Very fascinating article here about intuition. My favorite takeaways:
1) Having a “gut” feeling is literal–it often comes as a sensation in your stomach area. This makes sense because the intestines house the enteric nervous system, sometimes called the “second brain.” “That second brain really is the intuitive brain,” Ronald A. Alexander, PhD explains, and he recommends that when it speaks, you listen.
2) Generosity makes the pleasure centers in the brain light up. When participants were given $128 of hard cash along with the choice to keep it or donate it to charity, the reward centers of those who chose to donate went wild. This is known as the “helper’s high,” which causes individuals aiding others to experience improvements in mood, immunity and overall well-being. That’s why following your instincts for sympathy and generosity generally turns out to be a good investment in your own health and happiness, too.
3) When your intuition signals that you’ve found something or someone truly right for you, the choice often becomes strangely easy. “It feels healthy; it feels good; it doesn’t feel like you’re forcing it, there’s not a lot of conflict,” says Judith Orloff, PhD.
Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) agrees that when you’re poised to make a big decision with lasting repercussions, like choosing your life partner, you’re best off deciding from the gut.