You Already Know the Answer to Your Crisis -- Here's How to Own It

woman listening to her inner voiceEver have a feeling that you should do A instead of B, C, D, and E? It's called your intuition. And it's inside you for a reason -- to help you. Slight problemo: Many of us are like, "Shh! I'm too busy to listen to you. Go away."


But intuition is a way of knowing something directly, without using logic or rational analysis, explains Michelle Ogata, creator of Intuition Journal, an app that helps you keep better track of what your inner voice is saying (shouting!) at you.

"Thankfully, this ability is something we all possess," she says. "The key is being able to tune into it."

No surprise, we get in the way of ourselves. "Especially when you need it most, such as when making important decisions, intuition can be difficult to hear due to mental chatter, fear, emotions, or outside opinions," Ogata says. "As a result, people just end up feeling frustrated and confused."

Here, five ways to prevent that from happening and to learn to harness your intuitive power. (Not that you need us to tell you that. Chances are your gut instinct is ALREADY telling you to keep reading.)

Learn to be still. We don't mean sitting in a chair. We mean shushing those constant thoughts running through your head. "When the mind is quiet, it's easier to pick up on subtle intuitive cues and guidance that can help you make better decisions," explains Ogata. Meditation is the gold standard, but just focusing on your breath will make a difference, too.

Ask questions. Who knew? You don't have to wait for your intuition to say things like, "Hey! Don't let your daughter spend the night with that new girl. She's trouble!" You can ask it questions. "The key is to clear your mind first and be in a relaxed state," says Ogata. Then, form a specific question in your mind about the issue you're concerned with and notice the FIRST -- not the fourth or fourteenth -- answer that pops up.

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Write it out. "One of the most direct ways to receive intuition guidance is through free-form writing," Ogata says. Think: free-flowing stream of consciousness without censoring your thoughts, overthinking, or worrying about spelling and grammar."  (In other words, disregarding everything that you learned in school.) This works because you're not letting your rational mind do its usual controlling thang.

Keep a journal. How is this different from that stream of conscious stuff we just told you about? It allows you to keep track of "intuitive clues," Ogata says. "Write down any hunches, gut feelings, a-ha moments, or synchronicities you experience." Anything you perceive as a "sign" needs to go in your book. "Intuition communicates in very subtle ways," Ogata notes. Seeing them all together on paper will help you realize that.

Get moving. Feeling mentally or emotionally stuck? Go for a walk, do some yoga, hit the rock climbing wall -- "anything that gets your body into motion will do the trick," Ogata says. "Doing so helps [you] clear your mind, and be better able to tune into the subtle messages from your intuition."


Image via © iStock/Necip Yanmaz

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