Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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!

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

5 Ways To Avoid A Disappointing Holiday Season 20 Flowers You Probably Never Knew Were Edible And Would Add Taste and Color to Your Festive Meal 15 Life Changing Quotes from T. Harv Eker: “The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” When Unexpected Delays Happen, Take Advantage of Them When I Learn To Embrace Criticism, These 10 Amazing Things Happened

Trending in Productivity

1 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More 2 How Exercising Makes You More Productive 3 10 Practical Ways to Drastically Improve Your Time Management Skills 4 15 Highly Successful People Who Failed On Their Way To Success 5 How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

Advertising

Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

Advertising

And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

Advertising

For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

Advertising

If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Read Next