I find it tempting to over-think things, especially big decisions, but I’ve learned that sometimes thinking too much makes it harder to recognize the right path to take. Analyzing a situation ad nauseum can be less productive than trusting your intuition. Here are a few tips on how to tune into your inner voice:
Distract yourself. When you find yourself obsessing over a decision or situation, do something to get out of your own head. Go see a funny movie, have dinner with a group of friends, or volunteer at a local charity. You may find that an answer or insight will come to you once you’ve stopped looking for it.
Listen to your gut. I mean literally! If you’re considering taking a course of action, imagine yourself doing it and take note of how your body feels. Does your stomach feel woozy or your chest feel tight, do you want to sigh wearily? Those are clear signs that it’s not the right choice, even if it sounds (on paper) like it should be. But if the thought brings butterflies of excitement to your core, or makes you breathe a sigh of relief, then you’re on the right track.
Sleep on it. There’s much wisdom in this age-old advice—things often do appear more clear in the morning. Try this exercise: Before bed, write down your questions or anxieties, then look at them first thing in the morning (or maybe after a cup of tea!). I expect that the insight you’ve been seeking will come to you with the new day.