Have you ever heard the phrase, “Listen to your gut”? This is essentially asking us to trust our intuition. When our logical brains have trouble making sense of a situation, our intuitions can act as a kind of backup generator. It’s an instinctual reaction that might not always make sense to us at first glance.

It’s a visceral sensation, like having butterflies. It might also be a deep sense of foreboding. You might also feel it in your chest, like having a fluttering heart.

Gut Feelings and What They Might Mean

Understanding that these phantom feelings are a part of your brain trying to make sense of the world makes it easier to see what it’s trying to tell you. Sometimes these messages can get mixed up, but we’ll talk about when you can trust your gut in a minute. For now, let’s look at what your gut is trying to say:

Danger

This kind of extrasensory perception might have an evolutionary advantage. Our intuition’s ability to detect a potential threat is obviously beneficial. This is usually when we have a chill or have a sinking feeling in our stomach.

It might feel similar to fear or anxiety. These sensations can also manifest as a tightness in your chest.

Everything is fine

It’s not always bad to have a gut feeling. Think about the butterflies you’ve gotten around crushes. Sometimes these sensations are pleasant and are there to say, “Hey, this is nice!” Meeting someone new is a good opportunity to look out for these signals.

We sometimes pick up on having a “good feeling” about someone. This might feel like warmth in your stomach or a general sense of security.

Feeling sick

Whenever we start feeling out of tune with our bodies, our intuition picks up on this. Our instincts flash on as if to say, “Something’s not quite right.” After all, no one knows our bodies like we do!

Something health-related like a cold virus can sometimes be felt before symptoms surface. It might feel like lethargy, lack of motivation, or just plain “blah.”

This risk is worth it

If you’re feeling like you need to try something new, it might be your intuition speaking up. Risk isn’t always bad. Making a big career change or moving to a new neighborhood can feel scary. It’s okay. They’re supposed to.

Our brains are wired to be skeptical of change. But our intuition often understands our emotional and spiritual needs better than our logical brains. If you’ve ever had the nagging sensation that you’re missing out on something, it might be your instincts saying, “Hey, we should go give that a try, even if it makes us nervous.”

Trusting Your Gut

The unfortunate truth is that our intuition isn’t foolproof. The good news is the more in tune you become with your instincts, the better you’ll be able to judge if you should trust it. Our brains don’t always have solid memories to add to our narrative. But every experience we have develops a neural pathway somewhere in our brain.

The brain is like a supercomputer. It stores all these little bits of information, even if we don’t quite remember why. When your intuition flashes, see if you can trace where the light is coming from. Being around a particular breed of dog might make you feel nervous, even if the dog is acting friendly. Is it possible you’ve had a negative experience with this breed before?

Getting acquainted with how your body feels, where it feels your emotions, and what they’re connected to is the best way to decide whether you should trust your gut.