Have you ever passed someone on the street, or in a store, and something in you responds to their presence without consciously thinking about it? If the person makes you uncomfortable, you might pull your coat more tightly around you, or move a purse or wallet to the protective side of your body. In some cases you might even feel a need to quickly walk away. On the other hand, if you sense the person is kind or endearing you might find yourself smiling at them, or having a friendly verbal exchange even though they are a complete stranger. In either case, it may be that intuition is alerting us to something our conscious minds are not yet aware of.
But is intuition real, or is it just our way of putting a label on something that we don’t understand?
Science confirms that the phenomenon of intuition is, indeed, a very real ability that can be identified in lab experiments and visualized on brain scans. It happens in the right side of our brain—the creative side that helps us comprehend visual imagery and make sense of what we see. It taps into our mind’s ability to read body language, facial expressions, and the gestures of others and ourselves.
A study on intuition from NYU shows that we have the capacity to evaluate everything as either good or bad within a quarter of a second. Not a minute; a second! Our minds work at amazing speeds. But that’s not to say it’s a perfect science; sometimes we can miss by a mile. Still, that’s ok, because listening to our gut instincts is a learning process for all of us.
We often hear about “women’s intuition” but, in fact, we all have intuitive qualities that we can hone and nurture. We do this by increasing our awareness of that inner feeling that comes to us. Experts say there are five gut instinct (or intuitions) we should never ignore.
- Something is wrong with my body. Many physicians have found that their patients often know when something is off in their body long before it can be detected or diagnosed by medical science.
- I’m in danger. If you don’t trust somebody, even if it turns out to be inaccurate, it’s still best to pay attention to this feeling. If you’re walking at night and you get that gut feeling, stay away from that person. Cross the street, or duck into a local business, and keep yourself out of harm’s way.
- I want to help. Generally speaking, when we follow our own instincts for sympathy and generosity, it turns out to be a good investment in our own health and happiness.
- I know how to do this. Some of us are just naturals at certain things, and when we feel like we can do something; it’s typically because we can. If you get that feeling, don’t be afraid to try—within reason, of course.
- This is it! Our intuition often signals us when we’ve found that certain something or someone that is right for us. Both men and women have reported immediately knowing that a person they just met was going to become their spouse. It doesn’t necessarily mean love at first sight; it just means your intuition is speaking to you.
It often tells us something very important for our well being, and helps us to make good choices as we journey on our life path.