Last updated on November 28th, 2023 at 12:07 pm
Intuition is an ambiguous word for many, while for others, it is a crystal-clear word they have found valuable and can’t do without in their daily lives.
Even though every human applies this gift of nature, not many understand it is actually as simple as knowing when a person is capable of doing harm or understanding a situation without thinking about it.
Intuitive discernment is inherent in humans and serves as a rudder, especially in times when a man seems to be at a crossroads.
This is a comprehensive article on the ability to intuit bordering on its meaning, importance, types, benefits, development, and everything in between.
Table of Contents
- What is Intuition?
- Intuitive Ability is Inherent in Humans
- Instinct, Logic, or Intuition?
- Importance of Intuition in Decision-making
- The link between Intuition and Creativity
- Role of Intuition in Creativity
- Types of Intuition
- How does Intuition Work?
- Relationship between Intuition and the Brain
- Benefits of Following your Intuition
- Signs of intuition
- Examples of Successful Intuition-driven Decisions
- How to develop intuition
- Exercises to Sharpen Intuition
What is Intuition?
It is the ability to understand or know something without needing conscious reasoning or logical proof.
A psychic energy in your mind that makes you understand something without the need for conscious thought.
It is often described as a gut feeling or instinctual response that arises spontaneously and provides us with information that we cannot necessarily explain or articulate.
Intuitive discernment can manifest in many forms, including physical sensations, emotions, images, dreams, and even spiritual experiences.
It is believed to be a powerful tool for decision-making, problem-solving, and creativity, as it enables us to tap into knowledge and insights that are beyond the reach of our conscious mind.
While intuitive ability is often associated with mystical or spiritual practices, it is also recognized as a legitimate psychological phenomenon that has been studied and documented by researchers in fields such as neuroscience and psychology.
Some experts believe that it may be a product of the subconscious mind, which processes information at a much faster rate than our conscious mind and can draw on past experiences, knowledge, and emotions to provide us with insights and guidance.
Related: What is Extrasensory Perception?
Intuitive Ability is Inherent in Humans
The ability to intuit is inherent in humans as it is a natural part of our cognitive processes.
As a product of our subconscious mind and developed through evolution as a survival mechanism, our brains are wired to pick up on patterns and information that we may not be consciously aware of, allowing us to make quick and accurate judgments in certain situations.
Being intuitive is often confused with instinct and logic.
Instinct, Logic, or Intuition?
Instinct, logic, and intuitiveness are all important aspects of decision-making, but they each have different strengths and weaknesses.
Here is a breakdown of each:
- Instinct: Instincts are innate, automatic responses to stimuli that are hardwired into our biology. They are typically fast and efficient, allowing us to react quickly in dangerous or life-threatening situations. However, instincts are not always rational or logical, and can sometimes lead us astray. More on instincts here.
- Logic: Logic is the process of reasoning based on facts, evidence, and rules of inference. It is typically slow and deliberate, allowing us to carefully consider all the options and make a rational decision based on the available information. However, logic can also be limited by our own biases and preconceptions, and may not always take into account our emotional or intuitive responses.
- Intuition: This is a form of unconscious reasoning that allows us to access information and insights that may not be immediately apparent through logical or rational means. It is typically fast and holistic, allowing us to see patterns and connections that may not be immediately obvious. However, it can also be influenced by our own biases and emotions, and may not always be reliable or accurate.
Importance of Intuition in Decision-making
The ability to intuit can be a valuable tool in decision-making, particularly in situations where time is limited, or where the available information is complex or incomplete.
By tapping into our sixth sense, we can access a deeper level of knowledge and insights that can help us to make more informed and effective decisions.
Here are some ways it can be very important in making decisions:
- Faster decision-making: Intuitive discernment is often faster than conscious reasoning, which can be helpful in situations where quick decisions are necessary.
- Complement to logical reasoning: It can also complement logical reasoning by providing additional insights that are not necessarily accessible through rational analysis.
- Enhanced creativity: Our sixth sense can also be a source of creativity, allowing us to access new and unconventional ideas that may not have arisen through conventional thinking.
- Access to subconscious knowledge: It can also give us access to knowledge and insights that are stored in our subconscious mind.
The link between Intuition and Creativity
Intuitiveness and creativity are closely linked in that both involve accessing information and insights that are not immediately apparent through logical or rational means.
Our discerning insight can help us tap into our unconscious mind, where many creative ideas and insights may reside.
By bypassing our conscious filters and preconceptions, the ability to intuit can allow us to see connections and possibilities that we may have otherwise missed.
