What does it mean to trust your intuition?
You know that feeling "in your gut". You know that feeling--when you meet someone and you get a sense that you can't trust this person. Maybe it's that the person's body language doesn't align with the person's words--you might see right through that person's smile or hello. Or maybe you're sensing that the person is being insincere. Our intuition is a sense of "knowing" without necessarily having tangible evidence.
Why is it important to trust our intuition?
This internal "knowing" may give us signals through our bodies. What I mean by this is that physiological signals are tied to our emotions. Research (Feldman et al., 1999) suggests that when our emotions are associated with different physiological responses. For example, when we are anxious, our heart rate most likely increases and our bodies might become warm. So the next time your heart races, ask yourself if you are anxious or worried. Our intuition can lead us to what seems right for us. When we use our intuition as a guide, we carry onward with less self-doubt.
So how do we begin to trust ourselves?
Slow your roll
I get it. We're busy people. So it's easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of things. In between that rushing, if we slow down once in awhile, we will be more attuned to what we need.
Sometimes it's easier to ignore what we're feeling when we're rushing.
You know those days--when you've been rushing from place to place and you tell everyone, "I haven't eaten since breakfast." So after that long day, you stop at In-N-Out to get a burger but feel awful afterwards. When we're rushing, we forget to eat, and make those decisions that would make us feel less-than-good at the end of the day.
Even if we can't slow down entirely, we can make a conscious effort to pause for a few minutes in between the craziness to ask ourselves what we need or how we're feeling. Taking these moments allows us to practice listening to our intuition and what we need.
Feldman, P.J., Cohen, S.C., Lepore, S.J., Matthews, K.A., Kamarck. T.W., & Marsland, A.L. (1999). Negative emotions and acute physiological responses to stress. Annals of Behavioral Medicine , 21(3): 216-222.