Intuition: Understanding and Developing Your Inner Guide


Intuition, by definition, is the ability to immediately comprehend something without conscious reasoning. Some people call it instinctive or gut feeling as well. These intuitive thoughts and conclusions that people come up with may seem out of the blue but they are not as mystical as they may seem and feel. According to scientists, the unconscious mind works much faster than conscious thinking can do.

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This idea is based on a belief that our subconscious mind does an instant analysis of current facts about past experiences, patterns, and knowledge and then predicts likely outcomes or decisions. Long-term memory and pattern memory select matchings of patterns and scenarios that subtly percolate into the conscious mind as a conclusion or a feeling about a person or situation for which one behaves accordingly. 

Many folks trust their gut feeling, but it’s not always right. Our intuition can be swayed by past bad events, our fears, and our likes. If someone often had bad times with men, they might unfairly mistrust all men, even the nice ones. Yet, for quick thoughts like first meet-ups, spotting lies, or facing danger, gut feelings can be pretty sharp. The swift answers our gut gives can help us survive in moments where every second counts. It’s crucial to get better at listening to your inner voice because there are moments when you really shouldn’t ignore it. And these moments can deeply change your life. 

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like for Example,

  • Driving: Seeing a car going to jump a red light, and quickly braking. 
  • Job Talk: Feeling sure about someone’s truthfulness at an interview, which leads to a good hire. 
  • Friends: Getting a bad vibe from someone new and finding out later they can’t be trusted. 
  • Test Time: Picking an answer on a quiz by a guess, and it’s right. 
  • Money Move: Choosing to sell shares just before their value drops, due to a gut feeling.
  • Way Home: Feeling pushed to take a different road, missing a big car crash on the usual way. 

What are the Signs of Intuition?

Intuition is like a “sixth sense” It’s part of your other five senses and can make your body react in ways like: 

  • Your body may feel tight or you can’t shake off a troubling thought. 
  • You get a sinking feeling in your stomach. 
  • Your neck hairs stand up right before something scary happens. 
  • You think you should stay away from a place, not sure why, but then find out you would have been in danger if you went there. 

How does a Gut Feeling work?

Gut feelings or instincts come from things we’ve noticed before without fully realizing it. Your mind under the surface works on information you’re not fully aware of, both when you’re asleep and when you’re awake. This helps make sense of those moments when you suddenly understand something that feels familiar. The moment of clear understanding happens when what you know deep down finally makes sense to your awake mind. 

Gut feelings or hunches happen when our brain sees a big match or no match at all between what has happened before and what’s happening now. What we pick up on ways are things repeat based on past stuff we’ve gone through. We store these recurring patterns and associated information in our long-term memory. Then, when we encounter similar situations in our daily lives, we retrieve this information. Think of these repeating ways like lines filled out on a huge, ongoing table. On the left side are the repeating bits, the chunks of info that we spot over and over in similar cases. On the right-hand side are different kinds of details – results, hopes, real aims, and what we think we should do next, stuff we’ve come to link with those shapes. When we spot one of these shapes again (or something like it), our brain looks it up in the list and gives us information about what might happen next. 

Intuition in Psychology 

Psychologists want to know how intuition works. Key points include: 

  • Heuristics (Shortcuts): These are quick ways we decide things. They make deciding easy but can make us wrong sometimes. 
  • Implicit Learning (Learning without knowing): This is when we pick up complex stuff without really trying. For example, someone might get a good feel for grammar by just hearing and using language without being taught. 
  • Unconscious Thought Theory: A theory by Ap Dijksterhuis says our back-of-mind thinking can handle tough tasks, and choices made without overthinking can often be better than those made with a lot of thought. 

Intuition in everyday life helps to negotiate personal relationships, health decisions and safety precautions, as well as various social situations. For instance, individuals often depend on their intuitive perception of others’ emotions and intentions to build and sustain relationships. 

Developing One’s Intuition 

Although some aspects of intuition are innate, it can be improved in several ways: 

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These techniques can assist people in getting more connected to themselves by listening to their thoughts and feelings thus making one more intuitive.
  • Training and Practice: Like any other skill, intuition can be developed with experience gained over time. Doing activities that require rapid decision-making and pattern recognition can aid in strengthening the use of intuition. 

Intuition is a very powerful yet often underestimated part of human thinking. It lets us make quick choices, manoeuvre intricate circumstances, and release creative ideas. While it has its limitations, understanding our intuitive abilities can do much for both our lives – private and professional ones. By balancing intuition with rational analysis, we make informed decisions that have greater effectiveness; by trusting in our inner guide we can silently enhance its power within us. 

References + 
  • Anderson, C., & Anderson, C. (2024, May 23). What exactly is intuition? | Intuition Examples | Maple Grove (MN). Innovative Psychological Consultants –.
  • Fleming, L. (2024, March 28). When should you trust your intuition? Verywell Mind.
  • Sutton, J., PhD. (2024, April 25). What is intuition and why is it important? 5 examples.
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