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Strengthen Your Intuition With These 6 Tips

Strengthen Your Intuition With These 6 Tips

Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data. ~ John Naisbitt

You probably know someone who is always ahead of the game. They seem to know intuitively when bad news is coming or when to go ahead with a new project.

What about you? Have you ever had a thought that you didn’t follow up on only to discover later that you made a huge mistake? Then, in comes your inner voice screaming, “I told you to do it.” The gentle inner nudge and this screaming voice is your intuition.

Everyone has intuitive potential. Although, not everyone listens or acts upon the messages.

What is intuition?

Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines intuition as: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence: a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why.

Kelly Turner, Ph.D says, that intuition is one of two very different operating systems. She goes on to say that research has found intuition to be part of System 1: our quick, instinctual, and often subconscious way of operating. Which explains why intuition comes on rapidly and often does not make rational sense to us. The other operating system, System 2, is our slower, more analytical, and conscious way of operating.

Intuition, Francis P. Cholle states, is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.

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Most people do not trust their intuition for the very reason that it doesn’t make rational sense. So, why should we even consider it?

Why you should trust your intuition?

Researchers have found that intuition often knows the right answer long before your conscious mind does.

The second reason to trust your inner voice, as suggested by Kelly Turner, is that, “trusting your intuition leads to better outcomes than trusting your logical, thinking brain”.

Prof. Marius Usher et al, found that intuition was a surprisingly powerful tool. In fact, he reports that when forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone, participants were correct 90% of the time.

A third reason for trusting your intuition is because intuitively, the human brain has the capacity to take in many pieces of information and decide on the over all value of this input. This is where your intuitive signal happens letting you know this is valuable.

A fourth reason could be considered a plus or a minus depending on the person. Individuals who operate from intuition are willing to take more risks. Often these risks pay off.

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6 Proactive ways to strengthen your intuition!

Your intuition is like a muscle and in order for it to get stronger you have to work at it. Much like the muscles in your body, if you don’t use your intuition, it weakens. By being proactive you can strengthen your intuition and get the edge on others.

Look into your past

Have you had moments when you wish you could rewind time and do things over? You had a feeling that things would turn out this way but didn’t act on it. Now, you regret it.

Pay attention to these missed opportunities. Keep track of all the times you didn’t listen to your intuition and should have. This is one way you can get in touch with those signals you may have missed before but won’t miss again.

Ask yourself questions

Ask yourself questions and then listen to the first thing that pops into your mind. This isn’t easy because doubtful thoughts will flood your mind.

Begin with a question or situation where the outcome doesn’t matter either way. For example, the next time you are out for a meal, glance at the menu then pick the first thing that catches your eye. Ignore the barrage of thoughts that will flood your mind. You could be pleasantly surprised.

Then slowly move on to more complex questions and situations. For example, ask something like, “Should I do …?” Pause and wait for that flash of a ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Then act on it!

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Not acting is the same as ignoring your intuition.

Find out how your intuition communicates to you

Not everyone has a gut feeling. Each person experiences their intuition differently. Many people talk about a gut feeling while others might experience a strong inner knowing, a mental picture, repetitive thoughts or ideas and even dreams.

Start paying attention to how your intuition communicates with you. The more often that you acknowledge this communication the stronger it will be come.

Quiet your mind and relax your body

When you have to make a major decision, it is very easy to get caught up in worry and fear-based thoughts. As your mind races from one thought to another it can drown out the voice within ~ your intuition.

By taking time every day to quiet your mind and relax your body you will be opening a space for your intuition to speak to you. You can do this by setting aside some quiet time or meditating.



Keep an intuition journal

Write down any guidance you have received and when your intuition is correct. You might also consider keeping track of any sensations associated with your intuition. By looking back in your journal you will learn more about how to recognize your intuition and also to trust it. This is a great way to build confidence.

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Create intuitive games

Strengthen your intuitive abilities and your imagination by creating and playing guessing games. While watching a sporting event, guess who will win. When your phone rings, guess who is calling. Guess the color of the shirt your boss will be wearing. Have fun with your intuition. The more you use it the stronger it will becomes.

Your intuition is a powerful asset!

It just might be the life changer you are looking for. Go ahead give it a try and see what happens.

Featured photo credit: meditation/alicepopkorn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

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Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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