Intuition or Anxiety?

We know all kinds of things with our bodies. Even if you aren’t drawn to more magical explanations, there are some really rational things to take into account about what we know and where in our bodies we know it. We all absorb far more information than we can consciously process, and there’s increasing evidence to suggest that how and where we store that knowledge is complicated and not just a brain issue. Our bodies know things.

The anxious body has learned fear, and that fear colours what we learn. This can make it challenging to know what to do with body knowledge. How do you tell between fear and intuition? Anxiety will tell you that something awful is going to happen. The worse the anxiety is, the worse the expectations and the higher frequency at which they arrive. Suffering from anxiety made me really uneasy about trusting the idea of intuition. When fear makes you see dangers that don’t exist, it’s hard to trust any other body wisdom.

What I’ve discovered recently is that different kinds of knowing sit in my body in different ways. Anxiety sits in the muscles between my ribs, and is a heavy weight in my stomach. Anything I feel in those locations is most likely to be anxiety, not intuition.

However, if I experience something at a bone deep level, that’s intuition, and well worth taking seriously. It’s difficult to describe, but it is a feeling that is deeper in me – and has weight and substance, and solidity. Bone wisdom is substantial, and persists over time frames. The fear that lives in my muscles is tremulous and shifting, inconsistent and nearer the surface. All it has for me is the potential to be afraid, whereas what I feel in my bones includes all of the options available to a person.

I’ve been working on identifying and trusting my intuition for some months now. I’m trying to rebuild my trust in other ways of knowing, and in my own senses and at the same time to be less in thrall to my own anxiety. I’m making good progress. I’ve done some really dramatic things based on what I’ve known in my bones. Those things have gone so well, and what I’ve known has repeatedly proved true, which helps me build trust in my own intuition. What I know in my bones is worth knowing. If it’s just a fluttering, sickly surface thing then I don’t have to invest in it.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

3 responses to “Intuition or Anxiety?

  • juliebond

    This certainly chimes well with the old saying, ‘I feel it in my bones’, for something one is pretty certain about.

  • lornasmithers

    That’s interesting. I’ve not thought that much about where my emotions and other faculties are situated in my body before but have noticed that anxiety affects my belly and stress my head… not sure about intuition… I’d possibly say gut in a way that isn’t belly but will have to think on it more. I’m not quite sure what I feel in my bones…

  • twobigdoorshotmailcom

    Hi! I wrote my graduate thesis about intuition. I’d love to know more about “I’ve done some really dramatic things based on what I’ve known in my bones.” I’ve had intuitions to do extremely “drastic” things but thwarted myself due to social norms and involving others. I love your point about cross-referencing intuition with knowledge and emotion. My knowledge often steps in and says “no – that is not appropriate” Then I search for a meaningful alternative and it doesn’t address the signal. Haring how an experienced follower of intuitive information handles large, bold, risky, and maybe even “koo-koo” intuitions.

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