I see them as "being a little too cavalier about some things".  Unless my extreme-worrier friend were to start complaining about his own worrying, I just leave him to his own personality/thinking and accept him as he is.  There are times when I will point out some of my own reasoning for either not worrying or for "having to put it out of my head"; and I think sometimes he may see that what I say makes some sense.

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      SEM Pro 8 years ago from North America

      I like it Lisa! Intuitive awareness is awesome and you're so right - stress and a worrying attitude can interfere. I know someone who lives in worry 24/7 but suggesting they seek professional help would merely destroy the friendship - any ideas?