How to Boost Your Intuition

Listen to your gut and open yourself to synchronicity.



(Jacob Lund /

It’s a feeling – a quiet knowing or gentle persuasion that something is awesome, needs attention, or is off. Intuition is a subtle internal voice that makes it easy to overlook. The Cambridge Dictionary defines intuition as an ability to understand or know something without needing to think about it or use reason to discover it.

Intuition used to be dismissed as pseudo-science, according to Hey Sigmund, but now science supports it. Researchers at Leeds University have found that intuition is a genuine psychological process. The brain uses past experiences and cues from your experience and the environment to make quick decisions, even before you're consciously aware of them.

How you make decisions
The human brain has two systems: one is quick, instinctual, and effortless. That's where intuition resides. Intuitive decision-making relies on patterns from your previous experiences to make rapid judgments. This happens outside of your conscious awareness, reports Positive Psychology.

The other system is slower, more analytical, and more conscious. Intuition complements this system, helping you navigate day-to-day decisions with a blend of instinct and thoughtful consideration, even if you're not fully mindful of it.Intuition exists in everyone, whether people acknowledge it or not. Understanding it better allows you to harness its power for positive change in your life.

Intuition or instinct?
Intuition and instinct are sometimes intertwined, but they are actually different concepts,  Psychology Today reports. Intuition involves arriving at knowledge without relying on reason or inference, while instinct is a hardwired and less flexible response to stimuli.

Instinct is an inheritable and unalterable tendency of organisms to respond to environmental stimuli without involving reason, Psychology Today relays. It's a primal, innate response developed through millions of years of evolution. For example, if a bear roars behind you, you instinctively jump, turn, and likely run for safety.

On the other hand, intuition is a more complex process, drawing on past experiences to make decisions that may involve some shades of gray between instinct and analytical thinking, the article clarifies. Analytical thinking, driven by logic, involves rational problem-solving, like completing a monthly budget by carefully considering each question and referencing spreadsheets and receipts. While intuition plays a valuable role in decision-making, some situations, like an exam, call for more analytical and logical approaches.

How to be open to intuition
Everyone possesses intuition, but not everyone chooses to listen to it. Intuition serves as a communication channel between the subconscious and conscious mind, suggests mindbodygreen. It's fueled by real information, just like any other decision. The workings of intuition, including collecting, storing, and assembling information, happen outside your conscious awareness.

Nurturing and sharpening your intuition can be incredibly beneficial. When your intuition is well-developed, it can guide you effectively, mindbodygreen explains. The first step in learning how to nourish and cultivate your intuition so it becomes a reliable advisor is to keep an eye out for synchronicities, those meaningful coincidences that act as a second opinion on your intuition, mindbodygreen continues. 

Humans possess a complex intuitive system that guides them through thoughts and feelings. However, sometimes external intuitive hints come into play. These synchronicities could be as simple as someone recommending a book on a topic you've been privately contemplating or receiving an email from an old colleague offering you freelance work just after you got hit with an unexpected bill, advises mindbodygreen.

When these external signs show up, pay attention! They act as a guiding roadmap from a caring universe, directing you towards your best path and highest good, the article suggests. Embrace and trust these synchronicities as they might lead you to remarkable places.

Listen, Trust, Feel
To open yourself to your intuition, you must do the following: pay attention, trust your gut, and feel, asserts Hey Sigmund. Your intuition can't communicate with you if you're not listening. When you start to notice and listen, good things will come your way. 

Regarding trust, there's a reason why words like “gut” and “feeling” are used together, continues Hey Sigmund, explaining that emotion and intuition have a physical presence in your gut. The enteric nervous system (ENS) in your gut contains about 100 million neurons and is often referred to as the “second brain.” That's why you might feel “sick” when facing tough decisions or realizing you've made bad ones.

You'll know your intuition is at play because you'll feel it if you allow yourself to, Hey Sigmund concludes. It might trigger sensations in your belly, goosebumps on your skin, shivers down your spine, a racing heart, or quickened breath. Sometimes, it's a subtle “knowing.” You'll feel when something is right, clear, nourishing, and enriching. And you'll feel when something is off, perhaps an ache or a sense of flatness. Trusting your intuition may be challenging at first, but with time and bit by bit, you'll learn to trust it more, and it will be worth it in the end.

So, the next time you feel that gentle nudge or inner knowing, don't ignore it. Embrace your intuition, for it has the potential to be life-changing in ways you may not even realize.

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