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Tuning into your sixth sense

How do you know when to trust your ‘inner voice’ in favour of logic.Here are some steps towards developing your gut feeling

Our society has trained us to discount our intuition so that we often find ourselves being controlled by our parents, friends and yes, our bosses make the list too. But oftentimes we find ourselves at mental crossroads; be it relationships, career choices or even settling for a certain house help over another.

Nonetheless, learning to give these thoughts and images credence can go a long way in helping you regain control. If you have a problem trusting your intuition, try practising these four ways of gaining inner trust.

Listen to your body

Learning to tune into your physical feelings is the first step towards the right direction. You will be amazed at how fast our minds can formulate a rational thought if automatically tuned to our emotions.

The process is rather natural; for instance, when we instinctively feel threatened, our skin will prickle and we’ll feel uncomfortable even if our rational voice tells us we’re ‘being silly’. Paying close attention to your instant physical response could warn you of imminent danger.

Understand your brain chemistry

Our brains respond immediately to subconscious cues. Scientists call it ‘instrumental learning.’ Your instinct recognises a situation as familiar and suggests an instant response before you’ve had time to process rational thought.

So, a house may trigger a memory of a place you loved as a child or a stranger’s voice may mean you feel instantly comfortable with them because the pitch is similar to a loved one’s.

Focus on your first response

Always give your initial response to a situation some credit. It may turn out to be based on fear, but don’t automatically assume it is worthless. Often, we dismiss the information and prioritise logical or ‘evidence- based’ thinking.

Instead, by focusing on what your intuition is telling you rather than your logical mind; for instance, ‘This guy seems a bit weird,’ rather than, ‘He hasn’t actually done anything; I’m probably over-reacting’. You may pick up on important warnings that you’d otherwise have dismissed.

Challenge your instinct

You could start with ‘testing’ your feelings on close friends and family. People with your best interests at heart can help you identify the true feeling behind fear, anxiety among other emotions. By sharing with them, you get a new perspective into what triggers you to think the way you do.

True instinct feels informed, as though an inner voice is speaking a truth you already know.

But be cautious not to confuse intuition for indigestion; always assess your mood first lest you make a rushed decision that may get you into trouble. A positive outlook is more likely to make you more sensitive to your true feelings than your instinct. Whatever it tells you is likely to be spot on.

This article was published on April 28 2015 on People Daily Kenya http://bit.ly/1J6kegl

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