Now that we’ve got a firm grasp on what exactly intuition is, you might be left wondering the one question that drives the acquisition of knowledge faster and further than any other: “so what?”
Often, gaining a baseline understanding of something isn’t sufficient to make use of it. You may recall the Pythagorean Theorem from geometry class, a2+b2=c2, but until it comes time to apply it to carpentry, construction or landscaping, you may not fully understand how to utilize it.
The same can be said for intuition. All of us have had the feeling of experiencing intuition first-hand, but not everyone has a good grasp on the various ways that we as human beings can tap into our spirituality and harness the power of intuition.
Our intuition can serve as the guiding light to our decision-making process. And, unlike some may think, intuition is not simply a “feeling” or “gut reaction,” though it is often comprised of those things.
Going with your gut, letting your intuition guide your actions and emotions is often looked at in a case-by-case basis. Sometimes, going with your gut seems like the correct thing to do, particularly when you feel that no further research is necessary. It might be picking out a dish from a dessert menu based on the feeling you got when you read the name. Perhaps it’s sometime more virile, more real, like the sense that you’re in danger.
Other times, going with your gut might not be the best approach. Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph. D and former senior FBI profiler claims that your gut feeling can be manipulated by some people, namely those with charm, wit and negative intentions like famed scam-artist Bernie Madoff.
But despite the need to approach intuition-based decisions with cautious optimism, often times there is much more to that gut feeling than you may think. Once believed to be a purely fictional feeling based in absolutely nothing, more and more research has cropped up lately that lends credibility to intuition. In fact, oftentimes the cognitive processes that guide your normal, “rational” decision making are in fact happening when your gut instincts kick in, just not in full view of your mind’s eye. These processes happen behind the scenes in nanoseconds, as your brain crunches numbers and comes to a quick (but rationalized!) decision, passing it along to your nervous system via a hard-to-explain “feeling.”
So how do we get in touch with our inner sense of intuition and how can we fully utilize it? SpiritualityHealth.com recommends three quick exercises to help you get the most out of your intuition:
- First, and perhaps foremost, recognize that you want to start trusting and utilizing intuition. Meditation can help you focus more on this process.
- Start a dream journal.
- Use guided imagery exercises to help harness your intuition.
Though these processes are simple, each can help you tap into your sense of intuition in ways you couldn’t before.
Websites like Inc, RealSimple and ExperienceLife all recommend trusting your intuition in various walks of life, from choosing a career to driving directions. Decisions, both big and small, can and should be guided by your intuition and rationalized by logical thinking.