Intuition is an extremely powerful tool that often allows us to make good decisions or protects us from potential dangers. However, it doesn't always work, nor does it work for everyone. Anxious people, for example, often feel frustrated when it comes to following the directions of their intuition.
How can they trust their instincts if it tells them they are on the verge of death when it is just a panic attack? How can they trust their gut reactions if it convinces them that they have an incurable disease or that the plane they are about to take will crash?
Anxiety manifests itself through negative anticipatory thoughts and a sense of apprehension, as if something bad were to happen at any moment, followed by intense vegetative reactions. In those cases it is difficult to pay attention to instinct.
Anxiety stifles intuition
A study developed at the Free University of Berlin analyzed how anxiety affects intuition. These psychologists have analyzed and compared intuitive abilities in decision making.
Over a hundred participants were randomly assigned to three groups, in which, with the help of phrases and images, three different moods were induced: anxiety, optimism and neutrality.
For example, to promote the feeling of optimism, one of the phrases read: “The affection of the people we love makes us feel particularly safe and confident. There is always someone who loves us ”then an image of a smiling young couple with a pet was shown.
Phrases such as "safety is not guaranteed, neither in the neighborhood nor at home" were used to generate anxiety, followed by the image of a man squeezing a woman's neck.
Participants then had to complete a questionnaire designed to assess their tendency to make intuitive decisions and analyze their effectiveness. It was thus found that a neutral or positive state of mind did not seem to influence intuition, on the contrary, anxiety drastically reduced the ability to let oneself be carried away by instinct.
How does anxiety affect intuition?
Everything seems to indicate that anxiety makes us reluctant to take risks because it generates a more pessimistic state of mind and strengthens the feeling of insecurity, qualities that make us more likely to choose the alternative that we consider safer, routine and not. challenging. In some cases, anxiety can even paralyze us, so we won't be able to make any decisions.
These psychologists explain that in order to use intuition in making decisions, it is imperative to have faith in ourselves. The problem is that anxiety takes away that confidence, so we are more likely to ignore the subtle emotional or physical cues that we usually classify as "intuitions."
In fact, the physical cues we normally take as indicators of intuition, such as accelerating heart rate or having butterflies in the stomach, tend to be nothing more than unpleasant psychosomatic symptoms for anxious people.
Therefore, if you want your intuition to point you in the direction when you find yourself at a crossroads, the first step is to learn to relax. Only then will you be able to hear his message.