11 Women On How They Know Their Intuition Is Speaking To Them

Jovo Jovanovic/Stocksy

When you're trying to make a decision, people always say, "Follow your intuition." But how do you know if your intuition is talking to you or if that inclination you feel is coming from somewhere else, like your mind, your emotions, or other people? Figuring out what your intuition is saying takes lots of practice and life experience, and making decisions can feel a lot like a guessing game until you perfect that skill. But in the meantime, the wisdom of others who have learned how to follow their own gut instincts can be of great help.

"Intuition is that sneaking suspicion that you feel when something is not right but you can't put your finger on why," licensed clinical psychologist Sarah Schewitz tells Bustle. "Intuition can be a powerful guiding force and is more developed for some than others. Some people feel a strong urge or sense in there core when something is wrong while others, with a less developed intuition, might feel a small inkling that they aren't really sure how to interpret it. Some people are born with a strong intuition and know how to listen to it from an early age whereas others develop their intuition or tune into it as they grow a stronger sense of self-confidence. The more that you love and trust yourself, the more in touch you become with your intuition."

Here's how 11 different women know that their intuitions are talking to them.

1Isabelle, 21

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"I get a little feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me uncomfortable in a way that causes me to stop and assess whatever situation I'm in."

2Magdalena, 21

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"My intuition makes itself known very physically. I feel my intuition in my gut. My stomach has a distinct physical reaction that I recognize instantly. I also get that sensation in the back of my head. If I have two options, I’ll feel that sensation in my body when thinking of the decision I should make. I ignore it more than I should, but the cues have never been wrong."

3Ali, 36

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"My gut tightens, my stomach knows before my brain or heart does."

4Anna, 22

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"I get a gut feeling, a nudge that says, 'This is what you're supposed to do.'"

5Jessica, 50

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"Depends. If I'm speeding and police are waiting ahead, the theme song from Hawaii Five-0 plays in my mind. Never fails. For everyday things, a picture of the item or person drops into my mind two to three times — it's so random. I've learned to pay attention and end up happy I brought that jacket, grabbed the keys, called so-and-so, etc. "

6Jacqui, 26

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"Every time when I feel I'm about to embark on something that I'm not too unsure of, my gut literally starts feeling different."

7Jane, 23

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"I get a feeling in my gut or a moment of clarity. I might not know what’s happening, but I know that something is happening."

8Mel, 32

Hannah Burton for Bustle

"My mind talks to itself; I find myself divided on what to do. Sometimes a wobbly lower-abdomen reaction; a sense of NOPE."

9Lily, 22

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"It feels like my body knows before my mind has any time to catch up. The feeling mainly manifests right in the center of my chest as a sort of tingling (it varies, depending on the context of the intuition alert, becoming sensory white noise, a choking feeling, a hum, etc). I hardly feel it anywhere but in my chest."

10Jessica, 23

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

"Dreams. I know that they're essentially just Your Brain On Shuffle, but if there's a detail or situation in a dream that jumps out and feels immediately significant to me, I take it to be indicative of myself subconsciously picking up on something while awake and reminding myself of it while asleep."

11Ally, 22

Ashley Batz for Bustle

"I get this really profound gut feeling — if something's wrong, it feels like nausea. If something's right, it kind of feels like going home."

As you can see, a "gut feeling" feels a bit different to everyone. But the more aware you become of your own body, the more you can pick up on the sensations that tell you which way to go.