We are constantly making decisions throughout the day. Some are routine such as what to eat for breakfast, but others can be life changing like quitting a job, getting married, or investing in the stock market.
We often rely on data to guide us through the decision-making process. However, all too often, we simply don’t have access to enough reliable information to make informed decisions. This is where intuition comes into play.
Intuition is an immediate feeling of knowledge, understanding, or awareness, without the need for conscious reasoning. People commonly refer to intuition as a hunch, sixth sense, gut feeling, or instinct.
1. Spend time in nature
Being in the natural world, away from technology and the cognitive mind’s other temptations, can open up the kind of intuition we needed when we as a species lived outdoors and relied upon it to keep us safe from the elements, predators, and other true fear dangers.
2. Learn from the past
Recall a negative experience from your past, ideally something fairly recent. Before this thing happened, think back to whether you got any feelings that urged you to steer clear. Maybe you got a gut feeling something wasn’t right. Maybe you had a foreshadowing dream or a vision. If so, did you pay attention to that feeling, dream, or vision, or did you talk yourself out of it? Try to remember exactly how you felt. Recall as many details as possible. The more you can get in touch with the part of you that tried to warn you, the more you’ll trust it next time.
3. Feel more, think less
The mind thinks, always chattering away, arguing with itself like a crazy person. Intuition, on the other hand, feels. If you’re not sure whether you’re listening to your fearful mind or your trustworthy intuition, see if you can differentiate whether you’re thinking or feeling.
4. Engage in repetitive movement
Run. Dance. Chop carrots. Play the piano. Paint. These physical actions can calm the cognitive mind and open up your intuition.
5. Align with your values
Your mind may steer you away from your integrity, but your intuition never will. Become comfortable with how you feel when you’re betraying your values, and you’ll learn what intuition doesn’t feel like. Learn what it feels like to behave in alignment with your values, and you’ll start to sense your intuition more clearly.
6. Practice sensing into people before you know them
See what kind of information you can glean from observing people and feeling their energetic signature before you talk to them or learn anything about them from other people. The more you pay attention, the more you’ll realize you already know things you couldn’t possibly know with the cognitive mind.
7. Read books about how to develop your intuition
Try Sonia Choquette’s Trust Your Vibes, Shakti Gawain’s Developing Intuition, or Caroline Myss’ Sacred Contracts.
8. Train your intuition
You can study intuition in formal classroom settings, as well as online programs. Try the Academy of Intuition Medicine, the Foundation for Spiritual Development, or Jenai Lane’s Spirit Coach training program.
9. Release your resistance
Don’t call yourself crazy when you get an intuitive hunch. Often, the cognitive mind argues with intuition rather than trusting it. By doing this, you may rationalize yourself out of intuitive knowing that could change your life for the better.
10. Pay attention to your dreams
When the cognitive mind is busy, it can override the intuitive right brain and the subconscious mind, the wellspring of intuition. But when you’re sleeping, your cognitive mind rests and opens space for the subconscious mind to signal you in dreams.
Engaging in creative activities, such as drawing, scrapbooking, or free-flow journaling, quiets the cognitive mind and allows your intuition to speak up.