One of the keys to moving through life smoothly and finding true happiness is making good decisions. And one of the most important and most underrated aspects of making good decisions is knowing how and when to use your intuition.
At times, though, this is much easier said than done. The world throws a lot of obligations and noise at us, which can make listening to our inner voice quite difficult. And we’ve all had moments when our rational and intuitive minds are at odds, causing us to ignore a vital “gut” feeling. This, in turn, can lead to bad decisions that leave us feeling lost and alone, wondering what we’ve done wrong.
But it is possible to access that intuitive feeling on a regular basis. Our intuition represents the inner workings of our subconscious, an internal compass that guides us to what’s right for us and fits our life.
The first step to doing this is to acknowledge, understand and respect the fact that intuition simply works on a different level in a different way.
“I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it,” explains Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition. “It’s different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis…it’s a knowing without knowing.”
That might sound a bit murky, so its helpful to think of intuition as a different kind of logic. Call it unconscious reasoning, something that happens inside us where our inner voice tells us to turn right when all the material and physical signs around us indicate that we should go left.
And while it might sound vague, the logic behind this kind of reasoning is rooted in reality, not just New Age mysticism or metaphysics.
“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggest intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” notes Ivy Estabrook of the Office of Naval Research, who is investigating how the power of intuition helps soldiers make decisions in combat situations.
So how do we get better at using our intuition? The first step is to look at ordinary decisions – job choices, family issues, resolving conflict, etc., and just open ourselves up to the possibility that we can use our inner voice to help guide us in these things.
Lifestyle is an important factor as well. If we live a life in which we remain true to our principles and beliefs, our inner voice will shine through and become a clear and significant part of our everyday thought process. With that in mind, here are some simple tips to get started on the road to finding our inner voice:
- 1 Live a thoughtful, meditative life.
Most people think of meditation as something we have to “do” by setting aside a special time for it. The reality, though, is that if we remain consistently thoughtful in every aspect of our daily life, we can manage to be meditative even in moments of difficulty or crisis.
- 2 Seek a natural, positive environment.
For some people, this might mean getting out and accessing nature for at least a few minutes a day. For others, it means surrounding ourselves with things and people we love that help as function at an optimal level. Creating this kind of environment is essential to finding our inner voice.
- 3 Access creativity.
Creativity is different for everyone, but its another important part of daily life that can help us find our inner voice. Whether its drawing, painting, working with numbers or relaxing hobbies, its important to find some time whenever possible to be creative.
- 4 Listen to others.
Living a thoughtful, meditative life means genuinely listening to others. Family, friends and professional colleagues have important lessons to teach us and insights to share, all of which can help us sharpen our intuition.
- 5 Know Your Body.
Whether we’re aware of it or not, our bodies send us hundreds of signals every day about our state of being, i.e., whether we’re happy, tired, cranky, in need of love, or getting sick. Being aware of those cues and signals gives us a way to monitor whether our inner voice is coming through clear or being hampered by interference.
- 6 Eat Healthy.
Constantly eating harmful food that impairs proper body function can represent a source of interference as well, so remember that its easier to eat plenty of healthy food to reduce the urge to do this.
- 7 Let go.
There are many things in life we can’t control, and its important to let those things happen on their own and not waste valuable energy trying to control everything. Learn to relax – part of accessing our inner voice is knowing that those things are often playing out in our best interests, whether it seems like it at the time or not.
- 8 Emphasize the positive.
We all have bad moods and periods of negativity, but studies show that being in a good mood can help boost our inability to make intuitive decisions.
- 9 Seek out teachers,both good and bad.
One of the ways we access our intuition is through teachers, who are all around us in many different forms. Learn to think of everyone you come into contact as a possible model for both desirable behaviors and conduct and attitudes to avoid.
- 10 Be selfless.
Our intuition tends to speak louder and clearer when we do things for others with no expectation of compensation or acknowledgement. Whether its a favor for a friend, volunteer work, or getting involved in a worthwhile cause, acting in a selfless manner tends to create a broader, clearer view of the world around us.
Source: The Mind Unleashed
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