What to Do When Life Hijacks Your Intuition

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What to Do When Life Hijacks Your Intuition

Many people face challenges in mid-life. It seems those things they used to guide and comfort them in their youth no longer work and they don’t know how to fix that. One of those things is intuition.

As a young person, you may have relied on intuition heavily to make major decisions. You may have moved to the middle of nowhere for a job or quit a job without any plans, just knowing it was the right thing to do. Perhaps, you invested or decided to take a trip all on intuition. All of those turned out to be great decisions.

Now, you are in your mid-life and your intuition seems to be gone. Disappeared. Vamos. What happened to it and how do you get it back?

Well, it isn’t gone. Dusty maybe, but not gone. Sometimes, we just get so busy we fail to listen to it. What happens is our situation changes and that sometimes changes our response to intuition.

The Value of Intuition

A Leeds University Business School did a review study a few years ago that looked at measuring intuition. However, they couldn’t measure it because it could only be documented through personal stories rather than clinical research.

An Australian cognitive neuroscience professor, Joel Pearson, published a study on experiments with college students. The images used were subliminal but their unconscious could pick up on the emotion of them. They were to look at the pictures on a computer while performing a task. They did much better at the task when viewing highly emotional images. It was as if the pictures improved their decision-making abilities.

“We have shown strong evidence that unconscious feelings and emotions can combine with conscious feelings, and we can use it to make better decisions,” said Dr. Pearson.

Another separate experiment at Free University in Berline dealing with depression and anxiety revealed that healthy people could distinguish words and pictures without hesitation but those depressed or anxious had trouble making decisions.

Carina Remmers, lead author, and clinical psychologist in the study said this mid-life dilemma of perceivably not having intuition occurs because the context of your situation has changed.

She explains that youthful motivations are direct. You like this. You don’t like that. There is no gray area. However, as you age you see things differently. You allow for different options and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of a decision. You have developed your critical thinking skills. Plus, now there are other people and responsibilities involved. A spouse or children means they will be affected by your decision. This can lead to internal conflicts of what you want and can inhibit your intuition from working as it should.

“You may have a specific phase in life where you cannot balance out the conflicts so well anymore, and things get stuck,” she said.

It’s not that you no longer have your intuition. You are just afraid of using it in a world where you have responsibilities and it would mean changes – along with risk – for those you love. As a youth, you were willing to assume the risk for yourself, but as a person in mid-life, you don’t want your family to take such risk.

Using your intuition is risky because there is no logical beginning or end to it. It is a feeling without explanation.

How Do You Get Your Intuition Back?

There are two basic things you need to do to regain your intuition.

  1. Learn to trust it again. It didn’t fail you before and it remains the same gut feeling you have always had. Use it in small ways to rebuild your confidence in it.
  2. Put it in the context of your life now. Don’t expect it to function as it did when you were younger. Use it to make decisions according to your life as it is.

You will find that your intuition never really left you. It has just been sleeping and it’s time for you to wake it up to help guide your future.

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