|Intuition is the ability to know something directly even without conscious or analytic reasoning. It bridges the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind and also between reason and instinct / Photo by: Maksim Chernishev via 123RF|
Intuition is the ability to know something directly even without conscious or analytic reasoning. It bridges the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind and also between reason and instinct. While people need both reason and instinct to make decisions in life, not many are comfortable using their instincts as their guidance tool. Some people are more intuitive than others.
The Two Types of Intuitive Skills
Matthew Hutson, who earned his BS in cognitive neuroscience degree at Brown University, shared the two types of intuitive skills to better understand why some people are more intuitive than others. One type is linked to insight, like conceiving a metaphor, and is also associated with intelligence. The other type is linked to implicit learning or learning complex information in an incidental manner, without awareness of what has just been learned. There are other areas in the brain involved in attention and working memory that are usually active during explicit compared to implicit learning. An example of implicit learning is picking up a new language, which is not strongly connected to intelligence.
Some possess the first cluster of intuitive skills while others the second. Hutson wrote that people may want to find careers that match their intuitive ability or thinking style. For instance, an accountant will not go so far if he or she will rely on her gut feeling as a counselor would.
Things Highly Intuitive People Do
1. They listen to their inner voice
US and world news provider HuffPost shares that one of the things that highly intuitive people do differently is that they listen to their inner voice amid their busy life. They slow down and listen, which usually requires solitude. They may take some time away from the daily routine or just take a brief walk to turn up their intuitive skill.
2. They follow their gut feeling
Some people are more intuitive than others because they do follow their gut feeling rather than doubting or dismissing it. It does not mean that they are ignoring their critical or analytical thinking skills. They balance it by using analytical thinking to talk themselves out of what their intuition recognizes to be true.
3. They analyze the dreams they remember
Deeply intuitive people have imaginative and intense dreams that they can easily recall as they wake up. These dreams may be populated by people in their real lives and clear scenes that they can pull together. They analyze these dreams, knowing that they are manifestations of intuition too. While dreams can sometimes be nonsense, highly intuitive people know that dreams may be telling them something. For instance, they would ask themselves what lessons they can take away from it or the meaning behind the dream.
4. They observe
When odd things happen in their life, they often observe and that is when they gain a sense of how frequent surprising connections and coincidences are. This is one way they can tap into their intuition.
5. They have empathic accuracy
It’s not mind reading, but empathic accuracy. In psychology, it is the ability to map the mental terrain of another person from their body language, emotions, and words. This is why people feel a creepy sensation if they see a spider crawling up in another person’s leg. Social emotions, such as embarrassment, lust, disgust, pride, shame, and guilt can be experienced by observing or watching others. Highly intuitive people tune into their emotions and spend time listening and observing others to boost their empathy.
6. They let go of negative emotions
Strong negative emotions can cloud intuition, making us feel like we are not ourselves. HuffPost notes that intuition fails if the person is in a heightened emotional state. This is the reason why highly intuitive people let go of their negative emotions. It does not mean they don’t get upset, but they mindfully accept and choose not to dwell or suppress the negative emotions.
In a study titled Emotions in Everyday Life, which appeared in the PLoS ONE journal, authors Debra Trampe and team wrote that our everyday life seems profoundly emotional. Of more than 11,000 participants in their study, they experienced at least one emotion 90% of the time. The most frequent emotions were joy, love, and anxiety. The majority of people also experience emotions 2.5 times more often compared to negative emotions. Yet, people also frequently experience negative and positive emotions simultaneously.
Number of Americans Who Trust Their Gut
In 2016, The Ohio State University’s Associate Professor of Communication R. Kelly Garret and colleagues also conducted a study and found that 50.3% of Americans trust their gut instinct to tell them what’s true or not. About one in seven or 14.6% of the participants felt strongly about their gut while one in ten or 10.2% strongly disagreed. This only means that there remains a variation as to how people in the US decide what they should believe in.
It was also in the same study that researchers said people are prone to political misinformation because they usually believe only the things that favor their site even if what they believe in is not grounded by science or data. A factor that plays in this is the influence of their nonconscious emotion.
Intuition vs. Evidence
Garret and the team’s study revealed that more people looked at things that matter most to them when they are deciding what’s true or not. Having faith in their intuition influence people’s beliefs about science, like climate change and vaccine safety. Another study by Project Management Degrees also found that 62% of business executives admitted to relying on their gut feelings. Even Steve Jobs called intuition “more powerful than intellect." Oprah Winfrey also said that she “trusted the still, small voice of intuition” her entire life and the only time she made mistakes was when she didn’t listen to it.
Too often, we are advised to weigh the options and look at the facts when the answers that we are looking for may be found from within. It may be difficult to shake ideals and habits we are raised with but trusting oneself is one of the greatest and most helpful things we can do for our own lives.