Learning to distinguish between regular worries/irrational thoughts and your gut instincts is no easy task. We all have worries about things; work, friends, relationships, life, but often we can calm the inner critic by rationalising things and asking ourselves.
*What is the worst that could happen?
*How likely IS it, that the worst will happen?
*If the worst actually does happen, will it really be that awful? Can you just try and forget about it and carry on with things?
With that in mind, I find this usually tends to quash my worries.
However this is different for me than when I get a ‘gut instinct’ about something. When I am being irrational, my mind is in overdrive, my heart is all a flutter and there is a sense of panic. I have learned to recognise these symptoms as ‘regular worry’ which is then diminished when I recognise it for what it is. Then there is a different kind of ‘worry’ which I call the ‘gut instinct’ about a situation. With this feeling, there are no racing thoughts or sense of panic. There is just an ill at ease feeling, a deep heavy feeling like a black mass in the pit of my stomach. Whenever I have ignored the latter, things have generally gone, horribly wrong. So I decided to experiment by listening to this sensation and using it to guide me.
One example of this: A friend was booking my flight to Turkey but on the day I was due to travel she called to say that the ticket had not gone through for some reason. Two days later she called to say she was having problems and could I book it. I started to feel that sensation in the pit of my stomach telling me that something wasn’t quite right, so I suggested that I fly out at a later date in the year instead, and for now make a donation to the charity that I was going to visit.
Now it emerges that my friend is stranded as she can’t get a flight home for less than Â£450. On top of that the news has issued a red alert that there is likely to be a volcanic eruption in Iceland. If this happens it will bring all flights to a standstill.
I feel absolutely awful for my friend and pray that she can return to the UK as quickly and safely as possible. I have to admit though, another part of me (which feels a bit selfish for thinking this way) is glad that I listened to my gut instinct for once, as it has paid off.
What I am saying is – try to rationalise everything. That way you can probably dismiss most of your irrational fears. But sometimes, if you have a deep sense of unease and you can feel warning bells going off, think about listening to them.
When I use this sense as a guide, I tend to make much better, informed decisions.
This has really helped me, which is why I am sharing it with you. I hope my words will provide you with some food for thought at least.
Have a great day and keep smiling. Smiles and laughter make the world a much brighter place!