Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without conscious reasoning. A moment when you just know something, for no good reason. You might think you don’t have it, but I believe you just need to relearn how to hear your intuition.
Our intuition is also part of our body wisdom, and tapping into it can help you cut through all the conflicting nutritional advice you hear. Tuning in helps you pick up on the subtle messages of your body, and if you follow them, you’ll make empowering choices for yourself.
What it’s like to be out of touch
I was totally out of touch with my body when I started down my healing path. I was attempting to keep up with nutrition theories and doing what other people said was ‘right;’ making every food decision from my head.
When I was learning physical evaluations in nutrition school it was brought to my attention that I was so ‘in my head’ that I literally didn’t even feel certain bodily sensations. Others would be palpated briefly and share what they felt. I felt nothing – and thought that meant I was healthy! Then the teaching assistant put pressure on a hydrochloric acid point on my rib cage, and held it there for over 30 seconds before I registered the sensation.
I know I’m not the only one like this because most of us have been trained to ignore our body’s wisdom in favor of:
- Popular dietary advice
- Timed breaks and meals
- Religious or cultural rules/norms
- People pleasing or being easygoing
How can you begin to reconnect with your own knowing? Here’s what I’ve learned.
Five steps to learn how to hear your intuition:
1. Skip stimulants. Coffee, chocolate, sugar, maca, even too many artificial B vitamins, leads you to an ‘amped up’ state that tunes you to “what if” instead of “what now.”
2. Eat a balanced meal. A balanced meal for you is one that will allow you to feel satisfied and clear. The opposite could be sluggish, heavy, or sleepy.
3. Spend time alone with your thoughts. Put your phone in airplane mode and turn off other screens or music. White noise can be useful if you’re somewhere with a lot of outside commotion.
4. Walk in nature. When you’re first learning to listen to your intuition, walking in a park, garden, or somewhere else you find peaceful is helpful to calm your nervous system.
5. Follow the nudge of curiosity. Notice something. Look closer at a plant. Close your eyes and listen to a squirrel. Take a route or trail you’ve never followed. Following these ‘whims’ is acting on your intuition, which hones your ability to hear it in other situations.
Getting in touch with your body’s true needs, like your intuition, is a matter of practice. Since your body is always with you, it’s a great place to practice.
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, before a meal, or that moment when you’re reaching for something you know deep down you don’t really want to be doing (social media, junk food binge, phone games), take five deep slow breaths and then just listen to the quiet relaxed voice in the back of your mind.
What you hear in your mind/body is your truth. No matter what comes up, stay curious.
If it leads to a different action, how interesting! How did that feel? If not, those five deep breaths were enough to put your nervous system into a more relaxed state.
Either way, keep practicing.
I’ve been engaging my intuition for ten years now. I can’t say that I’m always in perfect sync, but I do check in with my intuition/body wisdom before agreeing to foods, supplements, or medical procedures. When it feels right in my body, I’m confident that I’m aligned with what’s being offered.