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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dresser

Simple and Powerful Ways to Develop Your Intuition

You were born with intuition and, as a child, you may have also shown early signs of a sixth sense. However, you may have lost touch with your intuitive wisdom due to conditioning and society's high value on logic and reason.


When you do not listen to intuition you may hesitate to make decisions and may doubt your own judgement. If you feel that you second-guess yourself or often feel uncertain as to what to do next, intuition can be a valuable resource. It can help you regain clarity, clear judgement and confidence in your own perceptions.


But what is intuition, exactly?


“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.”
Einstein

Definition of Intuition


Intuition can also be called gut instinct, your higher self, or an epiphany, as if some deeper wisdom has surfaced in your awareness. It may feel like a response from both your body and brain.


And this is, in part, because the vagal nerve connects the subconscious part of the brain to the rest of the body. Scientific research has demonstrated that each of us has heart¹  and gut² intelligence too.


But intuition is much more than changes in the nervous system in response to anxiety, fear or survival instincts. It also conveys more than physiological needs.


While intuition may not always evoke positive emotions and sensations, it is often more nuanced and communicates in many forms, more than through pure emotions. Intuition will often feel like more of a positive "pull" than a "push" or "withdrawal" to escape or retreat.


When you get a flash of intuition, you see the world, others and yourself more clearly. The cloud of doubt clears. Instead of being confused, you feel greater certainty about the actions to take. You trust your own judgement to make the right decisions for your future.


"Intuition does not explain, but simply points the way."
Florence Scovel Shinn

Speed of Intuition


Intuition, as with instincts, comes from the subconscious. And, as the subconscious is always faster to respond than the conscious part of the brain, we may often get a strong intuitive message well before we have reached a logical conclusion.


Yet, it may take time to attune to your intuition if you have lost the practice.


So below are some exercises to strengthen your natural abilities. Read on to learn more.



How to Develop Intuition Cover Image


7 Exercises to Develop Your Intuition


The following exercises start with the simplest and end with the most challenging. All are accessible to everyone. I recommend performing all of these to develop a solid foundation of intuition.


1. Tune into Your Basic Needs 


Just as most people are trained to disconnect from intuition, you may have received conditioning to ignore or suppress your basic needs. Reconnecting with instincts means you start to listen to your basic signals such as the need for food, thirst signals, or fatigue that reminds you to sleep.


Notice the times that you override your instincts and gently challenge yourself as to why. Respecting your needs helps you form the base of a foundation upon which you can build your intuitive practice.

2. Perform a Body Scan 


Close your eyes, slow your breath and drop your attention from your mind, moving either from the top of the head to the toes or, if you are highly analytical, try starting from the soles of your feet and work your way up to your crown.


Notice any areas of tension or relaxation, and try to intuitively sense what emotions or experiences might be associated with those sensations. During the body scan exercise, you can even silently ask yourself "What does this part of the body hold or carry?" to understand your emotions and energy more clearly.


Finish by seeing yourself as a complete and interconnected being. End your practice by thanking your body. This will help you develop more self-compassion as well as self-awareness.


3. Spend Time in Nature


Spend time in nature and observe your surroundings with all five senses. Find a seat, close your eyes and tune in to the world around you. Absorb messages and insights from the natural world.


Some examples you can use are to imagine if you could interpret the birdsong and animal calls into words or images. What would they say? What image would they paint? Sense the texture of grass and plant life under your feet.


Imagine experiencing life through a decades-old tree. What have they lived? How do they experience their connection to the earth through their roots, and the air through their leaves?


Attune to both living and inanimate beings such as rocks, or a mountain top. They all hold an energy and history. What have they witnessed? How does their energy resonate with you?


Whereas a body scan helps you connect to yourself, time in nature reminds you of your interconnectedness with the world.


"We are not above nature. We are part of nature."
David Wan

4. Meditate Daily, Journal or Pause to Listen to Your Inner Voice


Throughout the day, take even just a couple of minutes to pause and tune in to your inner dialogue. Notice any intuitive insights or messages that arise. Journal them or make a mental note of all forms of intuitive guidance.


Pay particular attention when your inner voice contradicts a decision or assessment you have made with your rational mind. Suspend the need to either believe or dismiss your inner guidance.


Do not judge any of your thoughts as "good" or "bad". They simply are. Instead, simply ask questions of yourself. For example, "Why do I feel this way?", or "What else do I need to acknowledge here?". If you do not get an answer, ask yourself yes and no questions to gain clarity.


Intuitive reactions may take time to surface, especially if you are not used to attuning to them. Practice will accelerate your awareness.

