Should you trust your intuition?
At times, we have all experienced intuition. Albert Einstein referred to intuition as a sacred gift with our rational mind as its faithful servant. Some people treat their intuition with respect. Others treat it as meaningless “brain static.”
The voice of our conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind keeps track of what is going on inside our bodies. It is important that we re-educate our intellect to listen to and respect what we are told by our intuitive voice. It involves trusting your gut-feelings about things and, when appropriate, act on them.
It is difficult to distinguish our intuitive voice from other voices our body uses to tell us what is going on internally. For example, our digestive voice tells us we have heartburn, our muscle voice when we have a tight feeling in our neck, and a skin voice, when an area needs scratching. All these voices can be measured diagnostically. But, because intuition is an entirely subjective phenomenon, only you can attest to its existence.
The intuitive voice is triggered by our conscience, other people’s opinion, past experiences, fears, doubts, and our imagination. It is our inner dialogue that never sleeps. While taking a shower or eating your morning cereal, you might suddenly get an urge to call a friend with whom you haven’t spoken for several years. Such an impulse is random and completely illogical.
Psychologists believe that intuition is a “matching game.” The brain takes notice of a situation, does a quick search of our memory files, connects it with an appropriate kind of behavior, and expresses it through our intuition.
We do not have to reject logic in order to benefit from our intuition. We should try to establish a balance between our logic and our instinct. This balance will provide us with all of the brain’s potential resources.
There are three things you can do to enrich the power of your intuition. First, keep a journal of your inner thoughts. Even though you think you have little to say, allow your mind the freedom to say anything --- even if it makes no sense.
Second, turn off your inner critic. Don’t rationalize what comes out. Listen without being judgmental or self-deprecating.
Third, find a quiet place, a place where you can allow your emotions to flow freely. Here you may also want to create an emotional connection with an object, a color, a piece of music or literature--anything that will jump-start your emotions and not have it compromised by logic or rationality.
Until neuroscientists invent a mind-reading machine that can explain the dynamics of intuition, we must trust the messages that our intuition sends us.
- Professor Eisenberg was born in New York City and now lives in Belleair Bluffs. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II. His career consisted of teaching interpersonal/intercultural communication, public speaking, organizational communication, nonverbal communication, group dynamics, and persuasion at four major universities including Pace University and Manhattanville College in New York. His publications include 19 textbooks on various aspects of communication. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.