Ever have a “gut feeling” or intuitive sense about a situation or decision your logical brain couldn’t quite explain? Here, we explore the signals we get from our unconscious mind — and our intestinal tract — and the powerful part they can play in directing us toward our own best choices.

This week on The Living Experiment, we’re talking about Intuition — the signals we get from our unconscious mind, and the powerful part they can play in directing us toward our own best choices.

From the science of intuition and its intimate relationship with our intestinal tract, to the concept of “thin slicing,” in which our brain processes more data than our conscious awareness can keep up with, we explore the essentials and finer points of what many call our sixth sense.

And of course, we offer you experiments to own and hone the signals your intuition is sending you.

“Intuition” Episode Highlights

  • Defining intuition, or our “gut sense,” and why we associate these unconscious feelings and insights with our gut rather than our brains or hearts
  • The subtle differences between intuition, instinct and wisdom
  • The imperfect science of learning when to trust your intuition and when to second guess it — and the influence of prejudices
  • Using your body’s signals to discern between the excitement of a positive intuitive “hit” and a warning instinct
  • How continuous over-stimulation is numbing our ability to sift out the useful data from the noise, and the dangers of allowing the noise to overrun our inner wisdom

Think about a decision you have to make. Within two seconds, based on your gut feeling, say out loud what your decision is.

1) If you’re a person who has a hard time making a decision, make a game of challenging yourself to make low-importance decisions (like a menu choice) quickly. Notice what you learn from that experience — the education that comes from every decision you make, good or bad — and see if your fear of choosing the “wrong” thing diminishes over time.

2) The next time you have to make a decision, flip a coin and notice your reaction to the heads-or-tails result. If you get a sinking feeling based on that outcome, that’s your signal to go with the other choice.

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