Intuition can be a very powerful thing when it’s in the right hands, and it’s a gift a very rare few possess. But regardless of whether or not you’re more intuitive than most, we all have an inner voice telling us what’s right and wrong, what we should and shouldn’t do. Deep down inside, we all know what it is we want and what it is we truly need. And even if we still don’t fully understand the mysterious ways in which our intuition works, there’s no denying the power of human instinct.
What we call our “gut feelings” are actually manifestations of our deepest, most unconscious thoughts and desires. And if we let it, they can help us avoid danger, escape harm, and do the right thing in a difficult situation. The problem is, more often than not we end up ignoring our gut feelings and denying our intuition because we have a hard time understanding what it all means. We don’t even realize it was trying to tell us something until it’s too late!
With that said, here are 7 tell-tale signs that your gut is trying to tell you something:
1. Your thoughts get pulled in a certain direction.
Do you ever find yourself circling back to the same thoughts over and over again? Like there’s a certain feeling you just can’t shake? Have you ever been fixated on a particular idea or memory that just seems to pop out of nowhere? Many psychologists believe that wandering thoughts such as these are actually our subconscious desires struggling to break free (Young, 2012). So the next time you start to feel your mind getting pulled in a certain direction, pay attention! Our intuition is always trying to guide us towards the right path, but we often ignore it in favor of our logic, rational thinking, and defense mechanisms.
2. You feel happy about an impulsive decision.
When you make an impulsive decision and it makes you feel happy even though it doesn’t really make much sense, that’s your intuition telling you you’ve made the right choice! Sometimes we stop ourselves from going after what we really want because we’re so afraid of what might happen. But whether it’s confessing your feelings, quitting the job you hate, or going on a spontaneous weekend getaway, our intuition always pushes us into pursuing the things we truly desire. It gives us the confidence and clarity to rise above all the uncertainty we feel and take that leap of faith. And it tells us when we’ve made the right choice even if our voice of reason argues against it.
3. You feel uneasy about certain situations.
Just as our intuition is always leading us towards the things that are best for us, it also warns us against the troubles that lie ahead and the dangers we don’t see coming (Klein, 2003). Do you feel uneasy or unsafe about a situation you’re in right now, even if you know there’s no reason for you to be? Is your gut telling you to turn back or steer clear of something? Your instincts can always sense when something is wrong, so if you have an inner voice telling you that you shouldn’t do something or that you should stay away from someone, don’t ignore it. Though you may not understand it yet, there’s a good reason why you’re feeling this way.
4. You suddenly feel unwell.
When we fail to heed our intuition, it often manifests as feelings of tension, discomfort, dread, or anxiety. And if left unchecked, these feelings can become so intense that they trigger unexplained physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, heart palpitations, trembling hands, dry mouth, tight throat, or sudden spells of nausea/dizziness (Kutschera & Ryan, 2009). So if you find yourself feeling unwell for no apparent reason, there’s a good chance it’s simply your gut trying to tell you something’s not right (physically, mentally, or emotionally speaking). Maybe you’re overworking yourself and need to take a break, or doing something harmful to your body. Whatever the reason may be, your gut is telling you that you need to make a change in your life because the way you’re living right now isn’t good for you.
5. You have recurring dreams.
It’s long since been believed that our dreams hold the key to understanding our unconscious and that by learning to interpret the meaning behind them, we gain a better grasp of our innermost desires, thoughts, and emotions (Mooradian, 2016). So if you’ve been having some very vivid recurring dreams lately, it’s definitely your intuition trying to send you a message. Perhaps you have some unresolved feelings you still need to deal with, or something from your past you still haven’t come to terms with. Whatever it may be, these deep-seated emotions will keep finding their way into your dreams until you finally learn to listen to what your intuition wants you to do.
6. You are presented with the same choices.
Have you ever had an opportunity present itself to you by some mysterious stroke of luck? Or met someone at just the right time in your life, when you needed them the most? While it’s easy to scoff at the idea that the Universe is trying to send us a message, your intuition actually has a very clever way of subtly guiding you towards what’s best for you. The trouble is, you keep ignoring all the signs it’s sending your way! If you are presented with the same choices time and time again (like whether you should change careers or move to a new city), it could be your intuition telling you it’s finally time to take a chance and change your life for the better, no matter how scary or difficult it may be.
7. You have a sense of clarity you can’t explain.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, feeling a sense of clarity you can’t explain is one of the most common ways we feel our intuition take hold of us. It’s a feeling of sudden realization, of just knowing that something is right even though you can’t explain how you know it. And it often happens when we least expect it, when our mind is clear and well-rested. That’s why so many therapists recommend mindfulness training and meditation because it helps us feel more in tune with our intuition and understand ourselves on a much deeper level (Radin & Schiltz, 2005).
So, do you relate to any of the signs we’ve mentioned here? Do you think there’s something your gut may be trying to tell you?
We all have a fear of failure and danger, and it’s only normal for you to be afraid of potential losses and great risks. But sometimes our intuition will tell us to rise above these fears and uncertainties to go after what we really want in life, to pursue the things that truly make us happy. And when it does, you need to know how to listen. So the next time you feel your gut may be trying to communicate with you and send you a message, pay close attention. It may end up changing your life for the better.
- Young, E. (2012). Gut Instincts: The Secrets of Your Second Brain. New Scientist, 216 (28), 38-42.
- Klein, G. A. (2003). Intuition at Work: Why Developing Your Gut Instincts Will Make You Better At What You Do. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 105 (11); 149-163.
- Kutschera, I. & Ryan, M. H. (2009). Implications of Intuition for Strategic Thinking: Practical Recommendations for Gut Thinkers. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 119 (2); 187-194.
- Mooradian, T. A. (2016). Looking into the Invisible: Intuition, Clairvoyance, Dreams. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(1), 13.
- Radin, D. I., & Schlitz, M. J. (2005). Gut feelings, intuition, and emotions: An exploratory study. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 11(1), 85-91.