Imagine hearing a voice that doesn’t use any words; a voice that is always right and comes from within yourself. Listening to this voice is like putting your mind on autopilot, and allowing it to perform actions and processing information without conscious awareness. You don’t know where the voice comes from or why, but you definitely know that it is truthful. The good news is that this inner voice or sixth sense exists and it is called intuition. Top scientists and leaders such as Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs attribute their achievements to their “gut-feeling.” But, what makes certain people more connected to their gut-feeling? Who benefits from the perks of intuition the most? Get ready to discover the 5 traits that make an intuitive person stand out from the crowd.
“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.”
Jonas Salk, American medical researcher and virologist.
What is intuition?
It’s your first day at work and you meet a new colleague. You haven’t met this person before, yet you have got these positive vibes you can’t quite explain. Or perhaps, you’re visiting a place for the first time. You don’t know the exact path, but there’s a magnetic sense guiding you towards your destination. This is what many would describe as intuition — an unexpected feeling or sense about a situation or a person that is genuine. Although it might pass unnoticed, the intuitive feeling plays a key role in our everyday lives.
For years, the concept of intuition has been wrapped in mystery and interpreted in multiple ways. Is it an expansion of spirituality? A personal trait that only certain people possess? Just another neuron that is more hardworking in some brains? In many cultures, intuition is linked to spirituality, emotions, and the soul. From a scientific perspective, it has to do with our minds.
Although there’s still a lot to discover about this precious gift, what we know so far is that intuition is the invisible bridge between our conscious and unconscious mind. It involves a piece of information that you are not exactly conscious of, and it involves an emotional element. Therefore, a highly intuitive person will be capable of generating information without using a known logical or rational process and will act accordingly.
The secret behind the mystery of Intuition
Human beings are more complex than is commonly believed. Our minds are vast maps of connections and hidden routes, which enclose unresolved mysteries. In their effort to comprehend the human psyche and the source of the intuitive sense, science has studied how our brains work. Their discoveries prove that we are made of two opposite systems.
System one is our quick, instinct-based, and mostly subconscious way of operating. This system is operated by our right brain hemisphere in conjunction with other parts of our brains, which have remained since prehistoric times, also known as the reptilian or limbic parts of the brain. System two, on the other hand, is slower, analytical, and operates consciously; it is controlled by our left-brain.
According to researchers, intuition is part of system one. This system knows the correct answer to everyday-life situations way before system two does. That’s why it comes so unpredictably and with little sense for us. Highly intuitive people make decisions that had not been thought out carefully; they make choices that have arisen quickly out of instinct.
Scientific evidence on the intuitive mind
Although scientists have struggled to find quantifiable evidence that the intuitive sense exists, new findings have discovered the link between success and intuition. In an experiment carried out by researchers at the University of New South Wales, 21 participants black-and-white images of dots moving erratically on one half of a computer screen. They had to indicate whether the dots were moving to the left or the right. As they made their choice, participants saw a bright flashing square of color on the other side of the screen.
Unbeknownst to the participants, the researches injected an image into the square, which was designed to trigger an emotional response. For instance, the images could elicit a positive emotion by showcasing a puppy or a flower, or a negative emotion with a gun or a snake. Such images flashed at a high speed, making them invisible.
The results demonstrated that participants exposed to positive subliminal images performed better on the task. In other words, they determined the direction of the moving dots more accurately. Additionally, they responded more quickly and felt confident in their choice.
“Even though the people never consciously see these images, it turns out that they start reporting the direction more accurately, and they are more confident about their decisions,” said Psychological scientist, Joel Pearson, one of the researches. “And they never know why.”
Processing unconscious information and using it at our will is a skilled art that some people can master. We call them highly intuitive people, those individuals who are not afraid of trusting their instincts and listening to the powerful voice that speaks without words. So, what makes highly intuitive people unique?
1) Tend to be more empathetic
Can you perceive others’ feelings? Do you understand what’s going on behind their expressions? A very unique quality that distinguishes intuitive people from the crowd is empathic accuracy. This super skill grants them a superior ability to understand people’s thoughts and feelings. It is not mind reading, but rather the capacity to comprehend body language and tone of voice at a higher level.
Being empathetic has more perks than what you might think. An intuitive person with high empathetic accuracy will seem appealing to strangers making them open up and communicate freely. In professional life, this might be particularly useful when presenting a product or discussing a business proposal. What’s more, this skill can help us bond with people who are right and compatible with us.
