Research shows women’s intuition is more powerful than you may realize. Our gut knows more than we do on a conscious level. From meeting someone who makes your skin crawl, to just knowing that it’s not a good day to get in the car and drive across town, our intuition can guide us to safety if we’re willing to let it. As author, Malcolm Gladwell writes, “We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility.”
The importance of knowing when to follow your gut should not be underestimated. Sure, you don’t want to come across as a cultish freak, but appreciating and being willing to follow your own women’s intuition is an incredibly valuable thing. To help you get in touch with your unconscious, here are 15 reasons why you should always listen to your gut.
1. Thin Slices of Information
Psychologist Nalini Ambady researched first impressions. She found that we actually require very little information to form an accurate first impression of someone. She calls these bits of info ‘thin slices’ of information. Speed Dating uses this concept for finding your mate.
2. Intuition Feeds Creativity
People who use their intuition regularly tend to be more creative in other areas of their lives. You might not be the next Picasso but you never know your creative potential until you let your gut guide you a bit.
3. Subconscious Info
Research shows that our brains collect and store information that we’re not consciously aware of. This can play into our in-the-moment decisions and is very much like intuition.
4. Based on Past Experiences
Lessons we’ve learned throughout our lives mold our intuition so it’s better able to guide us in situations similar to those we’ve encountered before.
5. Ace Your Test
The gut reigns supreme when it comes to test taking, so encourage your kids to use their own intuition in the classroom. There’s nothing wrong with taking a few deep breaths when you’re stumped and then pausing a moment to listen to that intuition before filling in a bubble with a number two pencil.
6. Preparation Hones Intuition
When you have lots of valid, useful information floating around in your brain, your intuition will have that much more to work with. This is why the older you get, the more your intuition speaks to you and the more you should trust it.
7. Moral Center
Author of the Happiness Hypothesis, Jon Haidt believes our moral center is guided by our intuition. We kind of like the idea of our intuition leading the way in terms of our morals and ethical judgment.
8. Love at First Sight
It turns out that love at first sight, the gut feeling you get when you meet somebody, for example, might just be able to predict the success of your marriage. So when your eyes meet across a crowded room, don’t just shake it off, dismissing it as a lusty attraction because it could be more. So much more.
9. Money Matters
Marketers get smarter and more educated when it comes to how the brain works every day. Their goal is, of course, to sell us stuff and they often use psychology to get us to buy whatever new product is on the market these days. That said, if you’re educated about your brain and its tendencies, you could save yourself a ton of money you would have spent on junky products you never actually needed.
10. Maternal Instinct
We mami’s know. We just do. We know what we’re talking about even if we don’t always know why. Listening to your intuition is a huge part of motherhood, perhaps the driving force.
In Blink, author Malcolm Gladwell explores following your gut. We meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance.
12. Big Decisions
Weighing the pros and cons of a big decision will only get you so far—listening to your intuition will give you the answers. And when you do listen to your gut, it can radically affects all the decisions you can imagine—from relocating and changing jobs to even expanding your family.
Sports are all about a gut feeling on so many levels. The players have their own intuition and broadcasters and predictors have their own set of beliefs and superstitions. Take it for what it’s worth, sometimes their dead on.
14. Be a Hero
People who perform heroic acts (saving someone from a burning building, confronting a predator in the community, etc.) often say they didn’t think before acting, they just did what they felt compelled to do.