Chapter sample of The Psychology of Intuition

The Psychology of Intuition
The Unconscious Mind

The unconscious mind was first described by Austrian Neurologist, Sigmund Freud, in the late 1800s. It all started with the case of Anna O., a young lady who had developed hysteria. Her symptoms included partial paralysis, loss of sensations, and strong headaches.

The reasons behind Anna’s symptoms were unknown, but through hypnosis, it was soon discovered that they were caused by a repressed traumatic experience. Paradoxically, by uncovering and expressing these hidden memories and emotions, Anna was able to overcome her symptoms. This gave way to the study of the hidden parts of our minds —the unconscious mind. 

Now, fast forward to the present day. Scientists have unveiled a remarkable finding: 95 percent of all brain activity operates on an unconscious level. This powerful part of your psyche can be seen as a vault of valuable and hidden information garnered over the course of your entire life. It influences and directs all of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Research has also revealed the outstanding ability of the unconscious mind to decipher intricate hidden patterns. It swiftly accesses information stored in our hippocampus, the region of the brain responsible for holding memories. Consequently, decisions made by the unconscious tend to be instantaneous and remarkably precise.

Chapter 1 on The Psychology of Intuition
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This continuous data recording, often transpiring without conscious awareness, is the foundation for your unconscious capacity to identify dubious individuals and situations. At times, it communicates its concerns through signals that reach your gut, serving as an alert that something isn’t quite right. This gut feeling is just one of the various ways through which your unconscious attempts to communicate with you.

Another way your unconscious tries to impart guidance is through dreams, which some might interpret as premonitions or messages from a higher power. Dreams serve as the canvas of the unconscious, and within them, some of the emotions or sensations experienced daily are perpetually replayed, oftentimes providing profound insights.

However, traumatic experiences, as well as repressed emotions and desires, are also played out in dreams. As you begin to understand and connect with your unconscious mind, you begin to discern and promptly decipher these messages.

Important messages sent by your unconscious mind can also get to you when awake through the voice of intuition. Intuition is the primary source of inner wisdom. It is knowing without having a logical explanation, as it comes from your ability to learn implicitly. Even though you may not be fully aware of it, intuition knocks on your door regularly. However, recognizing it can be challenging, let alone listening to it.

The voice of intuition is powerful because it comes from the unconscious, which has demonstrated superior knowledge compared to the conscious mind. The unconscious mind processes information in the blink of an eye and possesses a much more far-reaching and insightful perspective.

This distinctive way of quickly processing information is directly associated with the right side of the brain. In stark contrast to the left hemisphere, the right side operates devoid of words, functioning purely in the realm of visual and automatic cognition. Consequently, it enables swift, intuitive decision-making guided by hunches, sensations, and images.

This is how intuition can come to you as sudden flashes or as a simple sense of knowing. It’s a wordless voice—a hunch; a strong sensation. Even if you can’t explain how you know, the marvels of intuitive thinking have shown that conscious and deliberate debates when making important decisions are not always required. Your unconscious already handles it automatically. This makes your intuition more powerful than your intellect. Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Albert Einstein are a few of the most notorious revolutionaries who attribute their overall life success to their intuitive abilities.

Your intuitive side is always alert —informing you and guiding you onto the righteous path. However, recognizing this wise voice may be tricky because it can be easily confused with fear. You may feel afraid in non-threatening situations because of past trauma, whereas your intuition is a wise voice that warns you of imminent real danger. For instance, you may get a bad gut feeling over someone you’ve just met, but if that person resembles someone who has hurt you in the past, and you’re unable to make a connection with this trauma, then you’ll mistakenly confuse this gut feeling with intuition.

Intuition can also be confused with wishful thinking. You may “see signs” you want to see. You may pursue a relationship that’s wrong for you because you “feel it’s the right path”, but maybe you’re just blinded by an intense physical and emotional attraction. In other words, it all relies on recognizing your intuitive voice from your ego. Looking within thoroughly can give you a clear untarnished view.

This book aims to uncover this hidden part of your psyche. It’ll help you distinguish your ego from your Higher Self, and by doing so, you’ll discover the powerful voice of intuition. Once you can see within yourself, it becomes an automatic process to see right through everyone and everything around you. Self-awareness translates into general awareness. Being connected with your Higher Self leads to a connection with the exterior world, making you highly perceptive and intuitive.

As you embark on this self-discovery journey, you’ll also encounter healing. Your intuition comes from a place of inner growth, and there’s no inner growth if there’s no healing. This will lead you to self-love. At the center of your essence, there is love, and finding it will allow you to expand it to your surroundings. This fortifies your connection with the Universe and consequently nurtures your intuition; love is the binding force that connects you with everything and everyone around you.

Becoming intuitive through inner growth and healing may seem improbable. We are, however, resilient beings, and as so, we have the power to reinvent ourselves repeatedly. In fact, scientifically speaking, healing rewires your brain. This means that you can mold your brain into becoming more intuitive, which is possible because of the way your brain is structured.

Neuroplasticity and Intuition

One of the most significant advantages of the human mind is its neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the extent to which your brain can be reshaped by experience. Due to the brain’s continuous capacity to rewire itself, you can mold your thinking patterns, enhance cognitive functions, and even strengthen your intuition.

This is how the magic happens…

Your brain works by using its tiny cells, also known as neurons, to relay information to all parts of your body, thus making life possible. They interconnect in a process called synapsis, where information is transferred in the form of electrical currents within neurons, and from neurons to other organs. These electrical discharges differ from each other according to their functions. In that sense, you have specific neurons and synapses for learning, others for each of your five senses, and others for specific emotions and thoughts.

These particular electrical discharges (or synapses) can be altered by experiences or by willpower. Synapses that are consistently used are reinforced, while those less used wither away and die in a process called synaptic pruning. The development of the brain is an “activity-dependent” process. Its structure and functions are defined by your thoughts and experiences.

For instance, the synapses in charge of negative thought patterns can be weakened by constantly replacing these thoughts with more positive ones. At the same time, synapses in charge of sensations that come from your intuition can be reinforced by adhering to specific mental habits. An example of this would be prompting your intuitive voice to come out by constantly asking the right questions at the right time. This strengthens your intuitive neural pathways.

However, although highly accurate, intuition is not an exact science. It is more of an art. There is no person, no matter how highly intuitive, that will have all the answers. The situation is similar to when you’re completing the jigsaw puzzle of an unseen picture. You may get an idea of what the outcome will be, but there may be a piece or two that breaks the expected pattern.

Additionally, sometimes your intuition guides you into unwanted paths you need to take in order to learn a necessary lesson. Like a compass, your intuition may take you to your desired end goal, but sometimes some detours are necessary before you get there. At other times, it may steer you away from what you think you want and direct you towards what you actually need.

Intuition is about following the path that your soul needs to fulfill your life purpose. Tapping into your intuition makes your life meaningful by leading you where you’re meant to go because your soul is eternally tuned to your true north.

For more insights about intuition, download our eBook, The Psychology of Intuition. Within these pages, we delve into the scientific underpinnings behind the gut feeling, providing valuable insights on how you can nurture and trust this powerful aspect within your psyche.

Sneak Peek of the book!: The Psychology of Intuition: The Human Mind and Intuition

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Sarah Peláez is a Clinical Psychologist, Learning Therapist, and author of “The Psychology of Intuition.”