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Is it Anxiety or Intuition?

You’ve likely heard the expression, “a gut feeling.” Other common nomenclature includes your sixth sense, inner voice, or a hunch.

Intuition is our birth right — everyone has the ability to tap into this resource. We are all born with intuition and hardwired to tap-in.

A gut feeling can come through a variety of sensations, such as goosebumps, a sinking feeling in your stomach, or what is perceived as a spark of clarity.

Intuition operates likes our internal GPS. When we learn to trust our intuition, we are guided by an inner truth about a person or a situation.

We’re told to trust this subconscious, visceral knowing, but yet so many of us don’t understand what it is exactly, much less how to use it.

The left side of our brain is based in consciousness, being pragmatic, and logical thoughts, while the right brain is focused on our subconscious thoughts, emotions, and intuitive abilities.

In our youth, until we begin school, we are primarily operating in our right brain. Then, we have to follow directions, and become more analytical with critical thinking.

For many people, differentiating between their fear or anxiety, vs their intuition, can be confusing; the two can get muddled together. By paying attention to patterns, you can begin to discern when you have anxiety and when you have intuition speaking to you.

Both anxiety and intuition have their unique patterns and they both speak very differently.

Here are some tips on how you can tell the difference.


  • Anxiety often comes through as racing thoughts, an elevated heartbeat, sweaty palms, or having a hard time falling asleep. This is unique to you, so be sure to track how anxiety manifests in your life.

  • Your imagination will go away. Your intuition will keep coming back!


  • Intuition is when we know something, but don’t necessarily know where the information came from.

  • Intuition tends to come out of no where, with no heightened emotion and without a trigger.

  • The moment that information delves into your intuition, is when it bridges with your body. That gut feeling, or a voice in your head; there are many ways energy can be translated into physical form.

  • There is an energetic shift that you feel in your body, which is your intuition trying to translate and communicate this information to you.

TAKE INVENTORY. Notice and document patterns in all situations. Soon you will begin to identify patterns for both situations, which will give you a clearer sense of what’s actually taking place.

We are in constant communication with our environment — e.g. you walk into a room and sense someone just had an argument or is in a foul mood, or you think of someone and soon after they’re calling you on the phone, or you meet someone for the first time and get an uneasy feeling.

Accessing our intuition is easiest when we’re zoned out during meditative-like states, such as showering, running, walking, practicing yoga, cleaning dishes, or folding laundry. Calming the mind quiets the incessant chatter going on, day-in and day-out, allowing us to truly listen to our inner voice of wisdom. If we don’t take the time and effort to slow down the noise, it’s easy to get lost in second-guessing ourselves.

The Science of Intuition

Neurology experts believe that the mind is interlaced with our multidisciplinary nervous system by way of modulators, neurotransmitters, and other chemical indications. It would make sense then that feelings of intuition are often chaperoned by physical sensations.

The “butterflies” you feel prior to making a significant decision is the reverberation from millions of nerve cells. The subconscious section of your brain dispatches cues to the nerves in your gut in order to feel this tingle. The physical phenomenon enlists your entire being to make a decision, not just your mind.

Our mind synthesizes information that we are not necessarily aware of; this takes place while we are dreaming throughout sleep, as well as when we’re awake. This insight decodes the moments of “light bulb” revelations when we learn something new, but yet we somehow already knew it.

In other words, our conscious mind ultimately recognizes a concept that our subconscious mind already understands, and intuition is the bridge.

Practice Practice Practice

In addition to incorporating moments for quieting your mind and tuning into your intuition (e.g. meditation, walking, journaling), you can also practice in your everyday life experiences. Next time you’re standing in front of a series of elevators, try to intuit which elevator door will open first. When you’re in the grocery store and all of the checkout counters have long lines, try to predict (based on your gut feeling) which line will move the fastest.

Regularly practice tuning into your intuition, as well as track your patterns, and the easier it will become to trust when it’s speaking to you.

If you're interested in having an intuitive guidance session with Mary Beth, click here.

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