“Trust your gut.”
It’s a phrase we all probably hear from someone or the other on social media on a regular basis. However, when we were teenagers trusting our instincts came naturally to us, but as adults, it can be something we forget to do or feel challenging to accept.
This phrase is commonly used when making fast decisions in life-threatening or life-changing situations: Should I get into this car with this person? Should I trust this source of information? Does this new job opportunity sound too good to be true? Can I trust the way I’m feeling about this person?
But what does trusting your gut actually mean, and how can you know when your instincts are right? Let’s find out the answers to some of these most basic questions in a simple way.
What Is Gut Feeling? (Start With The Basic)
In order to find out and understand which gut feeling is right or which is wrong, we must know the basic meaning behind Gut Feeling.
Comparable to intuition are our “gut feelings” or “instincts,” yet unlike intuition, these experiences typically entail more than just mental processing. Emeran A. Mayer, a psychologist, found that there is a strong link between the digestive system and the brain and that this connection is crucial to the formation of certain emotional states and the formulation of intuitive judgments.
Recent neuroscience insights into this gut-brain crosstalk have shown a complex, bidirectional communication system that promotes gastrointestinal homeostasis and digestion and may also have numerous consequences on mood, motivation, and higher cognitive functions, including intuitive decision-making.Source
A gut feeling, in its simplest definition, is a spontaneous emotional reaction when presented with a decision-making situation that does not have a logical basis and hence is not always correct. It is something that you believe is either right or wrong but without any solid evidence or factual data.
What Does It Mean to Trust Your Gut?
Trusting your gut means trusting the feeling that arises in your body when you make a decision. In other words, it means listening to and trusting your instinctive, intuitive feelings about a situation.
Your ‘gut feeling’ is the way you ‘feel’ about a situation or person based on very subtle and often subconscious signals from your body.
This can be the feeling in your stomach, the ‘butterflies’ you get when you are nervous, a sense of knowing, or something that you just ‘feel’ in your body which is caused by the gut-brain connection that Psychologist Emeran talked about in his study.
It is very helpful in making fast decisions when you don’t have enough time to think about all of the pros and cons and facts, and often it is these subtle feelings that can save your life in dangerous situations! But this is not always true.
How Do You Know When Your Gut Feeling Is Right?
Trusting your gut is not as easy as it sounds. When we talked about what gut feeling means, you must have noticed that the definition of gut feeling itself puts weight on the “intuition without evidence.” And unfortunately, this is true. You can’t always trust your gut feeling, you can’t always predict if your gut feeling is right or wrong.
When I decided to write this article on this particular topic I was convinced when I read 10-15 blog posts on the internet that there are no solid signs that can tell you if your logical intuition is right.
There are no valid signs that can save you from messing up and choosing what’s right and what’s wrong.
Because the truth of the matter is simple, trusting your gut is a hit and trial, sometimes your gut will help you make the best decisions, but on some days, it will make you regret it.
Yes, there are some ways you can enhance your gut feeling or intuition which is through deep consistent meditations, but there are no true signs or true ways you can know if your gut feeling is true.
Till now, you might have understood that trusting your gut and knowing if your intuition is right is close to impossible, however, research shows that combining your gut with logic leads to better, faster, and more accurate decision-making and greater assurance in your choices than intellectual reliance alone. To do that, there is a way called Test Drive The Choice.
So what does it mean?
Test Driving your choices is a technique that helps you test your gut feeling without even implementing that decision. Making snap judgments requires practice when you’re just starting to rely on your gut and this is where this technique helps.
All you have to do is, pretend for a few days that you’ve decided to go with Option A, say for instance a job offer in a different field. Be aware of your own feelings and thoughts during that period.
Now, for the next few days, you can experiment with Choice B, which could be changing the same career path you’re on. Assess how you felt about the experiment overall when it was over. If you felt good go with that decision, yes there is a chance of reality not meeting your expectations but this way you still have some tried and tested data.
For me intuition or gut feeling is a feeling that comes when you gain experiences and your brain understands patterns and then helps you make good decisions in life. As Michael Pratt, an intuition researcher says, “People are able to see and recognize patterns that can help them make decisions or form judgments, and a lot of this recognition is outside of conscious awareness.”
When Should You Not Trust Your Gut Feeling?
Gut feelings are emotion-based, and frankly speaking, emotions are the worst decision-makers.
When your gut feeling is based on an emotion, it’s important to follow a different process to determine if your gut feeling is wrong.
Instead of just trusting your gut, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Why does my gut say this is wrong?
- What is making my gut feel this way?
- What are the facts in this situation that are making my gut feel this way?
Sometimes, your gut feeling is wrong because you are making a decision based on incorrect or insufficient facts.
For example, you choose a career based on your gut feeling even though you don’t have the qualifications, or you choose a romantic partner based on your gut feeling even though you don’t know anything about their past relationships.
If you have to know if your gut feeling is right or wrong you either have to ask questions or you have to try and test your decisions to gain experience. Do remember that no matter how many signs you can watch on YouTube or read on a website there are no real ways to find out if your intuition is right.
Hence, don’t act on emotions, go on logic and understand what is best for you. Thanks for reading till the end, I hope this helps.
- Why Do People Believe In God?
- 6 Ways You Can Become More Spiritually Connected To God
- How to Focus on Yourself and Stop Caring About What Others Think?
- What Does God Say About Spiritual Gifts?
- 40 Most Inspiring One Liner Quotes On Success In Life
- How to Find Yourself Again When You Feel Lost In Life: Tips for Regaining That Sparkle