Furthermore, intuitive perception can help us to generate new ideas and insights that are outside the realm of our logical thinking.
Related: The Dark Side Of Gut Feeling
For example, an artist may have an intuitive sense of how to arrange colors or shapes in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, even if they can’t explain why.
Similarly, a writer may have an intuitive sense of how to structure a story or develop a character that resonates with readers.
However, it’s important to note that intuition alone is not enough to create great works of art or innovative ideas.
Intuitiveness can help spark creative ideas and insights, but it’s ultimately up to the individual to develop and refine those ideas through deliberate practice and hard work.
Role of Intuition in Creativity
Intuitive ability can play a crucial role in creativity by providing access to unconventional ideas and insights.
When we tap into our intuition, we access our subconscious mind, which can offer a different perspective on a problem or situation.
In the creative process, our ability to intuit can help individuals generate new and innovative ideas, see connections between seemingly unrelated concepts, and breakthrough creative blocks.
Also, it can guide us in making aesthetic choices, such as selecting colors, shapes, or textures that feel right or express a certain mood or emotion.
Additionally, intuitiveness can help artists and creatives stay true to their personal style and vision.
By trusting their intuitive ability, they can create work that is authentic and reflective of their unique perspective.
Again, intuitiveness should be balanced with rational thinking and critical analysis to ensure that creative ideas are practical and feasible.
It can inspire and guide the creative process, but it should be tempered with a healthy dose of logic and problem-solving to bring creative ideas to fruition.
Generally, intuitive skill can play a valuable role in the creative process by providing access to unconventional ideas, guiding aesthetic choices, and helping creatives stay true to their personal style and vision.
Types of Intuition
There are several different types of intuition, including:
- Emotional intuition: This involves being able to perceive and understand the emotions of others, as well as your own emotional responses to different situations.
- Cognitive intuition: This involves using your past experiences and knowledge to make quick decisions and judgments in the present moment.
- Spiritual intuition: This involves a sense of connection to a higher power or universal consciousness, allowing you to tap into deeper truths and insights.
- Physical intuition: This involves being able to read and interpret physical sensations in your body, such as tension or discomfort, as a way of understanding your environment and making decisions.
- Creative intuition: This involves being able to generate new ideas and insights that are not immediately apparent through logical or rational means.
- Interpersonal intuition: This involves being able to perceive and understand the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of others, and to navigate social situations effectively.
- Claircognizance: This is knowing through inspiration or whatever means that is not learning-based. Simply put, you know something that you don’t know how or why you know it and it usually vanishes within a few seconds.
- Clairaudience: This is the ability to hear extrasensory sounds in our heads, sometimes as a warning when we are about to be in danger. We might hear the word, ‘don’t’ when we are about to engage in an activity and we pause for a second to be sure we heard something.
- Clairsentience: This is the most rational of all the types of intuition. Clairsentients are able to feel other people’s feelings and energy. This is the type of discernment that has the ability to understand emotional energy that cannot be perceived by the five sense organs.
- Clairvoyance: This is the psychic ability to see images or actions in the future that are beyond the natural sensory manifestation. Seeing symbols, and numbers that are otherwise not visible to others is clairvoyance and is connected to the third eye.
Each type of intuitive discernment is unique and can be developed and strengthened through practice and awareness.
By understanding and tapping into these different types, you can make better decisions, deepen your understanding of yourself and others, and enhance your creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Also Read: Gut Feelings He’s Cheating without Proof
How does Intuition Work?
Intuitive ability is a complex and multifaceted process that involves the subconscious integration of multiple sources of information.
While it can be difficult to explain or understand, it can also be a valuable source of insight and guidance in our personal and professional lives.
While its exact mechanisms are not fully understood, here are some of the ways in which intuition is thought to work:
- Pattern recognition: Our brains are wired to recognize patterns and similarities in our experiences, and to make connections between seemingly unrelated information. It may involve the subconscious recognition of patterns and connections that we are not consciously aware of.
- Emotional processing: Our emotions play a powerful role in our decision-making processes, and intuitive ability may involve the subconscious processing of emotional cues and signals from our own bodies and from others.
- Memory retrieval: Our brains are capable of retrieving and integrating information from our past experiences, even if we are not consciously aware of those memories. It may involve the retrieval and integration of relevant past experiences and knowledge.
- Neural processing: It may involve the subconscious processing and integration of neural signals from different parts of the brain, including those involved in perception, memory, and emotion.
- Intuitive leaps: It may involve sudden leaps of insight or understanding, in which our brains make connections and arrive at conclusions that we cannot fully explain.
