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Sixth sense, hunch, spidey senses tingling, or gut feeling: no matter what you call it, we all have had that feeling at one point or another. Not everyone is as in tune with that feeling as some, but when we have that feeling it's important to listen to it. It could be life or death.

Science tells us that there's actual physical feelings associated with the gut feeling due to our gut-brain connection. Signals from our brain can actually cause intestinal signals to bubble up. It can come in a moments notice. Sometimes feeling a little like anxiety or even "hearing" a voice in your head telling you something might be off.

Healthline says:

"Research links these flashes of intuition to certain brain processes, such as evaluating and decoding emotional and other nonverbal cues."


We might need to listen to our gut specifically to protect ourselves. It's that intuitive knowledge that keeps humanity alive for centuries.

Antonia Hock, global head of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center said:

"Instinct is a powerful data point that can be a treasure trove of untapped generational knowledge in decision making."

Redditors shared their life-saving moments when they listened to their gut and trusted it.

Redditor TheGaySussyBaka asked:

"What's a gut feeling that saved yours or someone else's life?"

Intuition could save a life. Let's read some true stories about gut feelings that made all the difference.

It was worth being late to the party.

"Years ago, my wife and I were driving on the expressway that was under major construction. Traffic had slowed quite a bit and I saw a plume of smoke ahead. As we drew closer, I could see it was the beginning of a Carbeque, but the driver was still in the vehicle."

"I did a death defying move to cross multiple lanes of traffic to pull over, despite my wife's protests about being late to the event we were headed to."

"I approached the car, which was just starting to produce visible fire from the wheel wells and opened the door to the car. The guy was conscious, but in obvious shock and was unresponsive. I had to reach in to unbuckle him and pull him out of the car. Within seconds of me getting him out, the driver's compartment was completely engulfed in flames."

- TheSpatulaOfLove

"In that moment, that's what your wife was thinking about?"

- Nooseents

"I don't think she had malicious intent. She's just nuts about being everywhere 5 minutes early. She assumed the guy would get out of the car and all would be fine. I didn't get that feeling."

- TheSpatulaOfLove

"Tipsy" driving is still drunk driving.

"Do not get into a car with someone who says 'they are just a little tipsy.'"

"The guy who was trying to convince us that he 'was totally fine to drive' didn't die that night but he did have to spend a two years learning to walk again."

- fruit_cats

"My story isn't as bad as that but I'm pretty sure I saved a friend from getting arrested for drunk driving. She'd been hanging out at my fraternity and had at least a couple drinks. She said she was going to drive to the bar, but I told her I wasn't going to let her and would find someone to drive her. But everybody else had been drinking. I hadn't, but I also didn't have a driver's license at the time (not for nefarious reasons, I just didn't get one until I graduated college)."

"Refusing to let her drive, I told her I would. She got in next to me and even though I hadn't driven in awhile, I drove slowly to the bar. After I pulled in to the spot, I finally noticed that there had been a cop right behind us. Luckily he drove off. But the cops in our college town were notorious jerks and even if she had been below the legal limit, she probably would have been arrested. But she was fine and I drove her back to her apartment after we were done."

"Also later found out that the car I was driving wasn't even hers - it belonged to her sorority sister. So there's a good chance I prevented her a) from getting arrested, b) getting into a bad accident, c) damaging her sorority sister's car or d) all of the above."

- PAKMan1988

"You're really burying the good part."

"You prevented her from possible troubles by driving a stolen car without a license right in front of a cop."

- yourmomlurks

Listen to your parental gut feeling.

"My son has leukemia and is on chemotherapy. He was just...off. Looked paler than usual and something just felt odd. Turns out chemo had obliterated his blood so much it might as well have been water and he would have died within days. Two blood transfusions, five days hospital and two weeks off chemotherapy and he was on the mend."

"I went into traumatic shock and the one thing that pulled me out was a debrief with my doctor, who told me I had just saved my child's life with my maternal instinct and never doubt it. Fast forward a few months and he got an infection and that same odd feeling woke me up. He spent a week in hospital that time."

"Parental instinct is there for a reason. Don't doubt it. When you feel it, it's not like feeling a concern or worry that something might be wrong... it's a deep primal knowing."

- belltrina

"My wife had the same thing happen with our 3rd kid. 3 days old. Something was off for her. She had a feeling, called the pediatrician and tested his blood sugar with her kit since she was a gestational diabetic. It was in the basement. Like the oh f**k basement. Verge of coma basement. Doc had us call 9-11 and they would have life-flighted him to a bigger hospital had the weather not sucked a**. Spent 9 days in the NICU. Now he's a wild 5-year-old boy. She 100% saved his life."