Also keep in mind that intuitive reactions may take time to surface, especially if you are new to the practice.


And, although the subconscious mind is always faster to respond, it may take time for the response to surface to your awareness. You may get a reaction some hours or even days later. Daily meditation or times for reflection will better ensure you do not overlook your intuitive guidance.


5. Notice Gut Responses When Meeting New People


When you meet a new person, notice in particular your gut response. Beyond their words, what does your intuition say about their true emotions or intention?


Pay attention in particular to the moments when you feel signals that are contradictory to the surface level interaction. Do they seem friendly but you get a sense you cannot trust the person, for example? Are they smiling but you walk away with a heavy sense of the other person's hidden depression or grief?


Words of Advice: Be aware of any subconscious triggers, for example, if someone physically or in their mannerisms or voice reminds you of someone you already know. Be sure to challenge yourself to ensure that you are truly tapping into your intuition and not subconscious associations and memories of someone else who is similar.


6. Attune to the Energy When You Enter an Empty Room


Enter an empty room, one where you cannot know who was in the room before you. Before you do so, notice your energy, emotions, and general mood as you stand at the doorway. Now take a step over the threshold. Every space holds a different energy. Stand for a few moments and notice any immediate shift in yourself, perhaps in emotions, weight or temperature.


Lean into the space of the room.  Do not let visuals influence your other senses. Stand and close your eyes. Notice any energetic or emotional charge in the air. Feel any subtle or sudden change in body sensations or mood within you. Notice if your energy feels more accelerated or more depressed.  


You should feel the energy of the people who were in the room. What kind of relationship connected these people? How were they feeling? Was any conversation or interaction harmonious or conflictive? Did they get along; were they close or emotionally distant? These are just some questions to ask yourself


You can perform this practice in the same room after different people have spent time in it to tune into their different energies.


You can also perform this exercise in new spaces to gauge the energy and history of the entire building or room.


7. Practice Energy Sensing of Objects


To begin with, start to tune in to your own energy field. Hold your hands a few inches apart and slowly move them closer together, focusing on the sensation you feel between them.


Then choose a smaller object and hover your hands over it. Experiment with different objects to develop your ability to perceive subtle energy fields.


Then hold or touch the object. Close your eyes. Notice any images that come up, whether abstract or identifiable. Attune to any colour, shapes or movement in your perception.


Feel the energy that is transmitted from the object to your body. Notice any heart or gut reaction. You may experience an emotional change.


Even words, sounds or music may spontaneously emerge in your mind.


Notice if you perceive both a history of the object itself, the location and era of the object's origins, and whoever owned or cared for the object.


To truly get a sense of the unique energy of an object, then compare this to the energy of a second object.


Final Thoughts

At times intuition may go against logic and reason and what seems like the sensible approach. When this happens, take time to pause and attune to the message that is trying to guide you. This is not to say you should ignore logic and reason or dismiss your intuitive guidance. Intuition does not replace but rather adds to your existing abilities.

For example, when you have a decision to make, logic and reason can help you analyze the situation objectively and help you weigh up your options. And intuition can play a key role in decision-making by providing insights that the conscious mind may overlook.


As with any muscle or subconscious habit, remember that regular practice is key to strengthening your ability. Journal your experiences. Also, note when your intuition proved reliable. This way you will build trust in yourself.


Developing your intuition helps you in so many ways. Over time you will build trust in your own judgement and decisions, and stop second-guessing yourself. You will feel less as if life is happening to you and more empowered and in control. Intuition not only helps you regain a sense of certainty in life but also helps build confidence in yourself and your own capabilities.


Intuition is one of your super strengths and your ally and supporter too. Start practising today and begin to experience the positive changes.


References

  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2019). Pubmed - ncbi. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31728781/ In-text citation: (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2019)

  2. Neuroscience at UBC. (n.d.). Our second brain: More than a gut feeling. Retrieved from https://neuroscience.ubc.ca/our-second-brain-more-than-a-gut-feeling/ In-text citation: (Neuroscience at UBC, n.d.)


Thank You For Reading


Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Sarah Dresser and I am a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. I embrace both the neuroscience and spirituality of hypnotherapy.


Hypnotherapy gives direct access to the subconscious mind which is not normally open to change in an everyday state. In a state of hypnosis, the brain can enter theta state which is considered the gateway to the metaphysical world.


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I am passionate about showing how hypnotherapy can accelerate healing, change and growth that many other therapy modalities cannot achieve.


Sarah Dresser Clinical Hypnotherapist

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