Science behind gut feeling
The science behind gut feeling is a topic of ongoing research and debate, as it is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that can be difficult to measure and study.
However, there are several areas of research that shed light on the underlying processes of intuition.
One area of research is cognitive neuroscience, which studies the neural processes that underlie perception, attention, memory, and decision-making.
Studies have shown that intuitive activity may involve the subconscious processing and integration of neural signals from different parts of the brain, including those involved in perception, memory, and emotion.
Another area of research is behavioural psychology, which studies the ways in which people make decisions and judgments in real-world situations.
There is also research on the role of emotions in intuitive ability, as emotions can provide important signals and cues that help guide our decision-making processes.
Also, people who are more emotionally aware tend to have a better intuitive ability, particularly when it comes to reading other people’s emotions and nonverbal cues.
There is research on the role of experience and expertise in intuitiveness which has shown that people who have more experience and expertise in a particular domain tend to have better discerning ability in that domain, as their brains are better able to recognize patterns and make connections between seemingly unrelated information.
Generally, the science behind this natural skill is a complex and multifaceted field, with many different areas of research and investigation.
While much remains to be understood about the underlying processes of intuition, research has shown that it can be a valuable source of insight and guidance in our personal and professional lives.
What research has to say
The ability of humans to make reasonable decisions without much thinking effort is astonishing even to philosophers including scientists as recorded in medieval times.
But the ability to intuit is tricky to scientists because it’s ungraspable and so they are tempted to argue that it does not exist because of lack of gaugable evidence.
In an article first published online by Sage Journal, the research team of psychological scientists included Galang Lufityanto, Chris Donkin, and Joel Pearson.
They argue that people use the word to paint a picture of mere feelings they experience during decision making which don’t provide substantial evidence.
They agreed however that it was the first time strong evidence was established in favour of being intuitive.
They were able to measure intuition and according to Pearson, it could be a breakthrough for many fields including workplace, questionnaires, and engineering as it can be measured scientifically.
Relationship between Intuition and the Brain
The ability to intuit is thought to be closely related to the workings of the brain, particularly the subconscious processes that underlie perception, memory, and decision-making.
While the exact neural mechanisms that powers the ability to intuit are not fully understood, here are some of the ways in which it is thought to be related to the brain:
- Neural processing: The ability to intuit may involve the subconscious processing and integration of neural signals from different parts of the brain, including those involved in perception, memory, and emotion.
- Neural plasticity: The brain is capable of changing and adapting in response to new experiences, and this neural plasticity may play a role in the development and refinement of discernment. Studies have shown that people who engage in activities that require the integration of multiple sources of information, such as musicians or athletes, tend to have better discernment than those who do not.
- Neural networks: Discerning ability may involve the subconscious processing and integration of information across multiple neural networks, rather than being confined to a single area of the brain.
Benefits of Following your Intuition
Following your ability to intuit can have several benefits in your personal and professional life.
Here are some of the key benefits:
- Faster decision-making: It can help you make decisions quickly and confidently, without getting bogged down in analysis paralysis. This can be particularly valuable in high-pressure situations where time is of the essence.
- Improved creativity: It can help you tap into your subconscious mind, which is often a rich source of creative ideas and insights. By following your gut feeling, you may be able to come up with innovative solutions to problems that you might not have thought of otherwise.
- Better self-awareness: It can help you tune in to your own emotions, desires, and needs, which can improve your overall self-awareness and self-understanding. This can help you make better decisions that are aligned with your values and goals.
- Improved interpersonal relationships: It can also help you read other people’s emotions and nonverbal cues, which can be valuable in building strong interpersonal relationships.
- Greater sense of purpose: It can also help you tap into your deeper sense of purpose and meaning in life. By following your sixth sense, you may be able to connect with your true passions and interests and find greater fulfillment and satisfaction in your personal and professional pursuits.
Signs of intuition
All humans are supposed to be intuitive as it is an inbuilt trait of humans. Here are some of the signs you are actually intuitive:
1. Picking up people’s emotions
When you are highly intuitive, you unconsciously tune into other people’s emotions and know how they are feeling.
We all have this skill but we seldom notice or even acknowledge it. Some of us tap into people’s feelings by paying attention to facial expressions and body language, while others just know by a deep-rooted ability to intuit.
Picking up people’s emotions makes you protect yourself from negative energies coming from other people.
You either withdraw or know how best to approach them in any situation. Most of all you are armed for whatever eventualities.
