What is your intuition?
Whether you call it your gut instinct, your spidey sense or your woman’s intuition. Your intuition is the ability to understand something instinctively without the need for conscious reasoning. And it’s not just some old wives tale. Scientists have found real evidence to support the existence of your intuition.
It’s believed it’s evolved from the need to be aware of your surroundings for safety and survival.
As humans, particularly as women we are taught at an early age to ignore our gut feelings. People who give us the ick, we’re taught to be polite too. With notions like “I’m sure they are not that bad”. Whilst yes we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt, if we feel we are in a situation that is no longer comfortable, we should fuck politeness and ask questions later.
You will benefit from tapping into your intuition if you are a people pleaser or someone who struggles to make decisions.
So how do we tap into our intuition more?
Know who you are
The more you accept and trust who you are as a person, the easier it becomes to trust the decisions you make. Take some time to explore you identify yourself to be outside of what others perceive you as.
A great way to do this is through journalling or writing a list of different ‘hats’ you may wear. For instance, I’m a sister, a friend, a daughter, a writer, as well as a survivor.
My therapist taught me another way is to write all the things I perceive to be positive about myself and also all the negatives. Once you’ve listed those out, turn every positive and negative adjective into a sentence that reads, ‘I am sometimes *insert positive/negative word*’ and then finish the sentence with ‘When….’ As an example, “I am sometimes angry, when things don’t go my way”.
Take some time to then explore these sentences and remind yourself just because you are sometimes something, it doesn’t identify who you are as a person
Gain more awareness
Mindfulness and meditation are excellent ways to gain more awareness of yourself and your surroundings and to listen to your intuition more. I know a lot of people harp on about it but honestly, the science backs up how incredible it is for your mind.
MRI scans have found that after an eight-week course in mindfulness, the part of your brain responsible for fear shrinks and the area associated with awareness, concentration and decision making become thicker! Which makes sense as a lot of the time, the fear of trusting ourselves holds us back from making decisions.
Engaging in more creative activities quiets the cognitive mind and allows your intuition to speak. Have you ever had something on the tip of your tongue and frustrated that you can’t recall the word or song that you are trying to think of. The best thing to do is go and do another unrelated task and you will find it comes back to you. Your intuition is the exact same.
Have you ever suddenly had an epiphany in the shower, or just me?
Spend time in nature
Being away from technology and other temptations can open up the kind of intuition we have evolved as a species to rely on to keep us safe from danger. This also can help with anxiety which may be holding you back from decision making out of fear of the consequences of the outcome.
There’s a practice you can do called grounding where you put your bare feet to the earth for 10-20 minutes a day to get in-tune with the earth. I’m not saying take your shoes off in the road but if you have a garden or go to a local park, it can be quite refreshing.
Pay attention to your dreams
There are many theories as to why we dream but most believe it’s a way for our subconscious to work out anything it’s not brought to the surface.
I was unsure whether to move or not for months and had reoccurring dreams about being stuck between living in two different places which completely mimicked how I was feeling at the time. Then one day after repeatedly writing my dreams down and working out what my subconscious was trying to tell me, I made the decision to move 3 hours away and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made for myself.
Feel your feelings
The more you accept all feelings and don’t label them as positive or negative, the more in-tune you become to your emotions and learn to trust your gut instincts. If you suppress or avoid your emotions, they end up showing up in other areas of your life. All feelings are valid.