“When I was 13, I was in a pet store with my sister when this man walked in, and it suddenly felt like the air in the store had changed,” someone on the site BuzzFeed wrote. “I felt terrified to my core. I immediately grabbed my sister and told her we had to leave right then and there. We walked to meet our mom at the grocery store across the street and finished our shopping,” they said. When we finally left the store, the parking lot was flooded with police officers, and there were helicopters above us. Turns out, the minute we left the store, the man had attempted to rob the place and even shot the cashier. Ever since then, I’ve always listened to my gut.”

Some people have what’s called the  Sixth sense, the inner voice, introspective, finetuned imagination.  They can catch the vibe in any given situation.  It’s a common belief that sensitive and self-aware people are better equipped at tapping into intuition; so, knowing how to listen to a “gut” feeling can be a mystery, but that’s not the case.

“In essence, we need both instinct and reason to make the best possible decisions for ourselves, our businesses, and our families,” said Francis P Cholle of Psychology Today. “Unfortunately, many of us—even when we experience success using this lesser-acknowledged part of us—are uncomfortable with the idea of using our instincts as a guidance tool.”

The reason we fail to use intuition is complicated. For example, a religious person might call intuition hearing the voice of God.  On average, religious people are taught to face difficult situations and show a “pillar of strength” despite doubts.

On the flip side, intuition can become an annoyance.  We all have been around someone who talks about their “gut” feelings. However, because of their lack of insight about how they might contribute to a negative situation, they drag us into their moodiness, emotionally demanding, self-absorbed, temperamental, and self-indulgent behaviors due to poor intuition.  

“Because human survival depends on avoiding danger, our mental apparatus is wired to be especially sensitive to signs of danger and to register them before we can recognize and act on them,” a passage from Psychology Today read.

On a cognitive level, intuition is vital. A person on the site Buzzfeed shared their story regarding an incident that took place on their job.  

“I’m a nurse. I had a patient who was doing great after a relatively minor surgery and was set to be discharged the next day. I just had a bad feeling about it ever since my shift started. I kept checking in on him, and he said he was completely fine. He went for a walk around the unit with the help of an aide. I offered to walk him myself. Glad I did. The guy passed out just as he was getting back to his room and was in a very serious and dangerous heart rhythm. If I wasn’t there, we might not have been able to save him the way we did!”  

How to develop intuition:

Awareness

Researchers are discovering that our digestive system can improve our intuition capabilities. The digestive system is where the term “gut” feeling comes from. And at certain times, it’s wise to listen and not totally dismiss the message. 

Paying attention to your overall energy

If you find yourself drained by a person time after time, your intuition might be telling you something.  If after you analyze your behavior to see how you might be contributing to the problem, and you weigh the pros and cons, and still yet your energy remains low, it might be time to pack up and get out of that relationship or job.   

Watch for the Aha moment

For sure, we want to pay attention to the Aha because our intuition is trying to tell us something about an event or experience that all of a sudden gives us insight or realization. The Aha moment can heighten our sense of emotional intelligence or finetune our self-awareness.

Francis P Cholle says there are other ways we can sharpen our intuition skills:

Keep a Journal

“Writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper—even if you think you have little to say—helps the nonconscious mind open up. You may find you’re writing words and phrases that don’t make sense to you, or stir emotional responses rather than intellectual responses. When this happens…”

Turn Off Your Inner Critic

“Oftentimes, we rationalize away those voices within. This time, listen without judgment. Allow the inner dialogues to happen without fear or ridicule.”

Find a solitary place

“A place where you can allow emotions to flow freely is an imperative part of finding and retaining the building blocks of intuition. Here you may also want to create an emotional connection to an object, a color, a piece of music or literature—anything that will allow feelings to stir that are solely from within.”

He further adds, “These three exercises will aid you in creating a new, deeper relationship with the self, help clarify that inner voice, and allow you to bring your true instinctual awareness back into your rational everyday life.”

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