We are told to ‘trust our gut’ but it is never clear what that means. Trusting one’s intuition is more than just understanding what is going on. There’s a feeling of just ‘knowing,’ because the feeling is so personal. Trusting intuition is the act of trusting oneself. Listening to this helps avoid unhealthy relationships and situations. Learn how to trust your own gut and tips for keeping it strong.
What Hinders Intuition
Your intuition is what guides your life. There are many obstructions that act like clouds to dim the light. Once you are aware of them, you may catch yourself when you are headed the wrong way for the wrong reasons. It takes time to realign. Some sneaky culprits include:
- Overthinking: intuition is defined as the ‘ability to understand something without conscious reasoning.’ Overthinking causes interference. Putting excessive thought into every decision and walking through scenarios and outcomes can lead you away from your gut instinct
- Shoulding around: ‘shoulds’ often enter the scene when you’re overthinking and other times when you are outwardly focused. In these instances, you’re thinking about your behavior, preferences, and expectations someone else has set and not allowing your thoughts to guide your behavior. ‘Shoulds’ shift focus away from you and create distance from intuition
- Previous trauma: perhaps the most complex of all culprits if experiencing trauma as a child. Childhood abuse can leave a lasting impact on you even if you are now an adult. Trusting your intuition is the same as trusting yourself. Tap into this gut instinct
Cultivate the Gut
When you are looking for ways to cultivate space in your heart and mind, it helps to clear things out so you can be more focused on that gut intuition. This may look like:
- Slowing down and clearing the mind. Slow down so you process information in your mind. It means stepping back from a situation to gain clarity and spending time apart to determine if you’re right for each other
- Make space for intuition to occupy. The slower pace helps you shift perspective and clear away distraction to see what matters. Look for yoga and meditation classes
- Notice sensations: intuition is grounded inside the body. Learn to recognize what is going on and what you’re feeling. This might help you recognize what is going on in the body
- Take action: the feeling of intuition is like an ocean current. Once you discover it, you need to jump in a boat and set sail to get the full value. Take small steps that may be helpful and build trust with that side of yourself that may be jumping out right now. Consider intuition a muscle to strengthen.
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