Our instinct is fascinating. Do you trust your instinct? Perhaps sometimes you do, and perhaps sometimes you don’t, and that’s okay.

Is it always right? The short answer is no. It’s not right all the time because your intuition is your subconscious communicating with you, or more correctly, your conscious mind. Your subconscious is incredibly responsive and fast, but it doesn’t crunch data like your conscious mind does.

It works on past memories and feelings and emotions. Your gut feelings are based on your experiences and knowledge and aren’t always accurate or fully attuned to your current circumstance. Still, if you become skilled in recognizing your intuitive experiences, you will be able to tell when you should trust your intuition more than your logic.

That is because the more you practice trusting your intuition, the more you become better at decision-making. You will be processing more information, much more quickly, which improves the accuracy of your gut feelings and your perception of them. While it is not always right, your gut feeling is always worth considering.

Here are some situations where you can learn to trust your intuition:

You Feel Expansion, Not Contraction

One way to know if you should follow your intuition is when it makes you feel empowered, rather than feeling afraid. When you are about to make a decision, close your eyes and quickly see what you first feel. In a fleeting second, do you feel relaxed, excited, and closer to your goal? Or does it scare you and make you anxious?

If you feel like you are moving toward your desired result, it’s probably right to trust your intuition. If not, err on the side of caution.

You Get Physical Signs

Another way to know when to trust your intuition is through physical signs. If you feel a sinking pit in your stomach, goosebumps, or butterflies, or if you feel tensed like something isn’t right, it’s usually right to listen to your gut feelings and act upon them, until events prove otherwise.

You’ll know more when it’s right to follow your intuition the more you get in tune with your body. Meditation is one method to help practice this, so you can listen better to your inner self, recognize your intuitive senses better, and then determine whether it is correct.

You can develop your ability to trust your gut feeling, but that will require some trial and error. That is because you are gaining more experience that your subconscious will process and you will learn to interpret.

You Have the Expertise

Your intuition isn’t about guessing what’s going to happen next. As mentioned, it’s based on experience and your subconscious perception of those memories, plus your accumulated knowledge. When you have expertise in an area, you are more likely to have the power to make smart decisions and better judgments. In that case, you can listen to your gut feelings with greater trust.

When You Shouldn’t Trust Your Intuition

Your intuition allows you to make decisions in a snap, but when you are feeling strong emotions, such as when you are angry or lonely, it is better to pause.

Be careful about following your gut feelings when feeling this way, because more likely than not, it is your emotions talking, and not your intuition. That is why you hear people say that you shouldn’t make rash decisions or say something when you are angry because you are most likely to regret it later.

When making decisions that can have big ramifications, it is usually best not to jump into what your instincts tell you right away. You need to weigh your options and consider all the facts and logic. Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should ignore your intuition altogether, but you should support it with rational analysis.

You can’t trust your instincts or your knowledge base when there are too many uncertainties, especially if you know that you could never have either enough data or experience to back up your decision. In this case, you can still make your decision based on your intuition as to whether you should go for it or not, but know there are no hard and fast rules about the outcome you may get.

Many people swear that their instincts have saved them from huge headaches many times, and saved them from danger. Although it may not always be right and accurate, your intuition is worth considering when making a decision.