Intuition is that keen and quick insight, that immediate knowing that tells you something is or isn't 'right'.
If you've ever had a moment where you felt as though something wasn't right - when things didn't seem to add up - then you've experienced intuition. Conversely, you could've experienced situations where everything did add up and seem to come together to tell you to take action straight away. That's also your intuition.
Tuning into your intuition simply means being aware of the information your sense are communicating to you: what your ears, eyes, nose, sense of taste, sense of touch and the physical sensations are telling you.
Everyone has intuition. It bridges the gap between the conscious and non-conscious parts of your mind, between instinct and reason.
Intuitive messages are often keen and quick, which makes them easy to miss. So often, intuitive messages are drowned out by all the other internal and external noise and activity that is going on in and around you.
This is where mindfulness can help. The key to increasing your intuitive awareness is to be preset. Intuition lives in the present. Mindfulness can help you filter out mental chatter and external noise, activity and distractions.
Practice developing your intuition. Take a couple of minutes to be still and be present in a range of situations at home, on your way to work, at work, in a cafe, in the dentist's waiting room and so on. Breathe normally. What do you see or hear, smell, taste and feel?
Be aware of your thoughts. Notice physical sensations. Notice the temperature of the air as it flows through your nostrils. Notice the different smells in the air. What can you hear? Let the sounds you hear anchor you to the present moment.
Go outside. Changing your environment can help your sense get used to returning. Observe the way the world is moving around you, the changing light, sights, sounds and smells.
Notice what's normal and what's new in familiar situations. Notice smells, sounds and sights; then, when you notice things being out of place or unusual, you will recognise your intuition communicating with you.
Tune into your intuition. Learn to trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, focus. Don't allow anything else to divert your attention.
Listen to your body. In any one situation an inkling or flash of inner sense may be felt as a tightness in your chest, a lump in your throat, lightness in your head, a voice or a sensation, even a taste.
Be alert for a combination of signals. It may be a glimpse of something happening, a brief passing look from someone else and a momentary sound. When all the information your sense are receiving does add up, your intuition is coming through loud and clear.
This is an extract from Gill Hasson's Mindfulness Pocketbook