How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition?

How do you know whether you are tapping into your intuition, or simply engaging and entertaining unhelpful, fear-based thoughts? Is that inner voice your intuition or your fear speaking? This is a complex topic, and yet it represents a skill we need and can develop as highly sensitive people. I believe everyone can benefit from learning to differentiate between intuition and fear, but highly sensitive people even more because struggling to understand which one is speaking to us can lead us to an endless spiral of doubt and confusion.

Intuition comes from the Latin word intueri, a combination of in, which means “at, on”, and tueri, which means “to look at, watch over”. Intuition has been defined by De Quincey (1840) as the capacity to perceive directly without reasoning, know by immediate perception. In spiritual literature, it is often identified as our Higher or Wiser Self. This part of us offers us a broader vision of who we are, what we need, and the best way to make ends meet. It is a source of guidance and full alignment with our core essence.

On another hand, fear-based thoughts and beliefs come from our Ego Self. They result from unexamined experiences and the conditioning power of many external factors such as culture and family dynamics. They seem rampant and make us go into alert mode. They come almost automatically and with the sole aim of saving our most superficial identity and sense of self. Since both intuition and fear-based thoughts can arise within us very quickly, it takes some level of awareness and practice to learn to differentiate them.

The best way to go about it is to pay more attention to your own mental patterns. What is going on in your mind? Which part of you is talking? Embrace self-examination and self-discovery. Ask questions to yourself and observe what unfolds with no particular judgment. Pay attention to your body’s reactions too. With time and self-reflection, you will be able to discern whether you are being driven by fear or intuition. You will learn to observe how intuition comes as a soft and gentle inner voice, whereas ego-driven thoughts are often loud and sensory overwhelming.

As you pay more and more attention to the quality of your thoughts and feelings, I’m sure you will agree at some point that your intuition is stronger and clearer whenever you are calm and relaxed. That’s when we are able to hear it in the first place. When we are stressed, or feel that our well-being is threatened for some reason, we can’t connect so easily with that part of us that is intuitive and knowing. We tend to make it worse instead, feeding or fueling our Ego Self with more unhelpful thoughts.

Aim to practice and live with what Buddhists call “right mindfulness”, the ability to see and witness what is occurring inside and outside of yourself, with non-judgment, and from a place of acceptance of what is. Only then you will be able to hear and begin recognizing the soothing voice through which your intuition speaks to you. The more you practice and expand your awareness with mindfulness, the more you will be able to tune in and make decisions that are more aligned with who you truly are.

Is Happiness a Realistic Goal?

realistic goal and a desirable one. It is rather impossible to be happy all the time, of course, and it is rather difficult to be in a pure state of bliss on a regular basis. However, we can aim to develop skills and strategies that enhance our level of consciousness.

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BOOK REVIEW: Emotional Wisdom by Mantak Chia & Dena Saxer

What is the role of human emotions? What can they tell us about our health and well-being? Are they good or bad? Have you thought about emotions and how they impact your life? Should they be managed or prevented at all costs? These are some of the questions you will be invited to ask and seek answers to when you start reading the book Emotional Wisdom by Mantak Chia and Dena Saxer.

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One of the aspects I loved about this book is that it introduces you to Taoism, a Chinese philosophy that teaches us how to go through life in harmony. The most basic principle of Taoism is that there’s a universal cosmic force that flows through all things. This energy constantly binds and releases itself, contributing to the greater natural order of the cosmos. Emotions are not excluded from this dynamic.

There are positive and negative emotions. Positive emotions are usually an indicator that we are in harmony with cosmic energy. Negative emotions mean there is something out of balance and which needs some tender loving care. They help us identify when we are out of balance and need to recalibrate. They can also work as a sign or compass for decision-making and pursuing creative endeavors (e.g. painting).

Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain… you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain (Eckhart Tolle)

Emotions are a form of energy and they are part of our human existence, no matter how much we try to deny them. I would like to know exactly when human beings decide that emotions are ugly and bad. This false belief has taken a toll on us. We have grown to reject emotions and disregard the value of emotions, especially the negatives ones. Negative emotions are messages from our soul saying there is something that is just not right.

According to Chinese Philosophy, the internal root cause of ill-health is the existence of an emotional imbalance, and Western medicine has finally caught up with this valuable insight. Studies have shown that negative emotions make our blood thicker and more acidic, making it more difficult to circulate in the body. A lot of findings like this have been discovered in the field of Psychoimmunology, which studies the mind-body connection and its impact on health and well-being.

