We’ve all been there.
You do something and immediately have a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Or maybe someone you’ve just met sends shivers down your spine. That person seems nice, but there’s something about him or her that feels off, though you can’t put your finger on it.
There’s a reason that your body has a physiological response in certain situations; it’s warning you something’s amiss. The big question is whether you choose to ignore — or listen to — those intuitive feelings.
Intuition often gets lumped into the New Age-y world of crystals and mysticism because it can be difficult to explain, scientifically speaking. Yet one of history’s greatest scientists — Albert Einstein — embraced the power of intuition. He believed that “the intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.” Einstein also acknowledged “we’ve created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
Henri Poincaré, a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and philosopher of science also understood the important role intuition plays: “It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.”
If men of science can make room for intuition in their lives, then surely you can, too. The ability to become more intuitive is all around you; you just need to put yourself in a position to hear, see, and receive it.
Here are several tips to get you started on a path to being more receptive to intuition:
Be honest: do you wear your busyness as a badge of honor? Instead of taking on more, try being still. Better yet, get moving by taking a walk through nature. Quiet your mind and enjoy the silence, so you’ll be aware when an intuitive flash strikes.
Become more in tune with others
You need not be a mind reader to have the power to discern other people’s feelings and thoughts, but you do need to cultivate empathy. Using your powers of observation, watch for cues of body language and tone of voice; attentively listen to understand, not to reply. By becoming more in tune with others, you will naturally tap into your intuitive abilities.
Practice your mindfulness…even in the shower
When you focus on being present and in the moment, you allow the extraneous details to fall away, and you make room for intuitive insights. Einstein was a fan of showers for their ability to relax and free the mind, which paved the way for creative thinking.
Cultivate a growth mindset
Those who maintain a growth mindset — the ability and capacity to always be open to learning new skills and knowledge — have an easier time tapping into their intuition than those with a fixed mindset. When you are open to the possibilities, intuition can flow freely.
Nurture all that is creative
By definition, art is not objective. There is no right or wrong way to produce art; the possibilities are endless. Creativity fuels innovation and is linked to intuition, so make time to foster your inner creator.
Realize that your subconscious may be trying to tell you something
Ever have a crazy dream? Rather than brush it off, consider it as your subconscious sending you a message to pay attention. When you take a beat to reflect on what’s happening in your life, the chances are that the dream is linked to what’s been on your mind. (And the dilemma with which you’ve been wrestling may suddenly have a solution.)
Be aware of who and what comprises your environment
My friend likes to say that you’re a product of your environment. And he’s absolutely right. Consider the people with whom you associate: are they positive, supportive, and curious? Or do they lean to the negative and closed-minded? Ask yourself where you spend most of your time: in a stressful, windowless cube? In traffic every day? Or in picturesque and peaceful wide-open spaces?
If you want to tap into your intuition, you have to make space for it to exist. Just be sure that space is one designed to encourage — rather than hinder — growth and intuitive leaps.
Remember, the ability to become more intuitive is within your power, you just need to be receptive to the gift that it is.
This article first appeared on LinkedIn.
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Originally published at medium.com