You look at the clock and it’s 11:11. You think of a friend and they call. You’re considering changing jobs and just like that, the perfect one is posted. These are all signs your intuition is on point — and you should consider listening to it.
Intuition is often described as a gut feeling — when you feel like you just know something — which can seem a bit nebulous. So if you want a better way to understand it, start by considering it as a culmination of all the experiences, relationships, and interactions you’ve had thus far in life, says certified business and life coach Dr. Sonja Stribling. “Intuition is based on your own personal awareness of a particular situation,” she tells Bustle. It’s why you might feel pulled in a certain direction.
There is, however, often something more magical going on. According to certified life coach
Terri Kozlowski, intuition is also an unconscious awareness or wisdom that can’t always be explained, which is why you might “know” something even if you haven’t lived it before. “The gut instinct is the physical response your body has to something, which can be positive or negative,” she tells Bustle. “It's trying to tell you to notice something that isn't on the physical level.”
However you define it, you can get better at
trusting your gut. Stribling suggests taking time to check in with yourself on a regular basis, just to gauge how you feel. You can also practice listening to your inner voice as you make decisions. “The more you act on your insights, the more you build your intuition and courage muscle,” says certified breathwork coach and hypnotherapist Francesca Sipma. The more often you listen to the signs listed below, the clearer your intuition will be. 1 You’re Somehow Always Right Kanawa_Studio/E+/Getty Images
Do you catch yourself thinking “I told ya so!” or “Omg, how did I know?” on a regular basis? This is a clear sign that you’re often able to provide some deep clarity for others, Stribling says, or that you’re making the right choices for yourself.
Even if you wouldn’t dream of saying it out loud, you notice that your gut feelings — about people, ideas, paths, etc. — are almost always right. To get even better at listening to your intuition, continue
trusting yourself whenever your gut “pulls” you in a certain direction. 2 You Have Vivid Dreams
If you have a big decision to make or are processing a worry or concern, don’t be surprised if you start having
weirdly vivid dreams. This is your subconscious testing out different solutions to help you land on the best possible outcome.
“Once you make your decision and stand firm in it based on your initial thoughts, you will find that you are able to sleep with a clear mind and heart,” Stribling says. “Pay attention to your dreams — they are trying to speak to you.”
3 You Have Nagging Thoughts
Take note if your mind keeps replaying the same situation over and over again or if you can’t seem to shake a concern. “Nagging thoughts or feelings that you can’t get rid of are signs that your gut is trying to speak to you,” Stribling says. “They show that there is something that may require deeper thought.”
It could be related to any area of your life, whether it’s work, relationships, family, moving to a new city, or starting a new job. If you can’t stop thinking about it, allow yourself space to stop and reflect. “Give yourself time to internalize what you’re trying to figure out,” says Stribling. You just might be able to “hear” the right answer.
4 You Often Stare Into Space PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images
Do you find yourself
daydreaming a lot? “Deep thought can also be a sign that you are highly in touch with your intuition,” Stribling says. “The more you think and analyze, the more you are able to tap into deeper subconscious thought, allowing you to pick every aspect of your decision-making that others may not think of.” 5 You Pick Up On Everyone’s Energy
If you notice that
someone’s energy feels off or you don’t trust their intentions, listen to that gut reaction. According to life coach Lauren Paton, this is a common trait among people with strong intuition.
“You’re able to very quickly assess if someone has the right energy,” she tells Bustle. “If
you can make quick assessments both good and bad based on what you feel from someone — and they turn out to be right — that’s your intuition calling.” 6 You Seem To Know Things Before They Happen
Sometimes your intuition can make you feel almost like a
psychic. “Ever feel like you know what someone is going to say, or that you just intrinsically know what a problem is before anyone else gets there?” Paton asks. “This is the beautiful combination of your experiences, your understanding of people, and your openness to noticing what might be going on.” The next time you pick up on the feeling, go with it and see what happens. 7 You Experience Synchronicities Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images
Do you notice
weird coincidences or patterns, especially when you’re wondering what to do next in life? “Something as simple as trying to determine what habits to implement for better health and [suddenly] seeing several articles and news stories about plant-based diets can be a clue to the direction you are to go,” says Kozlowski.
You can also use these
synchronicities to confirm you’re on the right path after you make a decision. “When you experience synchronicities, it shows that you are following your internal guidance system,” intuition expert Micara Link tells Bustle. “Synchronicities are the proof that you’re on the right track and that you’re in alignment with your highest good.” 8 The Clock Is Always At 11:11
Consider how it feels when you look at the clock and notice it’s
11:11 or 4:44 — or whatever other number feels important — as it can be very reaffirming. "When you catch the clock at a certain time, and you feel that perhaps a message is attached [...] then that 'knowing' is something inside yourself that you intuitively understand,” Jill Sylvester, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor and wellness coach, tells Bustle. 9 Your Body Is Relaxed
When your intuition is guiding you in the right direction, you’ll notice that your body seems to relax, particularly around your chest and stomach. You’ll go from a tight or sinking feeling, Kozlowski says, to one that feels warm and peaceful. “This is a positive physical sign from your intuitive self,” she explains.
