Following your intution

April 17, 2019 2 min read 5 Comments

How often have you had a distinct feeling about something, but couldn’t seem to put your finger on where it was coming from? Perhaps it was the moment when you realized your significant other was the ‘one’ or the feeling you had that led you to purchase your first home- or maybe even the sense you got that something was ‘off’ with a friend?

These are all instances of Intuition.

According to The British Journal of Psychology, intuition is what happens when the brain draws on past experiences and external cues to make a decision in the present moment. This process occurs rapidly, mostly at an unconscious level- yet has powerful influence in our lives.

Intuition is believed to guide us to decisions that are truly best for us, based on our own unique experiences and insight. Recent brain imaging studies on intuition demonstrate the realness of this phenomenon. Researchers observed various areas of the brain that were indicated to be active and directly involved in the intuition process. The basal ganglia in particular was highlighted when users “tuned in” to their intuitive sense (McCrea, 2010). In addition to its neural component, intuition has also been shown to have a strong somatic piece.

In fact, it is proposed that intuition stems from our gut. Research suggests that our body (specifically our gut) picks up on intuitive signals first, before they reach our consciousness. This makes sense as we have receptors in our gut (called neurotransmitters) that can pick up on emotional cues from our environment.

These receptors are attuned to this information, and signals it to the brain, which is where the neural component comes in. The body, therefore, plays an integral role in the intuitive process. This is further reason to pay attention to what your body is trying to communicate to you, and listen.

We all have the power of tuning in and following our intuition. It is inside all of us. However, as women, we have even more of an advantage. By nature, women have an innate ability to be emotionally in tune with others. This is demonstrated in a number of studies and has frequently been cited as possible evidence of women’s intuition (Hall, 1984); (Graham & Ickes, 1997). This is more reason to listen to that ‘distinct feeling’.

Experts in the field emphasize the more you use it, the stronger your intuitive sense will be. Learning to trust your gut instincts is key. Further ways of developing your intuitive sense include strategies for restoring the body and mind, as these are the key players in this process. Things like; getting enough sleep, spending time outdoors in nature, and regularly implementing meditation and mindfulness are all simple- yet effective ways of strengthening intuition.

So, the next time you are faced with a difficult decision, take some time and let your intuition guide you. Our body has all the answers, we just need to tune in and listen. How has your intuition served you?


5 Responses

Marija
Marija

March 30, 2020

Many times I have experienced the accuracy of intuition, so I'm highly persuaded that this is true. Thank you dr. Northrup for sharing this information with us and to teach us how to sharpen our intiution even more.
Best regards, Marija

France
France

March 30, 2020

Love this type of talk and hearing others experience! I have had intuition guide me when I work with children. between intuition & body language I am guided to how to approach children, how close to get, what to say…I can feel them. It is amazing! As a back story, I am a Museum Educator but have also worked in tandem with Therapists in conjunction with children of all ages who have experienced trauma/abuse of all types in their young lives. It is amazing!

Laura
Laura

March 30, 2020

Thank you so much for this! I'm very interested in these studies, especially the ones about the gut/intuition connection, can you please site these resources or provide a bibliography or link? Thank you thank yoU!

Susan
Susan

March 30, 2020

Very interested in this info, still swirling in terms of moving forward with my life post chemo.

Would also like clarification on safety of phytoestrogens post breast cancer survival

Carol G
Carol G

March 30, 2020

Interesting article. I use mine a lot but I do have a question: How to differentiate between intuition and wishful thinking?

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