Intuitive thinkers are able to look at the same situation from multiple angles and come up with solutions that make sense in their mind, even if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else. If you want to become an intuitive thinker, these 11 tips will help you gain that ability.
Just remember to practice this skill regularly so you can develop it into second nature. The more you use your intuition, the more natural it will feel and the easier it will be to solve problems.
What It Means to Be an Intuitive Thinker
An intuitive thinker is someone who can think outside the box. They are able to see different solutions to problems, and they are not afraid to try new things. Intuitive thinkers are also good at making connections between ideas, even if those ideas seem unrelated at first.
Some people are born with the ability to be intuitive thinkers, but it is a skill that can be learned by anyone. If you want to be an intuitive thinker, there are a few things you can do to develop this skill.
1) Take deep breaths
Practicing mindfulness can sharpen your intuition and improve your ability to think outside of a problem.
Focusing on your breathing can also bring you back into the present moment and out of your inner critic’s mind-field.
We’re not asking you to become a monk; just take a few minutes each day (sit in traffic if you have to) or before heading into that big meeting, and focus on breathing deeply through your nose and slowly exhaling through pursed lips.
2) Walk in nature
The natural world is full of clues. Look up at a tree, and you’ll find its branches are arranged in a way that maximizes sunlight and water intake.
Observe anything with two or more moving parts, and you’ll see that everything has been meticulously calibrated for performance and efficiency.
Nature is overflowing with brilliant ideas we can learn from—ideas that will help us make faster, smarter decisions. In fact, scientists have found that spending time in nature boosts creative problem-solving abilities.
In one study, volunteers were asked to come up with new uses for everyday objects like newspapers and plastic cups. Those who spent time outdoors came up with twice as many novel ideas as those who stayed indoors.
3) Stay positive
Despite what you may think, being positive will not solve every problem. However, a positive attitude is essential for good mental health and learning. It can also have a ripple effect on others, bringing out their best and brightest behavior. If you want to become an intuitive thinker, it’s imperative that you stay positive.
There are many ways to do so: For example, if you find yourself in a negative situation with someone else, focus on something they did well or something they said that was insightful or kind.
You can also engage in self-talk such as, “I am capable of solving problems creatively or I am able to approach problems from multiple angles.”
Positive self-talk helps change your mindset and improves your ability to be open-minded and empathetic toward others.
4) Practice meditation
Meditation has a lot of health benefits, including stress reduction and improved focus. But, most importantly for business leaders, meditation helps you learn how to get out of your own way.
Meditation teaches you how to make decisions from a place of calm. You can’t read everyone else’s mind and always know what they want before they do—but learning how to be intuitive starts with becoming quiet yourself so that you can listen closely and consider things objectively.
5) Get organized
You’re going to be forced to think on your feet and make decisions that count, so start now by getting organized.
That means getting up-to-date on technology (maybe using a new app or scheduling software), organizing your schedule, and making sure you take time for creative thinking. The more organized you are, the better prepared you’ll be to think intuitively when the pressure hits.
Also, plan ahead: for example, if you know that after dinner is always a busy time at home with sports practices and homework assignments piling up, make it your top priority to clear out as much of your calendar as possible before dinner so you can focus on any important tasks afterward.
If someone says they don’t have enough time in their day, they aren’t managing their priorities well enough—and neither will you if things get tough.
6) Eat your veggies
Although it sounds like a simple phrase, “eat your veggies” may be one of the best pieces of advice you could ever get. Eating right is key in enhancing one’s brain power and becoming more intuitive.
Processed foods may come with added chemicals, added sugars, and too many carbs that make your body sluggish instead of enhancing its ability to think creatively.
Aim for natural ingredients that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients—such as leafy greens—to keep your brain sharp.
7) Switch up your routine
One way to become intuitive is to break away from your normal routine. That could mean taking a new route to work, working out in the morning instead of at night, or reading a new book.
Doing things differently helps you see the world—and your problems—in new ways, which can jumpstart your creativity and help you come up with solutions you may never have thought of before.
8) Be open to feedback
If you want to be an intuitive thinker, it’s important that you’re open to hearing feedback—even if it’s not always positive.
No one likes to be told they’re wrong, but the ability to listen to others and take their feedback into consideration is an important skill for intuitive thinkers.
Also, don’t be afraid to give feedback yourself. If you have a different perspective on something, share it! Collaboration is key in business, and the more ideas you bring to the table, the better.
9) Give yourself time alone
When you’re not being stimulated by others, your mind has time to work. Whether it’s a long walk in nature or time spent meditating, solitude is one of the best ways to bring out your inner genius.
10) Practice yoga and stretching
Yoga is a great way to improve your body and breath control, but it can also help develop your intuition. Deep breathing helps stimulate your right brain—the one that’s responsible for nonverbal communication and creativity.
Stretching increases blood flow, which can also aid in intuitive thinking. Both yoga and stretching are low-impact activities that require little time commitment.
Consider adding them to your daily routine or making them part of a regular weekly workout schedule. You might be surprised at how much more in tune you feel when you get up from a session of yoga or stretching!
11) Learn to think outside the box
The box isn’t your only option—you don’t have to go down a linear path or limit yourself to one perspective. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and you’ll find new opportunities around every corner.
So, you want to be more intuitive? That’s great! While it’s a little hard-wired into our biology—we all have it—it can also be learned and practiced.
Consider what you’ve read here your first steps on that journey; in just one step, you already know how much more valuable your decision-making powers will become.
Soon enough, they’ll seem easy. And before long, your colleagues will start asking you how you do it.