YOUR INTUITION'S USER MANUAL. Neuroscience-research based.
What is intuition?
“intuition operates by combining past experience with external cues to arrive at a decision that registers on the unconscious level and then is interpreted by a body response that we commonly refer to as a “gut feeling.”
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Intuition is basically the brain’s solutions to your dilemma translated into bodily sensations. But when should you trust your intuition VS deliberate analysis? And how can you get better at “hearing” your intuition? Here are a few actionable pieces of advice that will help you.
1. TRUST ONLY EXPERT’S INTUITION
If you didn’t spend enough time in some field - you don’t have the experience for your brain to rely on. You might have feelings in favor of one answer or the other - but those will be products of what you heard somewhere, perhaps on the news, or perhaps some gossip. Intuition is superior to logical, conscious thinking only when it relies on months and years of experience, not your current mood.
Don’t have any expertise in some areas but would like a faster decision?
Ask an expert!
2. HOW TO FLIP A COIN CORRECTLY TO HEAR YOUR INTUITION
Sometimes you are an expert but you still seem to be not sure about the right decision.
Flip a coin to TEST your intuition.
“If you’re satisfied with or relieved by the decision the coin made for you, then go with it. On the other hand, if the result of the coin toss leaves you uneasy and even makes you wonder why you used a coin toss to decide such an important decision in the first place, then go with the other choice instead.”
When we pose a question that requires all our expertise to produce the answer, our intuition comes up with a decision before we are consciously aware of it. And so when we decide to take any action “If the conscious and unconscious decisions correspond, your brain registers a subtle reward response. If the decisions disagree, it registers a threat. Both responses trigger changes in your body.”
3. HOW TO HELP INTUITION TO COME UP WITH THE BEST ANSWER
Pose a question and go do something unrelated to the task - let your mind wander, widen your perspective, get out of the box. Ideally, engage in a task not cognitively demanding, even better something that makes you move in different ways - go for a run, go take a bath or a shower, go play some music, go dancing. While you are at it the brain will work on connecting all the dots you have related to the question, and that’s how you make Eureka moments happen. Sleeping on it is also very helpful.
4. HOW TO HEAR YOUR “GUT FEELINGS” aka INTUITION BETTER
Mindfulness meditation is one of the best tools. Specifically, interoception-focused meditation. In other words, spend some time every day focused entirely on your bodily sensations - your breath, what your stomach feels, your heartbeat or many different sensations you might be experiencing at any moment. Do it daily - and your gut feelings will get that much louder.
Do you guys use your intuition to make decisions❓ Or coin flipping❓