Can We Trust Our Feelings and Intuition?

Can We Trust Our Feelings and Intuition?

Feelings and intuition significantly influence our lives. They steer choices from minor daily decisions to significant life-altering ones. This article delves into an essential query: Can we trust our feelings and intuition?

Feelings arise as emotional responses to internal or external stimuli, while intuition surfaces as an internal guidance system, a gentle or sudden push, often appearing unexpectedly. Neurological processes in the brain give birth to these phenomena. A mix of hormones and neurotransmitters orchestrate our feelings, while our subconscious seems to harbor the origin of intuition.

A Historical Viewpoint

Historically, human societies placed feelings and intuition on pedestals. Ancient Greeks held intuition in high regard, perceiving it as divine foresight. Eastern philosophies, too, recognized intuition as a manifestation of profound wisdom. Over time, perceptions of these constructs have evolved, shaped through the prisms of philosophy, religion, and neuroscience.

The Reliability of Feelings

Feelings, naturally subjective, bear a strong personal bias. They’re also fleeting and often unstable. A high-stakes sports event paints a vivid picture of this emotional volatility as spectators ride waves of joy, anxiety, and disappointment in a brief time.

However, feelings provide crucial insight into our deepest desires, needs, and values. As internal messengers, they nudge us towards actions resonating with our core selves. Therefore, while they may not offer complete reliability, they remain vital in our decision-making process.

Intuition as a Guide

Intuition is spontaneous, usually emerging without a clear, logical path. In situations requiring immediate decisions, such as emergency professionals, relying on their gut often yields surprisingly accurate results. Yet, intuition can falter, leading us astray. We may perceive intuition as a subconscious bias or reaction based on past experiences.

Feelings, Intuition, and Rational Thought

The division between feelings and intuition, and conscious rational thought can spark an internal conflict. Rational thought, grounded in logic and evidence, starkly contrasts feelings and intuition’s spontaneous nature. Yet, these elements can coexist and enhance decision-making in harmony.

Balanced decision-making incorporates feelings, intuition, and rational thought. Each component provides unique insights. Feelings reveal what’s important to us; intuition suggests potential outcomes and rational thought ensures our choices rest on valid reasons.

Expert Opinions on Trusting Feelings and Intuition

Experts maintain diverse views on feelings and intuition’s reliability. Psychologists often emphasize emotional intelligence’s role in effectively interpreting feelings. Neuroscientists highlight intuition’s neural basis and utility in rapid decision-making while cautioning against confusing it with bias or prejudice. Research in these areas remains ongoing, unveiling the complex interplay of feelings, intuition, and rational thought.

Improving the Use of Feelings and Intuition

Enhancing our understanding of feelings and intuition can reap significant benefits. Practices like mindfulness meditation increase our sensitivity towards emotions and intuitive nudges. Regular introspection aids in separating emotional distractions from valuable emotional signals. Furthermore, it’s vital to understand when to follow feelings and intuition and when to depend more heavily on rational thought.

Tips for Improving Feelings and Intuition

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Practice mindfulness meditation regularly to boost awareness of your emotional states and intuitive hunches.
  2. Journaling: Write down your feelings and intuitive experiences daily. This habit can help you recognize patterns and gain insights over time.
  3. Physical Exercise: Engage in regular physical exercise. It helps clear the mind and increases sensitivity to inner emotional and intuitive cues.
  4. Adequate Rest: Ensure you get enough sleep. A well-rested mind is more receptive to feelings and intuition.
  5. Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet. Good nutrition supports overall brain function, which can impact emotional processing and intuition.
  6. Emotional Literacy: Learn to name and identify your emotions accurately. This understanding can lead to better emotional management and improved intuition.
  7. Self-reflection: Spend time in self-reflection. Contemplate your feelings and intuition, and analyze how they guide your decisions.
  8. Mind-Body Practices: Participate in mind-body activities like yoga or Tai Chi. These practices enhance self-awareness and promote a stronger connection with intuition.
  9. Creativity: Engage in creative activities. Creativity often stimulates intuition and helps express feelings in unique ways.
  10. Breathing Exercises: Practice breathing exercises to focus the mind and make it more receptive to emotional and intuitive cues.
  11. Nature Time: Spend time in nature. The calmness and tranquility often enhance sensitivity to feelings and intuition.
  12. Professional Guidance: Consult with a psychologist or a life coach. They can provide tools and techniques to improve emotional intelligence and intuition.
  13. Mindful Listening: Practice mindful listening when interacting with others. It helps develop empathy, which in turn can refine intuition.
  14. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): Explore EFT or “tapping.” This technique helps manage emotional responses and may foster intuition.
  15. Trust Your Gut: Begin trusting your gut feelings in small matters and gradually extend them to more significant decisions.
  16. Reading: Read books on emotional intelligence and intuition to understand these concepts and learn strategies to enhance them.
  17. Practice Patience: Intuition often comes subtly and spontaneously. Be patient, and give it time to surface.
  18. Stay Open-minded: Keep an open mind. Don’t dismiss feelings or hunches because they seem illogical. They may provide insights your conscious mind hasn’t processed yet.
  19. Mind Mapping: Use mind mapping to visualize thoughts and feelings. It can provide a clearer picture of your emotional state and intuitive insights.
  20. Balance Rational Thought: Recognize the value of rational thought and balance it with feelings and intuition. Each provides valuable input in the decision-making process.


Trust in feelings and intuition isn’t absolute. It’s a balance reliant on discernment and context. Recognizing their strengths and limitations and skillfully using them in decision-making becomes crucial.

Exploring your feelings and intuition is a personal journey. Undertake it with an open mind, appreciating these powerful inner tools but acknowledging their potential for error. Trust in feelings and intuition isn’t about finding a definitive answer. It’s about deepening self-understanding, empowering you to tackle life’s challenges and opportunities with enhanced wisdom and assurance.