Trusting your intuition when something doesn’t feel right
We all know that feeling. It might start off as a niggling sense that something feels a bit out of whack. Sometimes, it goes away. However, sometimes that inner voice or gut instinct grows more persistent.
As women, we have been bestowed with the great gift of intuition. As defined by the dictionary, intuition is ‘an ability to understand or know something based on your feelings rather than facts’.
Intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, have know that women make better spies because their heightened intuition (1).
And sometimes when it comes to our health, we really do need to go with our feelings and trust that if something doesn’t feel right, we need to get it checked. Especially when it comes to heart disease.
In the fight against heart disease, intuition can be our best friend. For women, symptoms of heart attack can be much more vague and ambiguous than in men. We are all well versed in the obvious signs of heart attack such as severe chest pain and a cold sweat, however for women the symptoms can be much subtler and therefore difficult to detect.
Often, the first sign that something is not right might be that voice in our head telling us ‘I just don’t feel right’ or ‘why am I always out of breath lately?’ Our body is sending us cues which thankfully our intuition often picks up.
Frustratingly, women may listen to this intuition and present to their GP or hospital only to be told it is nothing to worry about, possibly just a bit of anxiety or stress, or being too sensitive, too emotional, too dramatic.
A woman in our community experienced this situation recently. When Fiona, only 41 at the time, was rushed in an ambulance to the Emergency Room with a-typical symptoms of a heart attack, she was brushed off and waited over 6 hours before seeing a doctor. By this point, her heart had failed. Fiona believed it was because she looked young and healthy.
“If there is any doubt in your mind, don’t ignore it. Call an ambulance straight away. Ask questions and demand to get a blood test or ECG.”
“If they took my symptoms seriously my heart wouldn’t have failed and I would be in a much better position now.”
The trick is learning to not only listen to our intuition but to trust it, even if our concerns have been dismissed by others and make us doubt ourselves, and our instincts.
Some of the signs that you may have heart disease and are at risk of a heart attack include jaw pain, shortness of breath, nausea, extreme fatigue and backache. For many busy women, we may put some of these symptoms down to something else. “Oh, I am just exhausted because I have been working late every day this month” or “perhaps it is just pre-menstrual tension”.
However, it is important to stop and really listen to your body and to your gut instinct. Ask yourself ‘does this really feel normal?’ ‘How long have I been feeling like this?’ And rather than looking for excuses for things that could be triggering these symptoms, trust your instinct and book yourself in for a Heart Health Check with your GP today.
To help start the conversation with your GP, download our Heart Health Checklist.
How to strengthen your intuition and trust your gut
We asked around the office (we are an all-female team) and came up with a list of 4 ways to help develop your intuition so that you can use it to its full potential:
- Meditate: escape your daily routine for 5-10 minutes a day to help you get into a clear and positive mindset and help you connect even more with your intuition
- Keep a journal: of your thoughts, so you don’t brush things away or simply forget them. Paying attention to clues will guide your actions and help you make positive lifestyle changes.
- Listen: to what you are feeling on the inside. It sounds simple enough, however your intuition can not talk to you if you are not listening.
- Surround yourself with people who support you: happy and positive mindset of trusted family and friends can help you develop, and sharpen, your intuition.
If you would like to learn more about trusting your intuition here are some helpful resources.