If you’ve ever been in a situation and had a strong instinct, or gut feeling, about what you should or shouldn’t do, then you know exactly what we’re talking about when we discuss intuition.
It’s hard to technically define intuition, but you can think of it as an innate sort of “knowing” or “understanding” of what’s true. It looks different for different people, but when you feel it, you generally know.
What Does Intuitive or Intuition Mean?
Again, intuition is mercurial. It doesn’t come from your conscious mind and isn’t an analytical skill. You can’t develop intuition through research or throwing yourself hard at a goal. In stark contrast, intuition is typically more noticeable or resonant when you are still, take time to reflect, or engage in more passive activities.
Highly intuitive people generally feel they can pick up on their gut responses easily and are comfortable listening to them. For example, perhaps you have a friend who’s quickly able to discern what the next right thing for her to do is, whereas others may waffle back and forth between their available choices. Or maybe you know someone who can tune into the different energies in a room and understand how other people are feeling, seemingly without much effort.
Some intuition examples or intuitive experiences could include:
- A strange “knowing” that something is going to happen
- An unexplained feeling that won’t go away and is later explained by something that occurs
- Feeling very strong emotions toward someone or something and later understanding that those feelings were correct, and why
- Flashes, or glimpses, of things, people, or situations that seem to come out of nowhere
How to Activate Your Inherent Intuition
Intuitive people don’t have anything you don’t. You can put effort into actively developing intuition if you know the right ways to go about it. In his Skillshare course on strengthening your intuition, instructor Sage Logan walks you through five unique energy meditations to help you access your intuition. You’ll also discover new ways to relate to your dreams and how they connect to your intuition.
How to Develop Your Intuition: 12 Things to Try
If you’re interested in how to open and develop your intuition, treat it like a practice. Developing intuition will take some time and observation; you’ll become more aware of yourself and how your intuition speaks to you as you go. Here are 12 things you can try to get started!
According to Logan, when your energy is scattered, it’s harder to get in touch with your intuition. Because intuition arises during quieter times, spending time in silence can help you to get more in tune. Meditation can be as simple as sitting for five minutes with no distractions, or you can opt for guided meditations.
2. Take a Chance on Following Your Gut Instinct
If you notice a strong instinct to do something or move away from it, try following that advice and see what develops as a result. Seeing positive outcomes after following your intuition can help reinforce that you do know what’s best for you and give you more confidence to trust your gut for the future. Start with something low stakes, like which route to take on a drive, to take the pressure off.
3. Start Doing Daily Body Scans
Many of us are used to overriding the way we physically feel and just pushing through from one situation to the next. Make a practice of really acknowledging the way your body feels and what it’s telling you. Scan your body throughout the day and note any tension you’re holding or sensations, good or bad. The goal is to get more present so that you can better pick up on the subtle messages your body might be sending you.
4. Spend Time Outside
Being outside is good for so many reasons. Spending time in nature and being mindful about its beauty and innate perfection can help you decompress, clear out distracting thoughts, and be more aware that you, too, are a living being, perfect just as you are. Be aware of what thoughts come up as you’re outside; this could be your intuition speaking to you.
5. Do a Technology Fast
With so many distractions coming at us from a myriad of screens, we might not even know when our intuition is speaking to us because we’re too busy bouncing from one alert to the next. Consider doing a purposeful technology detox. How might you entertain yourself for four to five hours without technology? Freeing up this digital-free space could allow new messages and insights to float up from your subconscious.
6. Ask Your Intuition a Question
Try being direct: Write out a question you’re thinking about and then sit with it. Do any answers seem to arrive in your mind? Journal about anything that comes to you that could be a potential answer or piece of guidance. And if nothing comes up, don’t be discouraged. Sometimes just focusing on the question at all is enough to bring an answer to you later on, as you’re doing something totally unrelated.
On a related note, writing can be a way to override your conscious mind and allow things to come to the surface. Experiment with sitting down once a day and writing one to three pages about what’s on your mind. Document things that seem like signs or interesting coincidences; see if there are ways you can connect the dots or make sense out of them.
8. Draw, Doodle, or Start an Art Journal
If journaling feels intimidating, or if you don’t connect with writing, explore more visually oriented techniques like art journaling. Putting your pen or pencil to the page is the ultimate goal for these activities, whatever that looks like for you. Drawing your thoughts, or a vision for your life or future, can help you unearth what’s going on inside.
9. Start a Dream Notebook
Logan teaches that making small adjustments in your daily life and the way you pay attention to it can help you become more present in your dream life. This is sometimes referred to as “lucid dreaming” and gives you the ability to pick up on things in your dreams you might have missed otherwise. When you wake up, try to jot down what you can remember from your dreams and see if there are any messages that resonate.
10. Make a Vision Board
What does your biggest, brightest future look like? If there was nothing standing in your way, what would you dream for yourself? Sometimes giving ourselves permission to dream can activate our intuition. What feels right for you when you think about your future? How can you get there? What is part of your highest self and life if you let your mind run free?
11. Work With Tarot Cards
If you’re coming up completely blank when you try to call up your intuition, tarot can help. Spending time with guided tarot pulls—or even just looking at each card and thinking about what comes up for you—can take you in new directions and uncover highly intuitive thoughts.
12. Act Fast
Try not to overthink things. If you get a suggestion from your gut, try to write it down so you don’t forget it, or make a point to act promptly. If you get into a place of thinking too much about it, it can be easy to talk yourself out of the suggestion or overanalyze it and lose the feeling altogether.
Your intuition is always available to you; it’s up to you to work on your ability to recognize and acknowledge it. Using these tips, you should be able to get a clearer sense of what intuition feels and looks like for you. This will give you a foundation for developing intuition from which you can then dive deeper if you choose.
Want to Become More Intuitive?
INTUITION: Strengthen Your Intuitive Skills!