10 moments in life when you should listen to your intuition, according to psychology

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Ever had that gut feeling that something was off, but you just couldn’t quite put your finger on it?

We have multiple words for it. Sometimes we call it a hunch, sometimes intuition; regardless, it’s a tool we should use more often.

Whether you’re making a big career move or choosing your lunch, listening to your intuition can nudge you on the right path.

Sadly, too often, we disregard this instinctive voice, ignoring our gut feelings in favor of logic or societal expectations.

Psychology says you should listen to it more.

In this piece, we’ll explore why this “sixth sense” is so important and the moments when it may just save the day.

1) When making major decisions

Life-changing decisions, like moving to a new city or embarking on a new career path, can often be daunting.

In these instances, it can be tempting to over-research and obsess over every little detail.

But here’s the thing: sometimes our gut instincts can give us insights that no amount of data or advice from others can provide.

Our intuition is a powerful tool that we should not ignore when faced with big decisions.

Intuition is the inner voice that cuts through the din of chatter and speaks the truth.

Listening to it can be the difference between making a choice that serves your highest good and one that doesn’t.

2) During interpersonal interactions

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt a sense of unease, even though they were smiling and saying all the right things?

Conversely, you might have met someone who didn’t make a great first impression, but something inside you urged you to give them a second chance.

Psychologists believe this instinctive understanding of human behavior is a result of our evolutionary need for survival.

When navigating social situations, our brains are wired to quickly assess whether someone is trustworthy or potentially threatening.

These feelings often stem from our intuition picking up on subtle cues that our conscious mind may miss.

3) In moments of danger

We’ve all heard stories of people who narrowly escaped a precarious situation because they listened to their gut feelings.

That sudden urge to change your usual route or the inexplicable anxiety that made you cancel a trip at the last minute—might be your intuition warning you of potential danger.

Our intuition is like an internal alarm system, honed over centuries of evolution. It’s designed to protect us from harm and ensure our survival.

While it’s not always right, it’s wise not to ignore it when it springs into action.

This is not to say you should live in constant fear or paranoia, but paying attention to these intuitive signals can help you handle potentially dangerous situations with greater awareness and caution.

After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

4) When you’re too comfortable

We often associate intuition with warning signals or gut feelings that something is off.

But sometimes, it’s that quiet whisper urging you to step out of your comfort zone.

You might be in a job that’s secure and pays well but leaves you feeling unfulfilled.

Or maybe you’re in a relationship that’s comfortable but lacks the passion you yearn for.

It’s easy to ignore these feelings and stick with what’s safe and familiar, but it could actually be your intuition nudging you towards growth and self-realization.

It can be risky and scary to venture into the unknown, but often, it’s these leaps of faith guided by our intuition that lead to the most rewarding experiences.

5) When you’re not being true to yourself

Let’s get real here.

We all have moments when we compromise our values, silence our voices, or hide our true selves to fit in or please others.

But deep down, it just doesn’t feel right.

There’s a nagging feeling, a discomfort that sits heavy in your chest.

That’s your intuition speaking up; it’s your inner compass alerting you when you’re veering off your authentic path.

It’s telling you that living inauthentically is not sustainable and will only lead to dissatisfaction and regret.

Ignoring this voice might bring temporary peace, but the cost is often your self-esteem, happiness, and inner peace.

6) When dealing with others’ emotions

Have you ever walked into a room and immediately sensed tension, even if no words were spoken?

Or have you been able to tell a loved one is upset, even when they insist they’re fine?

That’s your intuitive empathy at work.

Our intuition can be an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to understanding the emotions of others.

It allows us to pick up on subtle cues and unspoken feelings, fostering deeper connections and more effective communication.

While it’s important to respect boundaries and not project our feelings onto others, tuning into our intuition can help us approach situations with kindness and empathy.

It reminds us that everyone is fighting battles we may know nothing about, prompting us to be gentler in our interactions.

7) When something feels too good to be true

We’ve all dealt with situations that seem unreal: a relationship that feels too perfect, an opportunity that lands in your lap out of nowhere.

It’s exciting and tempting to jump in headfirst.

But then, there’s that little voice in the back of your head, a slight unease in your gut, telling you that this might be too good to be true.

It’s easy to brush off this feeling as fear or self-doubt, especially when you really want something.

However, it could be your intuition trying to protect you from potential disappointment or harm.

In these situations, it’s better to take a step back, listen to your gut, and do your due diligence. It could save you from a lot of heartache down the line.

8) When choosing your lunch

Yes, you read that right!

As trivial as it may sound, your intuition can even guide you in the seemingly mundane task of choosing a meal.

If you’ve ever stood in front of a restaurant menu or fridge, indecisive about what to eat, that little voice telling you to go for the salad instead of the burger, or to skip the extra slice of cake, is often your intuition speaking.

It’s your body’s way of communicating what it needs to function at its best.

While it might be tempting to always choose comfort food or indulge in sweet treats, listening to your gut can help you make healthier choices that leave you feeling good in the long run.

9) When you’re avoiding hard truths

Nobody likes to face harsh realities or acknowledge painful truths, especially when it involves self-reflection.

It’s often easier to live in denial, sweep things under the rug, or put on a brave face.

But deep down, you know.

Your intuition is acutely aware of what’s going on, even if you consciously choose to ignore it.

It’s that nagging feeling that keeps you awake at night or the sudden wave of sadness when you’re alone with your thoughts.

Ignoring these feelings won’t make them disappear. It only delays the inevitable confrontation and prolongs the healing process.

10) When it’s begging you to listen

At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is this: trust your intuition.

It’s a powerful ally that has been honed over centuries of human evolution.

It’s not a mystical force or a supernatural power; it’s part of your cognitive toolkit, designed to help you understand the complexities of life.

Your intuition is there to guide you, protect you, and steer you toward your authentic path.

It communicates through feelings, hunches, gut sensations, and sometimes even physical symptoms.

So whether you’re making a life-changing decision or just deciding what to have for lunch, learn to trust your intuition.

Listen to its whispers and honor its wisdom. It might not always be right, but it always has your best interests at heart.

Wrapping it up: trusting your intuition

As we reach the end of this article, it’s important to remember that your intuition is your innate guide.

It’s a tool that’s deeply embedded within you and has been honed over generations of human evolution.

“Intuition is not a single way of knowing – it’s our ability to hold space for uncertainty and our willingness to trust the many ways we’ve developed knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason,” says psychologist Brene Brown.

This means trusting your intuition doesn’t mean making perfect decisions or always being right.

It’s being in tune with yourself and your surroundings, understanding your feelings, and honoring the wisdom that resides within you.

Remember, no one knows you better than you know yourself.

When that little voice inside you speaks up, don’t dismiss it. It might just be your intuition trying to guide you toward the best path.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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