Before you made the decision to work on your sobriety, your decisions were most-likely motivated by your desire to acquire and abuse substances. In a way, it was simple because you just wanted to get from point A to point B. Now, however, you’re making more difficult decisions and it can be hard to rely on your intuition.
It’s no easy feat learning to develop trust in your own discernment abilities. Since it may not be something you’re used to, it can take work. Thankfully, we are here to help you find the best practices that help you learn when to listen to your gut.
How to Trust Your Gut
With consistent effort, you can use the following methods to help you learn how to quiet your mind so you can recognize trigger warnings and learn to trust your gut.
- Meditation/Prayer – You can find many free or low-cost meditation apps/services that can help you learn to identify, acknowledge, and accept or reject thoughts. Mediation is like taking inventory of what’s in your mind, and learning to categorize thoughts and feelings. Some of the chatter in your mind doesn’t need to be there, and meditation can help you clear it away so you can focus on truths. With regular meditation and prayer, you can learn to allow your gut, or intuition, to speak to you more clearly.
- Talk it Out – Sometimes it helps to discuss your thoughts and feelings with your sponsor or other trusted person. Even just the act of saying things out loud can help you identify the validity of something you’re pondering. Your sponsor, therapist, or loved one may be able to ask the right questions to help you figure out what brought on these feelings.
- Write it Out – It can be very cathartic to write out things swirling around in your mind. Making lists of pros and cons is beneficial for helping you sort out what you’re thinking and make an informed, rational choice. If you have a nagging feeling about something, record the events that led up to it; can you identify what initially triggered you? The practice of writing it all out can help you avoid the triggers next time, or overcome them more easily.
- Embrace Creativity – Perhaps other forms of art or creativity offer a sense of calm for you. Embrace those inclinations and make a habit of seeing where it takes you. The right side of the brain houses creativity, as well as intuitive decision-making centers. Regardless of what media you choose, find out what speaks to you and helps you get more in tune with your gut.
- Exercise – Exercise has been proven to help clear the mind, and produce a headspace in which decision making may be improved. Additionally, focusing on your health and reaching physical goals is beneficial overall.
Overall, the goal is improving mental clarity so you can be more receptive to those sparks of intuition that may have been dampened due to years of neglect.