2) Intuitive people listen to their gut feeling
We have some good news for you. Did you know that there’s a sixth sense deeply asleep inside your mind? This sense awakes sporadically without our control and more often than not, we tend to ignore it. This is what’s called gut feeling or inner voice, a trait that highly intuitive people possess. Those who chose to listen to their gut feeling can make important decisions in their everyday lives such as sealing a business deal, hiring the right employee, choosing the right partner, and much more.
And so, here comes the inevitable question: if human beings possess this precious gift, why aren’t more people listening to their inner voice? It’s because trusting ideas or sensations without concrete evidence or obvious signs is scary and “too risky”. Instead, we prefer listening to the opinion of others, which usually go against our instincts. Intuitive people are confident; they block all negativity and trust their instincts like a light to guide them in the middle of uncertainty.
3) Take some “me-time”
When was the last time you made a special plan and spent some time together with ‘yourself’? Can’t remember at all? When wishing to follow the right path as guided by the all-knowing sixth sense, intuitive people are aware of their thoughts and words. As a result, they become very self-aware, they zone out and take some “me time.”
During their me-time, a highly intuitive person can reflect on their emotions and give their minds time to rest. By distancing from things that can influence them such as social media, electronic devices, and more, they can manage stress easily and see life with a positive attitude. What’s more, their intuitive feeling will tell them when is the best time for some good quality me-time.
4) They live in the moment
No one. Holding onto anger, resentment, and other harmful emotions can impact our mental and physical health. Yet, it’s impossible to keep all of our emotions enclosed in a box. Many times, the key to not let these feelings take over our minds is mindfulness.
Highly intuitive people understand how negative feelings affect and control them. They willingly choose to distance themselves from the source of discomfort and prefer to remain in the present moment. The decision of forgiving others and looking up to the future is the result of following your gut-feeling. Isn’t it worth it?
5) Are observant and deep thinkers
Ever heard the phrase “more than what meets the eyes”? This cannot be more meaningful for intuitive people. An intuitive feeling makes people pause and notice small things that others might simply ignore. Their minds remain alert and focused.
A hyper sense of observation means that an intuitive person can easily access the information they need when it comes to making a decision. With this ability, they are confident that they have processed all the data or intelligence available.
How can we truly benefit from our gut feeling?
Benefiting from intuition can transform our lives by helping us make better decisions, develop more empathy, and choose the right path in our lives. Easier said than done. So how can we incorporate this life-changing sense into our daily lives and exercise “the muscle of intuition”? Here are some suggestions that can help your gut feeling thrive on some basic, daily changes.
Take a pause
Whilst in the middle of a difficult situation, it’s challenging to identify it and act accordingly — we ignore the feeling for convenience. However, most situations don’t require immediate decision making. If you are feeling uncomfortable for any reason, you don’t have to figure it out right after. Rather, take time to analyze your thought process and figure out why the situation made you uncomfortable in the first place. Eventually, you will find the right option and will be able to make your decision.
Pay attention to your mental reservations and your body; listen more. When you are about to take a hard decision, you might experience feelings of anxiety and discomfort. Sometimes, these feelings manifest as agitation, insomnia, or nausea. If you pay attention to those signs, you will find that you experience the same physical reactions while ignoring your inner voice.
One of the best methods to awaken your intuition and make sure your inner voice is heard clearly in all corners of your mind is meditation. Meditation connects you with your hidden self, your emotions, and your desires. This powerful and deeply personal connection gives you access to your intuitive sense.
The strong bond between meditation and intuition has been proven by neurological research. When we meditate, our brains are stimulated. More specifically, our left and right hemispheres become more synchronized as the brain produces synchronized waves in both areas. Enhanced activity in both brain hemispheres results in accessing the intuitive mind. The more practice you get, the more you increase the connections between both hemispheres. This effect can be turned on and duplicated. Just like exercise, you’ll become better, stronger, and more intuitive with the time.
Whenever we let go of our insecurities and freely embrace our intuition, we develop many life-changing traits. A higher sense of empathy, self-awareness, observation, focus, and the ability to live in the present are some of the greatest characteristics, which make an intuitive person succeed in life. Just like any other skill, the intuitive feeling can be cultivated and nourished with dedicated practice. Through daily sessions of meditation, the synchronization of your brain will progressively grow and, consequently, you will fully awake your intuitive sense.