Today’s problem is that most of us don’t want to feel and process negative emotions. Instead of sitting with them and learning what they want to tell us, we either get paralyzed or seek ways to numb ourselves (e.g. food, violence, sex). In the long term, it is our body that pays the highest price through discomfort and disease. Emotional Wisdom addresses these emotions and teaches you techniques to deal with and release them. One of these techniques is the inner smile meditation.

The inner smile meditation is a Taoist practice that has you visualizing and experiencing an event that makes you smile in your mind’s eye and extend the energy of that smile to all your organs and body parts. It takes you about ten minutes to perform this practice and the result is that you will feel more relaxed, more at ease, and also kinder to yourself. This occurs because you will be helping your body reduce stress hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.

There are other very interesting and useful concepts and techniques in this book, Emotional Wisdom. I strongly recommend it if you are already familiar with eastern philosophy, or you want to learn more about it.

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BOOK REVIEW: Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick

I did enjoy Stephanie’s book a lot and I strongly recommend you to peek on it, if you are into journaling and writing as a method of self-expression and personal transformation. You will find many interesting prompts across the entire book so that you can work your writing flow and perhaps discover more about yourself within specific topics to which you never really paid much attention to.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Resilience Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi

What is Resilience, and why does it seem so important in today’s fast-paced society? Have you considered what resilience means to you? Do you think you are resilient enough? Is it possible to have more resilience? And if so, how can you build more of it? These are some of the questions you will see answered once you pick The Resilience Workbook written by Gleen R. Schiraldi, one of the books I selected to read throughout 2022.

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BOOK REVIEW: The Resilience Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi

What is Resilience, and why does it seem so important in today’s fast-paced society? Have you considered what resilience means to you? Do you think you are resilient enough? Is it possible to have more resilience? And if so, how can you build more of it? These are some of the questions you will see answered once you pick The Resilience Workbook written by Gleen R. Schiraldi, one of the books I selected to read throughout 2022.

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Resilience includes both inborn and developed mental and emotional skills that allow us to cope and respond to adverse experiences. These experiences may vary in severity and can represent different realities to different people. For some people, getting into a plane is terrifying while for others it’s an exciting moment. The first group can benefit a lot from developing their resilience skills so that their flight experience doesn’t impact them so negatively.

Instead of giving in to stress, anxiety, and depression, resilient people have a greater capacity to process and transform negative life events. They can’t control what happens to them but they can choose to respond from a more collected head and heart space by working on a few techniques. Resilience is an indicator of mental and emotional fitness, and thus helps us:

  • bounce back more quickly,
  • navigate through complex situations, and
  • manage and prevent stress-related emotions

When you build up your resilience muscle, your health and well-being tend to benefit as well. This occurs because the mind and body are not separate from each other. They are connected, which means negative mental and emotional conditions can be manifested in the body, making us more vulnerable to disease and several medical conditions. Some of these conditions include heart disease, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia.

Heart diseaseRheumatoid Arthritis
HypertensionThyroid disease
Irritable bowel syndromePsoriasis
Chronic painObesity
FibromyalgiaMetabolic Syndrome
CancerGynecological complaints
Stress-related medical conditions

So what can you do to enhance your resilience? The Resilience Workbook offers you plenty of ideas and techniques you can learn from and put into practice. Mindfulness is only one example of a tool you can learn more about with this book. Mindfulness gives you the opportunity to reduce mental and emotional stress by making you grounded in the present moment. You learn to become the observer of your human experience and less reactive to what is.

Expressive Writing is another useful tool presented in this book. By writing down your thoughts and feelings for twenty minutes a day, you give yourself the opportunity to process and transform your experiences into something more positive. You gain a wider perspective on what happened and how you can brainstorm ways to move on from there, reducing the risk of falling into overwhelming levels of anxiety or even depression.

I believe this is likely one of the most useful books I have on my 2022 reading list. It is fully packed with tools and techniques to help you navigate through stressful and depressing times. Whether you are more mentally or emotionally wired, I’m sure you will find a resource in it that fits your needs and personality. If you are a mental health professional or you work to improve your clients’ well-being, this is definitely a book you must have in your personal library as it gives you both the science and the practice you need to help others become more resilient.

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BOOK REVIEW: Creative Journal Writing by Stephanie Dowrick

I did enjoy Stephanie’s book a lot and I strongly recommend you to peek on it, if you are into journaling and writing as a method of self-expression and personal transformation. You will find many interesting prompts across the entire book so that you can work your writing flow and perhaps discover more about yourself within specific topics to which you never really paid much attention to.

Keep reading