Following your instincts

Kanisa George
Kanisa George


Do you believe in signs? That everything is crafted and expertly created with you in mind? For centuries astrologers have been using signs to predict famine, a good harvest and compatibility. Even modern-day astrology takes the guessing out of relationships and tells us quite frankly which signs are best suited for each other.

But even if you don't believe in the mumbo jumbo of the sun, moon and the stars, we all have had at least one experience that felt a little bit more than a coincidence.

Most of us experience that nagging feeling telling us that something isn't quite right, and even if we won't admit it, a woman's intuition would give any astrologer a run for deh money. Not only is it more than a silly myth, but there is also scientific proof that adds value to this superpower.

The British Journal of Psychology defines intuition as what happens when the brain draws on past experiences and external cues to make a decision. This lightning-speed process usually occurs at an unconscious level, making us often unaware that it's even taking place. Essentially, intuition relies on our brain's ability to instantaneously evaluate a situation and make decisions based on gut instincts.

Science suggests that a woman's intuition is a product of evolution. Traditionally, it was felt that women with a solid ability to understand and predict the needs of their offspring and mates thrived over others with inferior senses. Intuition is shared between the sexes, but according to Dr Daniel Amen, women tend to exhibit more intuition, empathy, collaboration, self-control, and appropriate concern because of increased blood flow in our brains.

A University of Cambridge study found that when it came to non-verbal communication skills, women were better at reading facial expressions and emotions and were more likely to pick up on the subconscious cues of others.

Though widely touted as a female trait, men can also be powerfully intuitive. However, researchers believe that because women are encouraged to be more receptive to their inner thoughts, we hone our skills while men lose touch of their feelings.

In summary, women are far better at reading the room than men, so why do we often lose the plot? Why do we resign our powers to the back of the class and hold out for a sign that may never come?

It's one thing to have a super power, but it's another to master it, and the reality is our intuition has to go up against a few heavy hitters.

"I knew he wasn't faithful, inno. I just had a feeling."

Even when the signs are right before us, we continue to persevere, hoping our gut feelings are simply our number one critic, Mr Poor Self-Esteem. Unfortunately, it's sometimes tricky to separate intuition from self-doubt, and when you add lust, love and the desire to hold on to the list, our powers become nothing more than a feeling.

If there's one thing experience will teach you, is that ignoring your instincts could come at a very steep and painful cost. And the simple truth is that we avoid our intuition because confronting the truth is much more difficult to fathom than accepting reality.

Psychologist Dr Margie Warrel believes that when tapping into our intuition, fear is usually the main reason for our shortcomings. She says, "It is our fear of what our intuition is telling us that drives us to ignore it. Tuning in to our intuition takes courage because it requires us to risk losing something we want and facing a reality we don't."

Ignoring our intuition applies to so much more than romantic pursuits and failed relationships. Women notoriously ignore their bodies and repeatedly suffer the consequences of this inaction.

One writer posits that listening to your body isn't about intuitively knowing which nutrient you're deficient in or which essential oil you need. Instead, it means when your body is feeling something, you should consider that a signal for something.

When it comes to our bodies, listening to our intuition is akin to self-care. We owe it to ourselves to rest when we feel tired, take mental breaks when we feel overwhelmed and seek medical attention when things don't feel right.

Being able to master workouts, relationships, or financial stressors can make you resilient. Still, paying attention to your inner self and what it's trying to tell you about your body is important.

If you haven't been utilising your instinctive skills, here are a few things you could do to get on the road to mastering your intuition. Find time to be quiet and listen. It might seem hard at first, but the only way you'll hear your intuition is by listening. This brings even the most minute thoughts to life, and you become aware of the good, the bad and the ugly. Pay attention to what's going on around you. Information gathering is a crucial ingredient for your super power.

The more information you have available, the more the intuitive, subconscious part of your brain has to work with. Finally, trust your gut feeling. The gut is often referred to as the second brain as it is the enteric nervous system and contains about 100 million neurons. Want to know why you feel sick when you have to make a tough decision or after you have made the wrong choice? Ask your gut.

Some might say that mastering your intuition is important for your survival, but remember that all of life is a balance. So don't forget to factor in common sense and rational thinking. Get the balance right, and you'll be a force of nature.


"Following your instincts"

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