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More Than Gut Feelings; Identify Your Instinct Signal

In recent blogs I’ve written about the “funny feelings” we experience that are in fact warning signals; our instinctive responses. Instincts are often referred to as “gut” reactions, but they are not always experienced in the stomach or gut.

I experience an instinctive signal in my upper chest. It’s as if an elephant is stepping on me, pressing and constricting the passage of air from my lungs. Hence my breathing becomes labored, rapid and shallow. My heart starts racing. I feel “amped up”. I am pushing hard to breathe.

Other people describe tightening in the neck, shoulders gripped,a pounding in the head, feeling dizzy, their jaws clenching, which are all common fear responses. People frequently ask, “How do you know whether it’s your instinct or just an emotional reaction”?

Gavin De Becker, author of “The Gift Of Fear and Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence”, says “I suspect each of us has probably experienced their fear and flight instinct. Real fear is a signal intended to be brief.” In other words it is not the feelings we get when we worry, thinking about upsetting things which in turn creates anxiety and nervousness.

De Becker goes on to say, “When it is real fear it will either be in the presence of danger or it will link to pain or death. Real fear is not paralyzing. It is energizing. Fear says something MIGHT happen”.

Here is how the dictionary defines instinct.

Instinct –noun
Is an inborn pattern of activity or tendency to action common to a given biological species; a natural or innate impulse.

The following is a Self Awareness exercise to discover your unique internal warning signal.

1. Remember a time when you had a close call; a time when you had a funny feeling that something was wrong. Close your eyes and imagine that event in your mind. Review where you where. Let the scene unfold as if you were watching a re-run of an old television show. Where were you? Were you alone? If not, who you were with? What time, month, year was it? Fill in as many details as you can remember, now.

2. Add the sound track recalling environmental sounds and the sounds of people’s voices, if other people were present.

3. Begin to feel the sensations in your body as your body remembers. How and where are you breathing? Is there tension, pressure, pulsing, tightening, or twitching? Any shifts in body temperature? If the feelings seem vague, and undefined, ask for the signal to intensify until you have made a strong connection. Make a mental note of your specifics; location and type of sensations.

4. Remember another time that you had an instinctive feeling about someone or something. Use this experience as a cross reference to further familiarize and refine your internal warning signal.

Write down what happens when your instincts respond. For example, “When I feel the following sensations_________, in the following locations_________, I am being forewarned! My instincts are signaling me”.

Let me know what you’ve discovered.

Post a comment here or email me: Stephanie@of2minds.com. If you would like to learn more about me and the services I offer as a Personal Life Coach click on the Services tab in the upper right hand corner of this page: http://www.stephaniealt.com/ You can read more on my website: http://www.of2minds.com/

“Fine-tuning your intuition safeguards your future and opens doors to the extraordinary”                    Stephanie Rachel Alt, MS

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