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15 Ways to Develop Better Intuition

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All of the blog posts are written by Arien Smith with the intention to heal, inform, and expand every reader. Three posts a week: Monday Mindfulness, Wednesday Yoga, Saturday Reflections. 

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15 Ways to Develop Better Intuition

Arien Smith

Intuition is a vital sense, especially when it comes to living a healthy and spiritual lifestyle. In almost every decision I make, I listen to my intuition and it’s never steered me wrong. I use it with every intuitive reading I complete, to deepen my close relationships, to make large life decisions, and countless other choices in my life. It provides an un-ending stream of accurate knowledge. What better sense is there? 

Developing a strong intuition can seem like a daunting task. Some people believe that you’re either born with it or not, but I’ve always thought that it’s a skill, just like anything else. Here are 15 ways you can easily perfect this sense: 

  1. Listen better: Your intuition thrives on listening, especially when it comes to hearing your own thoughts, feelings, and needs. If you practice listening with full attention to others, you’ll develop the skill to listen to yourself (and consequently this sixth sense) even better. In your next conversation, be fully attentive and empathetic in your communication. 
     
  2. Live presently: Living in the moment helps you to be more attentive. Too often, we rush through life with a focus solely on our thoughts and where we’re going next, instead of where we are now. Our minds think in past and future, but our intuitions only think in the present—“what am I sensing right now?” To live more in the moment, get yourself into the habit of checking in a couple times a day and telling yourself to focus on the here and now, even just for a few seconds. 
     
  3. Don’t run from your feelings: Escaping difficult feelings is one of the most habitual things we learn when it comes to feeling pain. We develop countless ways to avoid fully feeling, from addiction to just thinking about solutions to solve the pain before we let ourselves feel the emotion in the first place. When all emotions arise, try to stay with them and journey towards them, instead of running away. Deep with all feeling is the core of your intuition, so running away from these emotions pushes you farther from this amazing sense. 
     
  4. Be your authentic self: Just like with our emotions, we tend to run away from our true self if we don’t fit in perfectly with the standards of the world around us. Working on expressing who we are not only increases confidence (which provides great energy for this sense), but it also helps us follow a path of great self-examination. Once again, this introspection is where we can best find our intuition. 
     
  5. Take the leap of faith and trust your intuition, even when it seems risky: This one might be the hardest thing to do on this list, to blindly trust a sense you don’t feel you have much experience with. But, when you give it a chance to be right, you’ll be amazed at just how accurate it is! Trust in your experiences helps you build a confidence that fuels your intuition even more. 
     
  6. Listen to the answers you receive, even if they aren’t what you want to hear: Our intuitions may sometimes seem like our worst enemy, because they point out when we’re doing something bad for ourselves, when we’re acting out, or when we’re otherwise not following our best path. Start to listen to the answers your intuition gives you, even if you want the answer to be different. Although your mind may try to convince you otherwise, your intuition knows best and you’ll be the happiest if you follow it, even if it seems difficult in the moment. 
     
  7. Once a day close your eyes and sense the energy in the room around you: This exercise is a more conscious way to practice testing your intuition. There’s no right or wrong answer, so there’s zero risk, and you can practice it as often as you like. What does the room you’re in feel like right now? Without labeling temperature and other physical senses, try to get a picture of how pleasant (or unpleasant) the space you are in is. This sense is just like when you walk into a room after an argument and you can feel the angry energy left. Try this little exercise in different places and develop a feeling for each, notice subtle differences in each location.
     
  8. Work on healing yourself: The more you heal yourself, the less “personal gunk” is in the way of this pure sense, so it can work optimally. This means not running from your feelings, having routines to work on self-improvement, and being attentive to the sneaky nature of your ego. This path is individual and you can craft the details yourself, so long as you keep moving forwards and try to heal at every moment you can. 
     
  9. Stop treating your gut sense as second to logic: Trusting both intuition and mental discernment equally will serve you the best in the long run, and it will help you develop your intuition now. When you’re making a decision, factor in both what your mind says and what your sixth sense is telling you—what logically are the risks, and what answer do you feel suits you best? This equality will help you learn the difference between your mind and your intuitive voice. 
     
  10. Listen to yourself before listening to others: Just like the first point about listening better, it’s important to listen to yourself in the face of other’s words. Society, and even our close relationships, often want to dictate who we are and what we do. It’s okay to pay attention to criticism and other’s thoughts, but with each bit, it’s essential to also look inside yourself, especially if it hurts or brings up emotion. This type of self-evaluation will help you learn the difference between outside influence and your own intuition. 
     
  11. Practice self-care: When you’re burned out, anxious, or stressed, listening to such a subtle sense like intuition is tricky. Much like when you are unfocused and you’re trying to listen to a lecture, the sense of hearing is less accurate because you’re not paying as much attention. Self-care prevents burnout and lowers stress, thereby increasing the capacity of your intuition. 
     
  12. Develop a stress-reduction “quick fix:” We all have moments where we’re in a panic and can’t seem to slow down. Instead of continuing to rush, practice a small grounding exercise that can bring you back to a calmer state. Your intuition will only work when you’re calm and able to listen to the quiet voice it has. Trying anything from breathing deeply 10 times, saying an affirmation, or checking into every sense (i.e. “what are five things I can see? hear? sense? smell? taste? feel?) works to create the sense of stillness you need here. 
     
  13. Practice listening to your body: Since our bodies talk through intuition and sensation, rather than words, they are a great medium to practice testing your intuition on. This language is legitimate and just takes some practice to develop fluency. Start with a super easy exercise of sensing how you feel after eating different foods. What do candies feel like, versus vegetables? Most likely, you already have a sense of the distinction, proving that you’re already more intuitively in-tune than you initially thought! 
     
  14. Meditate, or at least do nothing, for at least 5 minutes a day: Make sure you have at least five minutes of being still each day. This might be a breathing meditation, or it might be laying down on your floor and relaxing for five minutes. Intuition needs space to be heard, and stillness is the best way to create this. 
     
  15. Ask your subconscious to work for you before you sleep: This is one of my favorite exercises. Before falling asleep, set an intention for your subconscious. Anything from “please process what you need” to “answer this specific question about love for me” will help teach your subconscious to listen to your deep inner sense of intuition. In the morning, before rising, take a quick second to evaluate how you feel and what you may have processed. Even if you don’t have a conscious answer to your intention, your subconscious has been working all night long to make room for those answers to rise later, in the form of intuition or thought.

What other techniques have helped you develop your intuition? Comment below so others can learn from your experiences, too!