2. Remembering dreams
A lot of people have difficulties remembering or replaying their dreams in their heads. They are sure they had a very interesting dream but frustrated trying to remember.
When you remember your dreams vividly, you are tapping into your sixth sense and the universe is reciprocating.
3. When your dreams come true
When you have dreams and they come true, you are tapping well into your intuitiveness.
You must have heard people say they are scared of their dreams because they come true.
Dreams are ways through which the universe communicates with us. It warns us or brings out attention to issues we should attend to urgently.
4. You’re very perceptive
Perceptiveness is a good sign of being intuitive. It is when you are insightful and can understand situations without prior information.
For instance, you might come across someone whom everyone speaks well of but you perceive otherwise.
This means you can see through the charm, charisma, and goodness of others. You can decode the intent behind actions even before they happen.
5. You have very important thoughts randomly drop into your mind
Another sign of being intuitive is having solutions to problems drop into your mind as thoughts.
One thing that is significant is how this thought is the perfect solution to the problem.
We mostly make nothing out of this quirk, but it’s your intuition passing an important message across to you.
6. Everything around you are a medium for messages by nature
Nature uses every medium available to pass a message to you if you are attentive enough.
Trees, objects, clouds, wind, lights, and anything at all available are used to pass messages across to people by nature.
You might see a shape in the cloud that brings your attention to something you need to attend to or think about.
7. You have a special affinity for nature
People who tap into their intuition have this sign of always loving and wanting to be in nature.
You want to hear the birds chirp, you want to watch the animals, you crave the beach, and love to eat fresh foods from the farm.
All the time I drag the tv remote with my wife because I always want to be on the NatGeoWild channel as I love to watch animals in their natural habitat.
8. Nature gets your attention through synchronicity
Synchronicity is the occurrence of unexplainable meaningful coincidences that are the same or closely related.
It might come as repeated thoughts, having thought of an animal and seeing it almost immediately either on the Tv or in real life.
It can come as numbers on your watch. You might want to look up the time and you see, 11:11, 22:22, 10:10 etc. This might happen so frequently that you want to give it a thought.
Here are a few of the ways in which it might manifest:
- A racing heartbeat that seems to come without a reason
- Unexplained knowledge
- Having profound clarity in a situation
- Your instincts being clear and straightforward
- A gentle voice in your head telling you things regarding your situation
- A thought that keeps coming back
- Goosebumps washing over your body
- Sudden shivers
- A tightening of knotting in the chest
Examples of Successful Intuition-driven Decisions
There have been several successful intuition-driven decisions made by individuals and organizations. Here are some examples:
- Steve Jobs’ decision to develop the iPod: In the early 2000s, Steve Jobs had a strong gut feeling that consumers would be interested in a portable music device. He pushed his team to develop the iPod, and it went on to become a massive success, revolutionizing the music industry.
- Richard Branson’s decision to start Virgin Atlantic: In the 1980s, Richard Branson had a hunch that there was a gap in the market for a new, more customer-focused airline. Despite facing opposition from industry insiders, Branson launched Virgin Atlantic, which has since become a successful global airline.
- Albert Einstein’s decision to pursue physics: As a young man, Einstein had a strong discerning ability that he was meant to pursue a career in physics, despite facing pressure to follow a more conventional career path. He followed his gut feeling and went on to become one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.
- Amazon’s decision to invest in online retail: In the early days of the internet, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had a sixth sense that online retail would be the way of the future. He invested heavily in the technology and infrastructure to support online sales, and Amazon has since become the world’s largest online retailer.
- Abraham Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation: During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln had a hunch that it was time to issue an executive order freeing the slaves in the Confederate states. Despite facing opposition from his advisors and political allies, Lincoln followed his discernment and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which helped to end slavery in the United States.
How to develop intuition
Developing your gut feeling is a process that requires practice and attention.
Here are some ways to develop it:
- Cultivate mindfulness: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, or simply taking time to be present and focused can help us develop greater awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and intuition.
- Trust your instincts: Trusting your instincts is an important part of developing your ability to intuit. Start by paying attention to your gut feelings and hunches, and then act on them when appropriate.
- Listen to your body: Your body can often provide clues to your insight ability. Pay attention to any physical sensations or reactions you may experience when making decisions or taking action.
- Keep a journal: Keeping a journal can help you track your intuitive experiences and insights, as well as identify patterns or themes that may emerge over time.
- Seek feedback: Seek feedback from others on your intuitive insights and decisions, and use that feedback to refine and improve your insightfulness.
- Practice visualization: Visualization exercises, such as imagining yourself in a particular situation or scenario, can help you tap into your intuition and access insights that may not be immediately apparent.