- Fleadip

"When I worked in peds, this was the mantra among the nursing staff. If mom (or dad) thinks something is wrong, something is wrong! You know your kid better than anyone else in the world."

- vanillabeanlover

"This is so true! When I had appendicitis, my doctor tried to send me home saying it was the flu. If my mom hadn't insisted something was seriously wrong, I might be dead. It was hours from rupturing when they removed it."

- hotairballoons

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A near miss.

"Scenario- driving myself and 2 coworkers back from lunch. Didn't immediately go when my light was green as I got this weird knot in my stomach like something was gonna go down. Car next to me went forward and got slammed into a brick building and post by a speeding car that went thru his red. Some debris rained on my car but basically was left unscathed. Shook but unscathed."

- tokoloshe_noms_toes

"My friends make fun of me for this, bc the 'light is green lol' but I've been involved in that type of accident, and am only alive because my dad, who was driving saw it in time to slam the gas and make them only hit the bed of the truck."

- marshal231

The man in the truck.

"This is before cell phones (think beepers). I went out one night and was meeting my bestie half way between my house and hers. I noticed this truck drive by me and he slowed down to a crawl. Another car was coming so he kept going. My spidey senses were triggered though. I saw my best friend and I grabbed her and pulled her into an old shed at an abandoned house. I shut the door quick and told her to be quiet. There was a space so we were able to see this truck coming."

"She is whispering rapidly to me asking what is happening. I told her that I had seen that guy a few minutes before and he made me nervous. He slowly crept down the street, pulled over and got out with a flashlight. That's when we saw the gun. The most terrifying thing, it was only moments, but felt like hours. He finally took off, but I was hesitant to leave yet. We stayed there for about 15-20 minutes and he came back 4 or 5 times."

"Finally we heard our names being called, her older brother and his best friend had come looking because it typically takes 10 minutes to get from my house to hers. I am convinced that she and I would both be dead if it wasn't for that shed and me trusting my spidey senses."

- Right-Mind2723

Caught it just in time.

"Was hanging out with my brother who was visiting from a few hours away. We went to one of his highschool friends house to shoot the sh*t."

"My brother's friend had a kid who was literally bouncing off the walls. After one bounce I heard a little scrape behind me. I looked behind me to see the 8 point deer head mounted to the wall just in time for another bounce."

"I snatched that head out of the air just about 3 inches from giving the kid 4 stab wounds to the skull."

- piratecheese13

"I was at a party my house was hosting back in the day. We had a back area that had a door leading to the backyard, the door swung inwards. Someone was bent over putting their shoe on and I heard someone coming up the stairs to come in. As soon as the handle started turning, I put my hand over the door to stop it coming in. The person putting on their shoe was so shocked because no one else noticed the door opening and their head was right near the handle. Maybe not exactly saving a life, but a solid concussion at least."

- Subject37

"Peacefully riding my motorcycle."

"'I don't think that guy is going to stop for that stop sign. I'll slow down just a little bit so he'd miss me if he didnt.'"

"Guy flys through intersection at 100km/h."

"'God wanted me to live this day, I see.'"

- shrapnullvxvsa

Don't cross just yet.

"This happened like a year ago but I still remember it clearly. I was walking to school and there was one of these roads where there's a little place in the middle for pedestrians to stop for a moment."

"I was waiting not at the pedestrian stop but at the edge of the road. This guy in a car gestured at me to cross the road but my gut started screaming loudly at me to not go. He didn't even have time to roll down his window before the guy behind him crashed right into the back of the first guy's car sending two cars skidding right across the road and over the pedestrian stop thing. Avoided something big there."

- chxaki

"Where I live it's called 'wave someone to their grave.'"

- BecciButton

"Right of way is important. It's not 'polite' to give it to someone else, you want to be as predictable as possible in a car. In situations where someone stops and tries to give me right of way, I'll flat out refuse. They usually get frustrated with me because they stopped in the middle of the road for nothing, but that's their fault. I could've just waited the 2 seconds for the car to go by."

- Euphorix126

"If it's a pedestrian crosswalk it's required by law (I assume in most states) to yield to pedestrians. Even if you in particular would rather wait, many people will stop out of fear of getting a ticket."

- DoritoDawg

"Sounds like it was just a regular road with a pedestrian island. People who give way randomly and trying to be kind, but often cause frustration and delays that would have been avoided if everyone had just followed the rules. The only exception would be politely allowing merging in bumper to bumper traffic."

- RuncibleMountainWren

Maybe not instinct, but good timing.

"Not much intuition but lucky instincts haha."

'I was in the car with my sister (7 and 5 years old, I'm the oldest) while our mom was buying something at the drugstore (we were parked in front of the shop, she usually took like 5 min, take the meds and back). She closed the car but we could still open from the inside."