10 You Feel Purposeful Cavan Images/Cavan/Getty Images
You’ll also notice that you feel purposeful, whether you’re marching out the door to a job interview, date, vacation, etc. — you won’t catch yourself wavering or second-guessing. “Your intuition is the voice of your
most authentic self — when you listen to this voice and follow its guidance, you automatically align with the deeper meaning of your life: your purpose,” Link says. Think of the saying, “When you know you know.” 11 You Find The Good In People
If you’re a highly intuitive person, don’t be surprised if it feels like you get along with everyone and anyone. “Intuitive people are sensitive to other people's feelings and tend to read between the lines,” holistic wellness coach
Daisy Mack tells Bustle. “They really tap into soul connections, seeing past the facades to what really matters to the other person and consequently striking up bonds and breaking down barriers.”
Remember, though, that your intuition can also hint when something’s off. As Sylvester says, “Your intuition is strong when you might experience a negative or positive emotion in the presence of someone or something that may not be healthy for you.” This little voice can truly save you from getting mixed up with the wrong people, so listen to it.
12 Answers Feel Like Lightbulbs
According to licensed therapist
Amanda Stemen, MS, LCSW, your intuition can feel like a lightbulb going off in a way that brings instant peace. “It lightens the load and you feel yourself exhale,” she tells Bustle. “You sit in the awareness for a moment, smiling at the clarity is just paved. Suddenly any other answer seems ridiculous.” 13 You’re Always At The Right Place At The Right Time
Your intuition is on point if it seems like you’re constantly in the right place at the right time, to the point where it feels like you’re in sync with the universe. “What's actually happening is you’re following that inner voice before the conscious mind can get in there and stir up any doubt,” Mack says.
It also proves you’re following your heart rather than your head. “This can be a frustrating trait to logical friends as there seems to be no obvious reason for your decisions,” Mack says, “but it's important for an intuitive person to
follow their ‘gut.’” 14 You’re In Tune With Your Body
You may also have an easier time listening to your body. “A sign of a deep
connection with your intuition is how acutely aware you are of what's happening in your body,” confidence coach Lisa Philyaw, MS, tells Bustle. You know when you’re reaching the point of burnout and take time to recharge, you zero in on the signs you’re about to get sick and lay low. Whatever it is, it’s good that you listen to these cues. 15 You Think Of Someone & They Text You
How funny is it when you think of someone and then they text out of the blue, or you randomly see them at a coffee shop? “This suggests that your intuition sensed that these events were about to happen,” licensed psychotherapist
Joyce Marter, LCPC tells Bustle. So why not see what the reason might be? Text them back, say hi, and ask what they’ve been up to. Who knows? You might end up coming back into each other’s lives for a really cool reason. 16 You Have Reservations When Nobody Else Does PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images
Try to listen to your sneaking suspicion that something is off or wrong. For example: “In business dealings or perhaps when making a financial investment, if you have reservations, even though the deal sounds great, this may be your intuition advising you that the opportunity is too good to be true,” Marter says. It may often feel like you’re the odd man out — the one saying, “Hey, wait a second...” — but that’s a good thing!
17 You’ve Always Been Safe
The one thing you should probably never doubt is the gut feeling that you aren't safe. Think about all the times you walk around at night, go into parking garages, or travel alone. Does your gut steer you away from shadowy corners? Does your inner voice scream out to turn around?
“If you notice the goosebumps you get or the
hairs on the back of your neck when something is off or you feel scared, this is a good indicator that you have good intuition,” Erin Dierickx, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist associate, tells Bustle. “When you are able to sense your body and what you are experiencing in a situation, this means you can gauge if a situation is safe or not. This is helpful not only for reading the room but also for maintaining your safety.” Studies referenced: Breit, S., Kupferberg, A., Rogler, G., & Hasler, G. (2018). Vagus Nerve as Modulator of the Brain-Gut Axis in Psychiatric and Inflammatory Disorders. Frontiers in psychiatry, 9, 44. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00044 Sources: Dr. Sonja Stribling, certified business and life coach Terri Kozlowski, certified life coach Francesca Sipma, certified breathwork coach and hypnotherapist Lauren Paton, life coach Micara Link, intuition expert Jill Sylvester, LMHC, licensed mental health counselor and wellness coach Daisy Mack, holistic wellness coach Amanda Stemen, MS, LCSW, licensed therapist Lisa Philyaw, MS, confidence coach Joyce Marter, LCPC, licensed psychotherapist Erin Dierickx, LMFT, licensed marriage and family therapist associate