If you are especially in touch with your inner self, you can be a pro at something many people struggle with: listening to your deepest feelings. That little voice in the back of your head and that feeling in your stomach, those things are there for a reason. If you have a strange feeling that something is not right, it is important to pay attention to that feeling, it is the instinct that you should not ignore.

Ways that instinct speaks to you and you shouldn’t ignore

Most of the time, our instincts are correct, but we must learn to listen to them, since ignoring them can lead you down a path of danger, pain and regret. These are some ways in which instinct usually speaks to us and that we also usually do not pay attention to.

1. “This situation seems dangerous.”

You may notice a stranger staring at you on the subway. When you exit the subway, you turn around to see that the same person is walking behind you on the street. You might think it’s paranoia, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Maybe you were invited to a party, but when you walk in, you have a strange feeling in your stomach. Don’t ignore that feeling. If your subconscious is telling you that something seems really wrong, listen to it. Do what you can to get to safety immediately, don’t hesitate.

2. “I don’t feel good.”

If you ignore the problems with your body, they can end up turning into serious health problems. Your body sends you subtle signals to let you know when something is wrong. If you experience strange symptoms and feel like something is not right, don’t wait and get it checked out. Visit a healthcare professional as soon as possible. If there is something wrong, knowing it in a timely manner can be vital.

3. “I must help that person.”

viceral feeling does n’t have to be negative all the time. Sometimes your instincts tell you to take action. If you see someone being bullied, or someone struggling to open a door with their hands full, do something to help. It might be a small act, but any act of kindness can help make someone’s day. Don’t just stand and watch others fight. Listen to your feelings and offer a helping hand.

4. “This feels good.”

Whether it’s accepting a job offer, choosing to start or end a relationship, or moving across the country, your gut knows what it’s doing when it comes to making these kinds of decisions. Deep down, you probably just want to be happy. Your gut could be telling you to take a low-paying job that excites you a lot, rather than a higher paying job that you know would make you miserable. Whichever direction your intuition is pulling you in, it’s probably for the best.

5. “I’m going to regret this.”

Too often, we end up with regrets. They can stem from peer pressure or acting before thinking things through. But if you look back at those regrets you have, you can remember an instinct you had in that process. Something that was telling you to hold on, to go away, or to think about it. Don’t let anyone force you to do something that you are not comfortable with. If you feel that hole in your stomach, pay attention to what it is telling you.

6. “I need to get out of here.”

It could be from a job, a relationship, or a questionable part of town. If that little voice in the back of your head is telling you to get out, it’s important to listen. The feeling in your gut can help keep you safe. It can also help bring you happiness. Be brave enough to make a change when instinct is telling you it’s time.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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