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What is Intuition and How to Develop It

Intuition can be seen as your inner guidance, an inner voice, or a mechanism of instinctive knowing which functions without the intervention of any logical cognitive processes. It represents an alternative means of obtaining information and knowledge that operates on the level of awareness. Each and every one of us has this mechanism integrated in their being, its force or intensity varying from one person to another. However, one thing is sure: anyone can improve their intuition.

If you wonder how developing your intuition could help you, then you should know that many great philosophers and psychologists, such as Immanuel Kant and Carl Jung, have acknowledged the importance of intuition and its major impact it has on one’s life. They themselves have experienced the power of intuition, calling it 'a priori' knowledge, and affirming that it is an essential tool for all human-beings.

Carl Jung, whom we’ve mentioned in the above paragraph, classified intuition among other four major functions of the human mind – sensation, thinking, and feeling – claiming that if we create harmony and balance between all of these functions, we can considerably increase our potential. Intuition encourages creative self-expression, especially in fields such as music, art, and literature. However, this does not mean that it is restricted only to the Arts. Many entrepreneurs and scientists have benefited from using their intuition and acting on their ‘hunches.’

To put it shortly, intuition is a connection to your subconscious mind, allowing it to communicate with your conscious mind. This function of the human mind transcends the realms of logical reasoning or of empirical knowledge.

The first step to take in improving your intuition is to quiet your mind. Then listen to all the thoughts and ideas running through your mind. Try to calm your thoughts and to immerse yourself in silence. When you do that, your intuition opens a channel to a greater knowledge, communicating with you through emotions, symbols, and feelings.

Next thing to do is to trust your gut feelings. At first this may be quite a challenge, especially if you’re someone who likes to think things in advance and plan accordingly, but your intuition is your inner guide. Usually, if something doesn't feel right, then it most likely isn't right. No matter how scary it seems initially, allow your instincts and hunches to guide you.

Your intuition relies on the information gathered by your conscious mind, so the more information you have stored in your brain, the quicker and the better the solution. This process works both ways, meaning that empirical knowledge, information gathered from experience, increase the accuracy of your intuition.

It is possible to use your subconscious even when you sleep. In order to do that, try this simple exercise: before going to bed at night, choose a few questions and issues that have troubled you throughout the day and reflect upon them. Brainstorm various possibilities. What this will do is to trigger your imagination and, therefore, activate your subconscious which will come up with creative solutions when you sleep.

Journaling helps you tap into your own thoughts, ideas, and feelings as you probe your mind with every written line. Keeping a journal can greatly help you release important insights or knowledge you weren’t aware of possessing.

There are multiple benefits to developing your intuition. Some of them are: it reduces stress by helping you to efficiently solve problems; unleashes your creativity and ignites your imagination; allows you to connect with your subconscious mind, thus providing valuable insights; it prevents the buildup of negative thoughts and feelings; aids you in making better decisions; improves mental, physical, and emotional health.

By focusing on improving your intuition, your quality of life will also improve. This process is similar to learning a new skill – the more time you invest in practicing, the better you get at it.

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