Our Intuition, Can We Trust It? by Mack Garland, LCSW

photo-1421140702025-9bb9db769200Intuition or our “gut feeling” is the experience of making decisions using emotion, not pure logic. We do this all the time and most of the time we are totally unaware our decisions are based on a combination of logic and emotion. For example take something as simple as making a purchase at the grocery store. Ask yourself how come you purchased the name brand (or store brand) of any item and quickly you will realize you had an emotional response in addition to a logical reason. “My mom always got this when I was a child” for example is the emotional response which is combined with logical response “It was on sale”.

In recovery intuition can be especially helpful. Intuition is that small voice in your head and heart that tells you about the decision or situation you face and if you are making choices that promote recovery and well-being or not. The more we learn to exercise our intuition and trust our gut feelings we improve our decision making in recovery. Solid recovery is trusting our intuition and using our logic to evaluate situations.

The following are ways to improve our intuition:

Quiet reflection and meditation. Spend some time reflecting on your hunch or gut feeling. Take the opportunity to ponder what that inner voice is saying. Learn to trust your emotional responses to situations.

If you have a therapist, belong to a recovery group or have close trusted friends, share the intuition and check out if it seems appropriate and reasonable: not every gut feeling will be sensible or correct.

Eat well and exercise. Taking care of our bodies will clear out a lot of the interference that blocks our intuition. Yoga is a great way to combine meditation and exercise. Use the quite time to focus on the gut feelings.

Be creative, use your imagination. Some people like to journal, some arts and crafts, for others making music. Whatever your creativity is , indulge yourself. Our adult world rewards logic and our natural creativity we had as a child can be diminished. By writing, painting, crafting or making music we nurture our intuition.

Intuition like most everything in our life, is not perfect. There will be times when your logical side is correct and your gut feeling is not the most appropriate course of action. In recovery, many times we should trust that inner voice which is telling us when we are in a dangerous or risky situation. Learn to trust your intuition, and have fun along the way.

Elana Clark-Faler
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