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How To Follow Your Gut

Have you ever thought about doing something when you got this weird feeling that maybe you shouldn’t? Like you KNOW it’s a bad idea, but you can’t explain how you know it? That strange feeling that in retrospect, you usually kick yourself for not following it and saying to yourself, “Why didn’t I trust that feeling?”

Call it a gut feeling, intuition, or a sixth sense. I’ve learned to trust this feeling. It’s usually when I resist that feeling that things turn out badly. Like the time I left my backpack in my car (even though “something” told me not to), and I came back and the car had been broken into and the backpack was gone. Or the time I thought I could quickly run in somewhere to drop something off and I thought (against my gut), “I’ll just be a minute, I won’t get a ticket.” Sure enough, I came out 5 minutes later and had a parking ticket. (d’oh!) Or another time when I left my bike in the carport unlocked, was late for work and against my intuition, I thought, “It will be fine.” Came home: bike gone.

From these incidents (and others), I’ve learned to trust that “feeling.”

My intuition doesn’t only warn me about bad things though, it also gives me a GOOD feeling when I am doing something right for myself. From the moment I made the choice to move and hit the road, I’ve had this amazing feeling that I’m finally doing what’s right for ME. My intuition hasn’t flared up once in a negative way. Life just seems to be flowing and everything is falling into place at the right time. It’s been the most amazingly empowering feeling, and I want MORE of it!

When you’re having these “feelings” trust them!

Follow your gut instincts

Long Beach, BC, Canada – © 2010 Mariska Richters

How to Follow Your Gut:

1. Ask yourself questions, and trust the first answer that comes to your mind.

The next time you are faced with a decision, even something as simple as which fancy coffee to order at Starbucks this morning, take the first one you land on. Our minds are constantly a whirlwind of thoughts. That little voice is always trying to tell us something, or convince us of things. Trust your instincts and go with whatever your first response is. It may seem scary at first, but once you start exercising this regularly, it will become easier.

2. Clear your mind.

Whether you meditate, do yoga, go to the gym, or just go for a run to clear your head: do it! Our heads are full of repetitive thoughts that need to be cleared out regularly. Find a practice that you are comfortable with and maintain it.

3. Trust your body.

When gut feelings hit, we tend to have physical reactions. Trust your stomach if it flips or you get those “bad” butterflies. Trust your body when it resists you wanting to do certain things. Your brain and your heart know when something isn’t right, and may warn you physically. Trust it.

4. Keep a journal.

Develop your intuitive confidence by writing down any gut feelings you have. Keep a record of them and then later look back and see how often you were right. As you learn more about your intuitive feelings, your confidence to follow them will grow, and you will have a better sense of when you are being led in the right (or wrong) direction.

5. Be creative.

The right-brain hemisphere is the center of nonverbal, intuitive, holistic modes of thinking. So to keep this side of the brain more active, we need to be and stay creative. I use photography as my creative outlet. We all have our own ways of expressing ourselves creatively, from drawing and painting, to dancing, to brainstorming and visualizing. Whatever it is, keep it up to exercise the right side of the brain.

Trust your gut. Follow your instincts. Live a Life You Love!


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