Blindfolded lady

As human beings, we are all endowed with an incredible gift of intuition. Whether you call it a hunch or a gut feeling, intuition actually stems from a very old part of the brain and is honed from years of experience. When you have a sudden insight of intuition, you just know something, without being able to pinpoint exactly why you know.

That’s because your subconscious mind has picked up on clues and cues that your conscious mind has failed to ascertain. Tone of voice, body language, micro gestures and other tell-tale signs often go unnoticed by your conscious brain, but your subconscious picks up on them and shoves their messages up into your conscious brain, resulting in an “aha!” moment.

You can sharpen your intuition by learning to listen more closely to what your subconscious mind is trying to tell you. Although females are far superior in this realm of cognitive knowledge thanks to thousands of years of child rearing, anyone can hone their intuition and make better use of this valuable skill.

1. Pay attention. When presented with a difficult decision, we often get a flash feeling immediately after the problem has been presented. Sometimes we then ignore this “feeling” in favor of logical, rational thought, which our society values higher than emotion. If you have a visceral reaction to a situation or a person, don’t discount it while you make a rational list of pros and cons. You might think that a difficult decision requires hours of reflection to accurately understand, but in reality sometimes all you need is a split second to be able to see the light. Never discount your flash emotions.

2. Listen to your body. Intuition is often called a “gut feeling” because many people experience the subconscious shift internally in their stomach area. Perhaps you get chills down the back of your neck, a dizzy head or a feeling of unease all over. Take note of the physical sensations that you experience so that you can learn to recognize what your body is trying to tell you.

3. Ask questions. When you don’t understand why you are feeling a certain way, gain clarity by asking simple questions. The response will often inform you to hidden emotions of your own and of others.

4. Connect in person. By talking on the phone, video chat or instant messaging, we miss a great deal of what the other person is saying through their body language. Converse with others in person and your intuition will work much better than if you are trying to understand someone through another medium.

5. Examine your hunches. You meet a new guy that creeps you out, you feel poorly about a job opportunity or your friend’s new venture rubs you the wrong way. Instead of shrugging it off, examine your emotions and let them inform you, even with a lack of logical reason.

6. Meditate. One of the best ways to connect with your subconscious brain is through meditation, which rests the conscious mind. Start with five minutes a day and work your way up to more time – your intuition will improve accordingly.

Image: electric kat