Discover how to tune into your intuition, that wise inner voice, and learn to listen with this expert advice.
Recognise your intuitive voice
“Although intuition is ‘instant insight’, it’s different from knee-jerk reactions we feel from irrational fear or anger and we need to be able to tell the difference,” says psychiatrist Dr Orloff. Your inner voice will feel positive and “on your side”, conveying information neutrally and unemotionally.
For one day, try doing the opposite of what you normally do, anything to jog you out of a routine. It will help you tune in to your feelings and wake up your senses.
Turn the volume up
Try these ideas to exercise your intuition ‘muscle’, says biological anthropologist and intuition expert, Dr Helen Fisher.
1. There are too many voices in our heads saying “should” and “have to”. When you want to get in touch with your intuitive self, create a bit of space. Go for a walk on your own or simply shut the door. Become aware of your breathing and the tension you feel about certain situations. Are you physically comfortable about the decision or all churned up?
2. We all know the expression “sleep on it” and quite often we do wake up with the answer. The more specific the questions you ask your inner self, the better your answer will be. Your unconscious will sift through all the information and come up with the best solutions – it’s often far better than the cognitive part of the brain we use daily.
Not convinced? Try it with a conundrum about the perfect present for a friend or a crossword puzzle. Overnight, your unconscious mind will work on it, without you even realising.
Balance intuition and evidence
Tuning in to your inner voice doesn’t mean throwing rational assessment out the window. Your perceptions are very valuable, but assess all the evidence before making a decision. Be aware that small factors can trigger feelings. Watch for emotional triggers and try to differentiate them from intuitive feelings. In other circumstances, all the evidence and facts won’t be at your disposal. For example, if you’ve a nagging feeling about a medical problem, pursue it until you’re happy. Your body often knows what’s going on before you do.
Make a list of the last three decisions you made that were right and wrong. Did intuition play a part in the wrong decisions or were they all made on facts or other people’s advice? Remember how you felt when you made the decisions that did work out?