Understanding the Difference Between Gut Feelings and Anxiety
If you're not well-versed in following your intuition, it can often feel as though you're being pulled in various directions by the many ‘voices' in your head. This confusion is complicated further when anxiety comes into the picture, making it difficult to distinguish between your gut feelings and your worries. So, how do you discern whether it's your intuition speaking to you or just your anxiety stirring up fear?
Let's delve into the distinctions between your gut feelings and anxiety.
Contrast Between Anxiety and Intuition
Anxiety and intuition differ significantly in how they manifest. Your intuition or ‘gut feeling' might seem like it appears out of the blue, while anxiety generally escalates in response to a perceived threat, whether real or imaginary. Both intuition and anxiety can hinder you from taking risks due to fear of potential harm.
When trying to figure out whether it's your intuition or anxiety at work, consider the origin of your feelings. However, be wary of attributing too much to your anxiety, as this could cause your fears to materialize. Aim to objectively evaluate if your anxiety level matches the perceived risk.
Intuition Can Feel Good, Anxiety Doesn't
One of the main ways to distinguish between your intuition and anxiety is by how they make you feel. Intuition can bring about different sensations, some of which can be quite pleasant. In contrast, anxiety consistently results in stress and discomfort.
Anxiety comes with negative physical symptoms, such as sweating, stomach discomfort, and breathing difficulties. If your gut feelings are alerting you to something, you will likely feel capable of dealing with any negative outcomes. Paying attention to your body's reactions can help you identify whether it's your intuition or anxiety at work. If you feel empowered, it's likely your intuition taking the lead.
Intuition Focuses on the Present, Anxiety on the Future
Intuition is spontaneous and pertains to the present moment, while anxiety is future-oriented, causing you to fear potential events. It's like making negative predictions about what could happen.
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Intuition is Spontaneous, Anxiety Develops Gradually
Your gut feelings often come to you instantly, without requiring much thought. Conversely, anxiety gradually escalates over time, resulting from conflicting pieces of information that cause you to overanalyze and dread. If the feeling is sudden, it's likely intuition. If it develops over time, it's probably anxiety.
Intuition Relies on Experience, Anxiety on Imagination
Although you might find it challenging to logically explain intuition or anxiety, your intuition usually stems from your experiences. Your gut feelings might be alerting you to something because you've encountered similar situations before.
Anxiety, on the other hand, is based on imagined future scenarios. You might not have any evidence and may not be certain about what will occur, but you worry nonetheless. If you're always anxious about something, it's likely to be anxiety.
To Wrap It Up
To distinguish between your intuition and anxiety, pay close attention to your feelings, both emotional and physical. Remember, intuition generally feels good, while anxiety doesn't. Intuition can provide reassurance if you're in tune with your feelings, whereas anxiety causes excessive worry.
If you're unsure, take a step back and breathe. Allow your feelings to calm down, then observe your thoughts more clearly to separate your anxiety from your intuition.
By being more attuned to your body, you'll be able to discern whether it's your intuition or anxiety at play. As you learn to differentiate between the two, you'll understand yourself and your fears better, enabling you to know when to follow your intuition for decision-making and when to ignore your anxiety and simply breathe.