How to Develop Your Intuition
What is Intuition?
- The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
- A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
Not too long ago, I lost a good friend. For several months, I noticed something changed. We were still emailing each other frequently and hanging out a few times each month. Still, something was different. After a night out with her, I would begin to feel anxious. I didn't know what it was but I tried to talk to a mutual friend about it.
"What? You are imagining it!" My friend said, "She loves you!" And that was what everyone thought. Until I got that email. She said she was ending our friendship and that her hatred for me has been building up. Many of her complaints were petty. "When you said 'Whatever' it was the last straw!" I had no idea what she was talking about, or where this was coming from. This was a side of her I had never seen. It was as if there was an unstable and erratic person underneath the sweet person we all knew.
The nagging feeling that something wasn't right between us was there for months. If only I could have talked to her, maybe it wouldn't have gotten to this point. We could have fixed this. I could have asked her if something about me was upsetting her, instead of ignoring this feeling. I could have saved myself from the hurt and guilt I felt when I read that email. I was perplexed and sad but I was also kicking myself. I saw this coming. I can't explain it, but I did.
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." -Albert Einstein
Listening to Your Gut
I learned my lesson and the lesson was to trust that feeling in your gut. It's a sense we have all had from time to time - sometimes it's dreadful, other times it's just a hunch. Perhaps you decided to take a different route than your usual one to work, only to find out a major accident happened on the road you normally take. Maybe you had a bad feeling about a person you just met and discovered later that you were right. Some people even claim to have known within minutes of meeting a person that that person would be Mr. or Ms. Right. It happens more often than many would like to believe.
This "hunch" has been called many things: intuition, instinct, an inner voice, a sixth sense or a 'gut feeling'. Everyone is intuitive. Most of us have been taught to repress our intuition. We are expected to use ration and logic when it comes to decision making. When we have a feeling about something that comes from out of the blue, we may chalk it up to paranoia or just plain silliness and discard the feeling.
This doesn't mean you should reject common sense. Using instinct together with reason is the key to making the best decisions in our day to day lives.
Tips to Enhancing Intuition
Some of us are highly sensitive and are naturally more intuitive than others are. That doesn't mean that you cannot improve your intuition. These techniques will improve your intuition and help you recognize that inner voice.
Meditation is by far, the best way to improve your intuition. It quiets your mind and keeps you in the present moment. Intuition exists in the present moment while silence helps increase your awareness.
Recording your thoughts will help you become more in touch with your feelings. You will begin to understand yourself better. Keep track of any hunches or coincidences you've noticed throughout your day.
Listen to Your Dreams
Our dreams are always trying to tell us something. Don't disregard a dream just because it seems silly, especially if the dream is one with a recurring theme. Learn about symbols and record your dreams in a journal.
By practicing these tips, you will become familiar with your inner voice. If you are someone who is usually quite rational, you may find yourself criticizing that feeling. Sometimes we squash our intuition before it can even fully come to us. Allow yourself to be open to your instincts and trust the feelings you have that come to you. It will also save you from the future "should of's" and "could of's"