We all know that feeling that comes over us when we can sense that something is right or wrong. Or what about those times you seem to know something without having any facts to back it up? Everyone has stories about pivotal times in which they didn’t listen to their intuition, but what would happen if you started to listen to your intuition more?
In this article we are going to talk about the training exercises you can do to strengthen your intuition and learn to live a more intuitive life!
Why Should You Strengthen Your Intuition?
Think about the last time you had to make a big decision. You probably found yourself going back and forth between the options, trying to weigh out which was the best choice. You asked your friends for advice, but still felt in the dark about how to move forward, wishing you could know for certain which choice was the right one to make.
Well, that decision would have been a lot easier to make if you had a stronger sense of intuition! Your intuition is your natural sense of knowing and perceiving, so when that muscle is strong you become less indecisive and more surefooted. Sounds great, right?
Lifting Too Heavy
Newbies usually make this one big mistake: trying to lift too heavy.
Think about going to the gym for the very first time and picking up the 50 lbs dumbbells, thinking you could try to shoulder press them over your head. You can’t because weights that heavy have to be worked up to, starting with smaller weights and working your way up to the heavier ones. The same thing goes for intuition! You can’t expect to be able to make an intuitive decision about whether or not to move across the country if you haven’t been using your intuition in smaller daily ways before then.
Intuition or Anxiety
You may be thinking, “how do I tell the difference between intuition and anxiety?” That’s a great question! One of the biggest hurdles people face when beginning to work with their intuition is anxiety. Anxiety can be an insidious thing that can even throw off people who have a strong sense of intuition!
Both intuition and anxiety often manifest as an inner monologue, but one comes from a place of fear and the other is something more spiritual–so how do we tell the difference?
The short answer is that intuition is quiet and it’s usually brief, while anxiety is loud and persistent. Intuition is more like a sweeping gust of wind that dances around you and then dissipates, and anxiety is a torrential downpour. The more you flex your intuition muscle the more you’ll be able to tell the difference, but even the most skilled intuitives can still get caught up in an anxiety spiral, so what do you do when that happens?
The answer is simple: trust yourself.
The basis of all intuition work is learning to trust yourself, because intuition is the voice that comes first to your mind whenever you are met with a decision. When you learn to trust that voice the moment it speaks up you’ll be actively working against anxiety, which is the voice that comes afterwards. When I find myself unable to discern between intuition and anxiety I simply make a choice, because I trust myself and I know that no matter what happens I can handle it.
When we take the pressure off of discerning between the two we are actually strengthening our intuition!
How to Strengthen Your Intuition
Here are a couple of my tried and true methods of strengthening your intuition muscle. Give them all a go and see what works for you!
For this activity I usually like to take a walk, but you can ride your bike or skateboard, or even hop in your car for a relaxing drive. When you take your walk or drive, do your best to clear your mind, especially as you approach a crosswalk or stop light. Listen for your intuition, it will tell you to go right, left or forward, and your job is to listen to the directions and follow them wherever they lead. Do your best to not plan out your walk at all, the more you allow yourself to make that snap decision, the stronger you’re working your intuition.
You make a lot of decisions every day from which coffee cup to use, which road to take to work, whether or not to work out, etc. Choose one day out of the week, every week, to make all your decisions based on intuition. This requires you to surrender, be decisive and trust the process. This is one of the single best tools you can use to strengthen your intuition, because the more you can practice making intuitive decisions on the small stuff, the better you will get at being able to use your intuition when it comes to the bigger choices you have to make in life.
Art is an intuitive act. We’ve all heard about artists hitting a creative block (some of us have been in one ourselves), but on the opposite side of that is the artistic flow state which comes from being able to create a strong relationship with your intuition. You don’t need to be a great artist to reap the benefits of this practice though, all you need is a pen or pencil, some paper and your intuition. Begin doodling whatever pops into your mind and keep doodling until you fill up the whole page. It can be as simple as drawing lines and dots, or more intricate like flowers and people, the point is to not try to plan out what you’re going to doodle next. Instead, allow your mind to be present and when it comes time to doodle a new thing on the page, do the first thing that pops into your head.
This is also an excellent practice for learning not to judge oneself. Trust in the process and you’ll be surprised at how good it all looks once you’ve covered a whole page in intuitive doodles!