Here's How To Actually Know When You Should Trust Your Gut Feelings

by Taylor Mosslar

Intuition is a funny thing. Most of us don't know what it is or what to make of it. It can be mistaken for fear, doubt or, in some cases, psychic experiences. Some people say, “I just knew. I had a gut feeling that it would turn out this way.”

They say, “I should have trusted my gut.” We don't think much of it because to be perfectly honest, most of us don't even know how to listen to our intuition.

The reason it's so difficult to listen to is because we are such complicated human beings. We have so much running through our minds at any given time that we unsure of the truth. While we're trying to make a decision, a lot of people ask, “What does your gut say?” I can guarantee most of you respond with, “I don't know.”

You see, when we're trying to make a decision — especially an important one — we have hundreds of thoughts running through our minds. We automatically think of how a situation could go wrong, and what the consequences would be if it did. This, in turn, puts a lot of pressure on us.

So, we begin to feel anxious.

This anxiety and uncertainty can easily be mistaken for a gut feeling about something. However, this is not always the case. This uncertainty was created by your own thoughts, worries and fears.

So, how do you tell the difference between emotions and intuition? Well, anyone can master his or her intuition. You can do it even if you don't have a single spiritual bone in your body.

I'm going to share an extremely easy way for you to zone into your intuition. It is something I myself use whenever I need to make an important decision.

Remember: This is not an exercise or task you should add to your to-do list. It is something you should do on a daily basis to strengthen your intuition.

1. Find a quiet space.

The first thing you need to do is find a place that is relatively quiet. It doesn't have to be completely noise-free, but it does have to be quiet enough for you to hear your own breath. If there is still background noise, don't stress: You will eventually zone out anyway.

Don't fuss too much over where this place is: It could be in a bathroom cubicle or in an office cupboard. The point is, it simply doesn't matter.

All you need is yourself.

2. Be alone.

Preferably, only you should take up this space. When we are in the company of others, a part of us is worried about what the other person is thinking about us. Therefore, we are not fully able to lose ourselves in the moment.

Remember that this is slightly different from meditation. Many people like to meditate in classes or groups with an instructor. This is great, but this small exercise takes less than five minutes.

3. Breathe.

Begin by concentrating on your breath. Start by trying to breathe as deeply as you can. Concentrate on sending your breath down toward your stomach, and then releasing.

Personally, I don't like counting my breaths. It becomes more of a task than a natural sense of relaxation.

4. Be patient.

Humans can't flick a switch and turn off their minds. As much as we wish we could, it is simply impossible.

However, as you lose yourself in your breath and begin to feel relaxed, your mind will naturally start processing your day in a way that feels effortless. It will start filtering through everything you did, almost like a movie on playback. It will only start replaying the key points of your day.

These thoughts might naturally make you stressed if you're faced with a big decision or have a lot of tasks you are yet to complete. Getting stressed is a natural bodily response.

If this occurs, immediately take your attention back to your breath. Your mind will continue to process other events.

5. Listen.

As much as I'd like to tell you that there's one moment when you know all the answers in your life, there isn't. However, there is an inner voice within all of us that tells us everything we need to know. The key is to listen to it.

There's a famous saying that goes, “When you quiet the mind, your soul will speak.” As farfetched as it sounds, it is entirely true.

When you quiet your mind through this process, the only voice you will begin to hear is your intuition and your soul, all linked into one.

As your mind continues to process everything – whether it's people, places, events, friends or relationships – your gut will fire a feeling that is associated with that specific person or scenario.

Now, this part is very simple: If you begin to feel unsettled in any way while processing a person or decision, you have your answer. Your intuition is telling you it's not a good idea. On the contrary, if you feel calmness or a sense of complete peace, you know it is right.

Personally, I have made a lot of bad decisions when it comes to the men I have let into my life. As much as I wished someone had told me to run, I look back and realize somebody did: my intuition. I just simply didn't know what to make of it.

It wasn't as if I felt sick to my stomach or any specific discomfort. I simply felt "unsettled." There is absolutely no other word to describe it.

As you become accustomed to this process, you will begin to learn the difference between your thoughts, fears and intuitions. You will be able to tell very easily.

Eventually, you will not have to go through the above process to figure it out. As skeptical as you may be about spirituality or intuition, you need to give this process a try. It could be the single most important tool you use to guide your life.