Listening to your intuition or “trusting your gut” may seem like a mysterious practice, but all of us have the natural ability to know something without knowing how we know it. True, some of us may have greater innate talent for intuitive skills, but with a little practice you can become more aware of your abilities—and use them to your advantage. In fact, according to Laurie Nadel, PhD, author of Sixth Sense: Unlocking Your Ultimate Mind Power, there are even certain times during the day when the body is primed to receive intuitive messages. Below are a few of her suggestions for how to better understand and use your own intuitive gifts, and maybe use them to make better decisions about everything from who to date to what job to accept.
Honor your intuition and it will guide you well.
What’s happening in the body when you get an intuitive hit?
The right brain is the starting point for intuition. It rapidly synthesizes data coming in through the five senses and gives you a flash of knowing. Everyone has their own pattern of brain processing; some people go to intuition first, others go to logic. Essentially intuition is simply the ability to see a solution using very few pieces of data.
Why is intuition higher during certain times of the day?
Every 90 minutes or so, your body enters a short rest cycle, similar to what it experiences during REM sleep. You may notice you feel drowsy or spacey, or need to read something over several times to understand it. At these times your body’s immune, endocrine, blood sugar and other systems are synching up, which causes a mini bout of jet lag. Most of us reach for caffeine at these times; but instead these are opportunities to tap into intuition, because your brain waves are slower and you are more receptive to impressions from your unconscious.
What should you do during one of these cycles?
If possible, take five minutes to close your eyes and meditate or listen to music and just breathe. You can focus on a question or problem you’re facing and then write down the impressions that come to you. Try to do this a few times a day.
How can you fine-tune your intuitive abilities?
There are three steps to getting comfortable with intuition:
1. Define it for yourself. Do you see it as a lighthouse that shows you the way? Or is it more like a song that speaks to you
2. Figure out how you receive it—in either a visual, auditory or kinesthetic manner. In other words, do you have dreams, see a flash in your mind’s eye, hear a whisper of an inner voice? Or maybe you get a feeling in your gut, chest or hands. Once you recognize how it signals you, it’s easier to pick up on its messages.
3. Trust it. Often you can think back to a time when you got an intuitive hit on a person or event but didn’t listen and wished you had. Honor your intuition and it will guide you well.