- Engage in creative activities: Engaging in creative activities such as writing, painting, or music can help you access your intuitiveness and develop your discerning capacity by exploring your inner world.
- Seek out new experiences: Seeking out new experiences and learning opportunities can help you expand your perspective and develop new insights and the sixth sense.
- Nature: Spending time in nature can help you connect with your sixth sense and access insights and guidance from the natural world.
By taking steps to cultivate your discernment, you can tap into your inner wisdom and make better decisions in all areas of your life.
Exercises to Sharpen Intuition
Here are some exercises that can help sharpen your intuitive ability:
- Intuitive journaling: Spend a few minutes each day writing down your intuitive hunches, feelings, and insights. Over time, you may notice patterns and themes emerging that can inform your hunch.
- Mindful observation: Practice being fully present and observing your surroundings with all your senses. This can help you develop greater awareness of subtle cues and signals that can improve your intuitive ability.
- Intuitive decision-making: Practice making decisions based solely on your ability to be intuitive, without overthinking or second-guessing. This can help you build confidence in your intuitive abilities and trust your inner wisdom.
- Symbol interpretation: Choose a symbol or image that resonates with you and spend some time reflecting on its meaning. This can help you develop greater insight and intuition around the symbol and its significance.
- Body awareness: Pay attention to any physical sensations or reactions you experience when making decisions or taking action. This can help you tune into your body’s wisdom and access your gut feeling more effectively.
- Intuitive games: Play games that involve using your intuitive prowess, such as guessing someone’s thoughts or intentions, or predicting the outcome of a situation. This can help you develop your ability to intuit in a fun and playful way.
Intuition is a fascinating and complex concept that has been the subject of many studies and debates.
Many people rely on their ability to intuit to make important decisions, solve problems, or navigate complex situations.
However, the nature and reliability of this natural gift are still not fully understood, and it remains a controversial topic in many fields of study.
One of the main challenges in studying the subject is that it is a subjective experience that is difficult to measure or quantify.
Unlike other cognitive processes, such as memory or attention, it does not have a clear neural basis or a consistent pattern of activation in the brain.
Some researchers have proposed that intuiting may involve the unconscious processing of sensory information, while others suggest that it is a form of pattern recognition that relies on prior knowledge and experience.
Frequently asked questions
How do you explain intuition?
It is the ability to understand or know something without conscious reasoning or analysis. It is often described as a gut feeling or a hunch that is based on subconscious information processing.
What is an example of intuition?
An example could be when you meet someone for the first time and have a feeling that you can trust them, even though you don’t know much about them. This feeling may be based on subtle cues, such as body language or tone of voice, that your subconscious mind has picked up on and processed faster than your conscious mind.
What causes intuition?
The exact mechanism behind it is not fully understood, but it is believed to be the result of various subconscious processes such as pattern recognition, past experiences, and implicit knowledge that are processed outside of our conscious awareness.
How do I know my intuition?
It may manifest as a feeling of discomfort or tension in your body or a sense of excitement and positive energy. Pay attention to any thoughts or images that come to mind, as these may also provide insights into your foreknowledge.
How does intuition work?
The exact mechanism of gut feeling is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve rapid and automatic processing of sensory information, prior knowledge and experience, and emotional and motivational factors.
Is intuition reliable?
It can be a valuable and reliable source of information in many situations, but it is not infallible. It can be influenced by biases, emotions, and cultural norms, and may not always lead to accurate or optimal decisions.
Can intuition be developed?
Yes, it can be developed through practice and experience. By paying attention to one’s own thoughts and feelings, and by learning to trust and act on intuitive insights, people can strengthen their intuitive abilities.
Can intuition be trained or taught?
There is some evidence that it can be trained or taught, but the effectiveness of such training programs is still under debate. Some methods that have been proposed include mindfulness meditation, visualization exercises, and intuitive decision-making training.
How does intuition differ from rational thinking?
It is often contrasted with rational thinking, which involves deliberate and conscious analysis of information. While rational thinking is important for logical and systematic problem-solving, it can provide valuable insights that are not readily available through rational analysis.
Can intuition be used in the workplace?
Yes, it can be a useful tool in the workplace, particularly in situations that involve ambiguity, complexity, or uncertainty. However, it should be balanced with critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning, and should not be relied on exclusively.
A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.
Every content published on The Conducts Of Life is well-reviewed by our board of experienced professionals in psychology. Contents are fact-checked for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness and we include links to sources at the bottom of every article for more insight.