News of violent attacks continues to increase day on day. One side effect is the number of stories emerging about people who narrowly avoided being caught up in these tragic events. Most ascribe it to coincidence yet, if they gave it some consideration, they would discover their good fortune is down to intuitive thought. Intuitive thinking is going on in your brain and body at all times.
What is Intuitive Thought
Intuitive thinking is almost like unnoticed background static. It’s not conscious thinking as we know it. While the forefront of your consciousness is chattering along as usual, your intuition is processing patterns, looking for interruptions in those patterns and delivering subtle signs: intuitive thought whispers, feelings and physical responses.
Your intuition is like a pathway, a connection between your gut, your subconscious and your conscious. It’s a processor, a filter and a message delivery system. And it’s pretty much instantaneous.
The Latin root of the word, intuition, comes from ‘in’ meaning ‘on’ and ‘tueor’ meaning ‘to guard’ or ‘watch over’. So, your intuition is your inner guard. It’s in place to take care of you and keep you from danger.
Intuition Saves a Pilot
In his book, The Gift of Fear, author Gavin De Becker tells of an airline pilot who walks into a store and immediately turns round and walks back out, avoiding becoming involved in an armed robbery. He says, he didn’t think, it was as though his body made the decision for him. Only later did he recall the unusual glancing look the storekeeper threw at him, the other customer wearing a heavy coat on a hot day and the two men sitting in an SUV outside with the engine running. His consciousness registered those things but assigned no meaning. His intuition, acted otherwise, processing the information as interrupted patterns in a split second and causing him to instinctively turn and walk.
Intuitive thought bypasses logic and analytical thinking. It even appears to bypass the brain all together, though that’s not strictly true. Your brain works on many levels, utilizing innumerable pathways that scientists are only just beginning to understand. “…researchers conclude that intuition is the brain drawing on past experiences and external cues to make a decision – but one that happens so fast the reaction is at a non-conscious level.”
Subtle Physiological Signs of Warning Intuition
- A change in your solar plexus region, perhaps a tightening or a sudden hollowness
- Sweating, especially of your hands
- Hairs lifting anywhere on your body
- Shallow breathing
- You feel ‘prickly’ and on edge.
All these are the precursors to a flight or fight response. They occur as a result of a cascade of hormones into the bloodstream, mainly norepinephrine and epinephrine. This release of hormones happens because your intuition or instinct, if you prefer, has bypassed your consciousness and is directing operations from deep within – the control center that is charged with looking after you.
You may get these warning signs when faced with immediate and catastrophic danger, or you might experience in an innocuous setting, such as meeting someone for the first time.
Why We Override Our Inner Voice
The most common reason people give for ignoring the instructions of our intuition, even when it’s screaming at them, is that they don’t want to appear foolish or offensive.
What creature, in the wild, would allow itself to pay more attention to logical reasoning (if it could) than to its own innate sense of danger? That’s what we humans do all the time. We like to wait and see. To discover how the situation will unfold. To seek reassurance that we are doing the right thing by staying. To not look silly in the eyes of others. Instead of acting on our intuition, we apply the rules of society which tell us not to act like a wimp, or that we should stick to our commitments.
Listen to Your Intuition When:
- You are in any situation and you feel compelled to leave. Don’t press the ‘override button’. Just get out. At the very least it will give you time to think.
- Meeting a person who appears to be charming, but has set your nerves jangling.
- Before making a financial decision or signing a contract.
- You feel you need to run, or knock on the nearest door, or step into the nearest bar or restaurant. Don’t think, just do it. Find a place of safety. There’ll be plenty of time later to decide if you were being foolish or not.
- You are a woman about to step into a confined space with an unknown man.
- You feel like locking your vehicle from the inside.
- Your instinct is to turn off the freeway, or not get onto the airplane, or to take a different route, or not let your child go on that day trip.
Paying Attention To Your Pet’s Intuition
Cats and dogs often react in a way that sets off our own intuitive radar. As if they sense that something bad is about to happen. Often that is the case, especially just before a natural disaster or catastrophe. Yet, Gavin de Becker tells us that humans have a far more evolved instinct and that the animal is picking up our own subtle vibrations. So when your dog growls at the nice tenant who’s just moved into the apartment opposite, give your pet the benefit of the doubt and take extra care.
First Date Intuition
Women need to rethink that acceptance of a second date if:
- He seems over attentive.
- He makes an assumption that this is the beginning a relationship.
- He latches on to minor coincidences as proof you are meant to be together.
- He talks about children and marriage as a future outcome.
- He offers to put new shelves up for you.
- He turns up at your place of work or on your doorstep without invitation.
- He approaches your friends or coworkers to talk about you.
- He updates his Facebook status to ‘in a relationship’.
If anything about him feels ‘off’ or strange, then follow your instinct and don’t arrange to see him again. In fact, walk out right away.
We are taught that people are essentially good, and on the whole, it’s true. However, it is this trusting attitude toward others which occasionally gets people into trouble. Not everyone is concerned for your well-being – some are focused on getting something from you – whether that be money, sex or power. It's not good to adopt a fearful perspective in life, but never dismiss your inner voice – it’s doing its best to take care of you.