27 Mar 2021, 09:30 — 4 min read
People often say, “Go with your gut,” “Trust your instincts,” “Follow your intuition,” and “Listen to your inner voice.” But, what is this inner voice? How do we hear it?
The brain does all the thinking, analysing, decision making, etc., and there are words associated with it all we have been trained to understand. However, the instinct or the gut communicates in terms of “feelings” and “sensations.” Think about the times when you were afraid, nervous, excited, or spooked. Even before your brain analyses what is happening, your body has already evaluated the situation and given you a message. It comes in the form of a tingling sensation, butterflies in the tummy, sweaty palms, tightened jaw, quickened heartbeats, or breathing. Haven’t you said or heard something like – “I just know it” or “I have a bad feeling about this.” We are not able to explain the feeling or rationalise it. Our education system is designed to focus on the thinking brain, but we have lost touch with our ‘feeling’ brain, the gut!
Trust your hunches. They are usually based on facts filed away below the conscious level. – Joyce Brothers
Intuition seems like a mysterious, magical thing that is out of our reach. In truth, everyone has the faculty of intuition. Our past experiences shape our intuition and our existing knowledge, which we gained from them. The human brain consists of two parts, the conscious mind, which we have control over, and the subconscious mind, which we have little control over. The human brain processes huge amounts of information, most of which is done subconsciously. Therefore, intuitive thinking, which arises from the subconscious, can be compelling, giving us access to information that is not within the grasp of our conscious mind.
You can learn to recognise your intuitive senses; it is just a matter of paying attention and tuning in. Practice slowing down, clear the clutter, and pay attention to the sensations in your body. Explore meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and other practices that move your focus from darting thoughts into a deeper space of calm and centered focus within you. Consider your intuition as a muscle to strengthen. With practice and frequent use, it will become more powerful and better serve its purpose of guiding you. The more you learn to tune in, the more powerful and accurate it will become. People with higher emotional intelligence can use their instinct better as they are more aware of their emotions and their bodies' sensations.
Gut feeling decision-making is when we can integrate the information processed by the brain with the gut's inputs to arrive at a decision; it becomes mighty.
The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you, and you don’t know how or why.
Also read: Overcome your self-limiting beliefs
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