'So I get a major urge to PEE. Urgent like now. I decide to go to the shop and ask to use the bathroom (we lived in a small town and the people of that shop know me, and in the end I was a 7 yo asking to pee. And It was like a few steps away from the car)."

"Well, so I take my sister, open the door, and when we are like a few steps away, a drunk driver crashed into our car. Destroying it totally. The people from the shop came to see and our mom was in shock, but calmed down when she saw me and my sister in one piece."

"You can imagine, all tears and relief. That much that I wet myself."

- Freyjann

Checking on a friend.

"I felt like I really needed to check on an old lady i sometimes give company to. She was having a heart attack in her house."

- AnonymousNeko2828

"How'd you get in? Were you able to see her from a window or something?"

- IHeartDana

"She left her front door opened. Like just wide open which she never does."

- AnonymousNeko2828

Decided to stay home.

"In 2015 there was a fire in the Colectiv club in Bucharest, Romania during a rock concert. It was free entry and me and my friend were supposed to go but at the last minute i decided not to. I just don't know why. I called my 2 friends and boyfriend saying I'm not going anymore and decided to meet at my place instead. 27 people died that night. The total number was 64. We lost 3 people we knew very well, it was a disaster."

- Lonely_Cycle_1059

"So sorry to read that."

- Imaginary_Reveal7884

"Wow. That's just wow...."

- TheGaySussyBaka

Toddler tantrum.

"Might not have been deadly and might have been a coincidence, but judge for yourself: when I was a kid I loved to go on walks around town with my aunt. One day I absolutely refused to cross the street to pick up some drinks at our usual corner store. Apparently there was a 'cat demon' inside the corner store who would kill us (in my defense I was about eight years old an obsessed with a fairytale/ story where a cat demon sets out to kill a hunter)."

"While we were standing on the sidewalk arguing about corner store demons, a driver lost control of their car and crashed next to the store. Nobody got hurt, but my aunt and I might well have been if we'd just crossed the street without me making a fuss."

- PrinceCharlot

"The only time toddler tantrums helped."

- TheGaySussyBaka

A fish almost started a fire.

"I'm not sure if this counts, but when I was younger I had this white betta fish named Dovey, one night I had an extremely vivid dream about waking up the next morning and finding her dead, as well as a very VERY strong urge to wake up! I woke up and went down the hall to check on her. She was lying on the ELECTRICAL SOCKET near the tank!"

"We always kept the tank a few feet to the side of the sockets and never directly in front of them in case some water splashed out, but I guess she jumped out and landed on one of them! I'm not sure if the small amount of water on her would have been enough to start an electrical fire if it got into the socket but safe to say I'm glad I woke up when I did! Also she was alive and had only a minor injury to her side where she landed on the socket."

- Mom_of_pets

"OK just wow on that one!!! I've never heard of that kind of connection with a fish before. Glad everyone was okay."

- theory_until

"You heard her commit seppuku in your sleep and your unconscious mind knew she was in danger and woke you up. Also you had probably, consciously or not, observed over days behavior suggesting she was thinking about taking the death leap."

- NotMyHersheyBar

"I don't know honestly, fish usually Leap out of the tank as a desperate attempt to find cleaner waters but since this was a live planted 10 gallon tank I don't think that was the case, I think she may have been startled by a small earthquake or my mom's dog."

- Mom_of_pets

Bad Tinder date vibes.

"I had befriended a very troubled girl when I was 18, she was two years younger and had horrible parents, horrible friends, and horrible judgement. She was on tinder (pretending to be 18), and showed me some conversations with a guy in his early 20s that she was planning on meeting. I told her I could not pinpoint why, but he gave me bad vibes. There was no red flags in the convo, but I had a horrible sense of dread about it (beyond the anxiety of her pretending to be an adult on tinder). Her nasty lil friends ended up convincing her I was jealous, so she went on the date anyway, but took some pepper spray I gave her."

"I was 100% correct, he followed her to her car after she cut short the very bad and creepy date, grabbed her, and she pepper sprayed his a**, and drove away. We aren't friends anymore (had to realize at a certain point that I am not a therapist), but I hope she's made better choices since then."

- sweetiepotpie

There are a few things you'll need to do to learn how to trust your gut. Part of it is recognizing when your gut is trying to send you signals. Body awareness, emotional awareness and cognitive processing is something that can happen intuitively, but we have to know how to recognize it.

Pay attention to when it is intrinsically emotional or when it might be clouded by bias. Know the difference so you can make choices that make the most sense for the situation.

And practice! Find ways to listen to your body and emotions and put the skills to the test.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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