We all possess it, and it is a well-researched phenomenon revealing that our brains can pick up on patterns and respond to them in a nanosecond in the form of intuitive insights. Why should we care about intuition? What makes it so valuable that it merits scientific study and competes with our analytical brains for equal power related to our decisions, behaviors, and beliefs? Intuition is a dynamic, powerful, and precious skill to develop. Spending a little time every day strengthening your powers of intuition can pay off exponentially over time — with your relationships, your health and well-being, your career success, your finances, and your overall happiness.
By combining intuition with analysis, you’re employing an arsenal of tools to empower your life and make the very best possible choices.
1. Be More Creative
Creative activities like drawing, painting, writing, or anything that you find creatively stimulating puts you in a state of “flow” where time stands still. You are lost in the activity and feel free of distractions and worries. When you are in this state of flow, it is similar to the meditative state. Your mind is receptive to ideas, insights, and awareness that you might not experience in the busyness of daily life.
Through art, writing, music, and dance, you can express emotions and desires that you may not consciously be aware of, but you provide an outlet with these creative endeavors.
2. Walk or Run
Removing yourself from your daily schedule and distractions allows you to focus on intuitive thoughts that arise spontaneously.
3. Taking Showers
The shower is another place for those spontaneous insights. You may find that some of your best thinking is done in the shower.
The combination of the quiet space, the warm water, and the small enclosure lend itself to tapping into your intuition.
4. Pay Attention to Sudden Feelings
Have you ever noticed that your mood changes suddenly? Or do you walk into a room of people and feel uneasy? Remind yourself to pay attention to these shifts in mood, and once you are aware of them, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. Close your eyes, and say to yourself silently, “What is this feeling telling me?” Then wait for an answer.
It may not arrive right away, but at some point, you’ll have an insight into your mood change. The key is learning how to use these insights to manage your life in order to minimize negative people or circumstances.
5. Employ Hindsight
Think back over past hunches or moments of insight you’ve had. You may or may not have acted on these hunches, but now looking back at them, can you see how your intuition was at work?
What can you learn from these past experiences, and how can you honor your intuition more going forward by taking action on your hunches?
6. Do Something Repetitive
Chop vegetables, staple papers, knit — do a repetitive activity that doesn’t require much brain power. While doing these activities, ask your intuitive mind for guidance on a problem or ideas for a project.
Don’t allow your mind to wander to the grocery list or the rude waitress from last night’s dinner. Ask yourself questions during these rote activity times, and quiet your mind to listen for the answers.
7. Do a Blind Reading
Grab three blank index cards, and think about a decision you are currently struggling with. On each card, write down a different possible solution or choice. Shuffle the cards and place them face down on a table next to each other.
Run your hand over each card slowly, noticing any feeling you get from the cards. Pay attention to the card you are drawn to the most, and flip it over to see the solution or choice on the card. Try this several times to see if you continue to be drawn to the same card.
8. Listen to Your Inner Voice
Whenever you are faced with a choice or decision, find a quiet place, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself what you should do. Then listen intently as though you are struggling to hear a very quiet voice.
Simply wait for a clear answer to come to you. Ignore the internal “chatter” or outside distractions. Wait for the clear voice.
9. Flip a Coin
This is another exercise to help you with a decision that has two possible directions. Grab a coin and assign one decision to heads and the other decision to tails.
Flip the coin high in the air, and as you release the coin, pay attention to the side you hope it will land on. Your internal voice is telling you what you really want in this situation.
10. Intuition vs. Wishful Thinking
Sometimes we are invested in a particular outcome or fear a possible result. Try to distinguish between an intuitive hunch and wishful or fearful thinking. Some decisions that we know are good for us intuitively can make us afraid on the surface. Learn to discern between your “deeper knowing” and reactive thinking or feeling. Always combine your intuition with solid analysis and due diligence to ensure you’re using your full brain power to make the best choices for your life.
Intuition is a powerful force that can be developed to give you an edge in life. Don’t neglect this ability, even if you think of yourself as more of an analytical thinker.
Some of the above steps will take practice and patience but will be well worth it. Your personal intuition will become like a magical wand; you’ll wonder how you moved through life without it. Intuition is a tool for each and every one of us … Now use it!