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.
"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."
"In that moment, that's what your wife was thinking about?"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
People Share The Most Selfless Thing They've Ever Secretly Done | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
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."
"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."
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."
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."
"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."
"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.'"
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."
"Where I live it's called 'wave someone to their grave.'"
"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."
"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."
"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."
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."
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."
"How'd you get in? Were you able to see her from a window or something?"
"She left her front door opened. Like just wide open which she never does."
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."
"So sorry to read that."
"Wow. That's just wow...."
"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."
"The only time toddler tantrums helped."
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."
"OK just wow on that one!!! I've never heard of that kind of connection with a fish before. Glad everyone was okay."
"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."
"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."
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."
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.
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My number one rule in life has always been "trust your gut". Your body and brain know you better than anyone, and are able to warn you when something just isn't right. Your gut is there to warn you- listen to it. Here are a few examples, courtesy of the kind people over at Reddit.
u/IChronoI asked: Hey Reddit, when did your "something's not right here" gut feeling ever save you?
A good save.
I went to hospital with shortness of breath and my heart racing. They did a chest x-ray, blood test for blood clots, ECG, and a few other tests but all came back normal. After observing me overnight everything still looked good, oxygen saturation was perfect, my heart rate was still a bit elevated but nothing too crazy, and it seemed that it was likely leftover symptoms from a bad virus that I'd had a week or so earlier.
The ER doctor asks me how I would feel if they sent me home and I just had a bad feeling about it all. I told him as such and that I had no real basis for it except that I just felt off about it. He said fair enough, let's try one more test and if that comes back negative then we'll send you up to General Medicine and see if they can track something down.
That test was a VQ scan that found despite all other tests showing no results for blood clots, I actually had a whole bunch of them in both lungs. I ended up with a diagnosis of unprovoked bilateral pulmonary embolisms and am on blood thinners for life.
Super grateful both for the bad feeling and the ER doctor who was willing to listen to it!
I used to just drive around country roads when I would feel stressed out or sad as a way to just get away and listen to music. One evening I was driving with my best friend in the car and we're on a gravel road that has a huge hill. We were driving towards the sunset but it was winter and the light was fading fast. As the car started down the hill I had this moment where I thought to myself "my brights should be on" and I flicked them on and at the bottom of this super steep hill stood 6 deer on the road.
I slammed on the brakes and the car turned sideways and skidded to a stop like 4 feet from the deer. Those stupid deer didn't even move, they just stared into the passenger side of my car and my best friend pointed at them and said "hey, deer". The car was fine, we were fine, and Bambi was all good. I don't drive around like that anymore.
Glad the parents listened.
I was learning violin when I was about 10 from an instructor at my local music shop. I got the weirdest feeling from him even though he didn't do anything out of the ordinary. I wanted to vomit every time I looked at him, especially his hands. After 4 lessons I told my parents that I had a terrible feeling about him and I never wanted to go back. Luckily, they listened and didn't make me ever go to him again.
A few years later he was arrested for assaulting multiple of his students. I have no idea how I knew something was off. He never did or said anything but I just felt it.
Poor pup.I woke up from a deep sleep at like 2AM during a winter storm, something wasn't right... I immediately went looking for my senior dog and couldn't find her anywhere in the house. My roommates had had let her out for a walk and closed door. I ran to the front of the house and found her laying on the welcome mat, she was hardly breathing and covered in snow... She had been outside alone for at the very least 5 hours.
I was walking out of a grocery store when I saw this kid about to cross the road. Something came over me and I yanked him back onto the sidewalk. Not even a second later a truck came flying past. He was probably around 7 or 8ish.
No more late night strolls.
When I was in college, I lived in a sketchy part of Chicago (Humboldt Park/Logan Square before gentrification).
I liked to take late night strolls, even when I was living in that neighborhood as a 20-year-old woman. Yeah, I know. Pretty dumb of me.
One night, I was feeling stressed out so I embarked on one of my late night strolls.
I was walking along a somewhat busy road. Cars were zooming past me. Pretty normal. I wasn't paying much attention because I was too wrapped up in whatever was stressing me out that night. Suddenly, a chill shot up my spine. Hypervigilance washed over me and I became more alert than I had ever been. Something was wrong. Someone was watching me.
I quickly spotted a car. It was driving in the opposite direction, a little slower than usual. It was too dark for me to see anyone inside the car, and the car was pretty unassuming. But I still knew something was off. They were watching me. I just knew.
The car drove past me and then made a u-turn. Now it was right behind me, creeping along the curb.
Luckily, there was a Walgreens a few blocks ahead. I started walking faster, and the car eventually sped past me and disappeared into a corner. I somehow knew I wasn't safe yet, so I still sprinted to Walgreens.
I told the security guard what happened, and we both went outside. The car was parked up the street, about 50-100 feet away. The security guard was a big guy who looked intimidating. He marched toward the car, and the car immediately backed up, made a u-turn, and then booked it out of there. The security guard called the cops, and they drove me home.
I never took a late night stroll again.
My gut made me more alert, but it was really the security guard who saved my life. I'm positive that if he wasn't there that night, something bad would've happened to me. I wish I could find that security guard to thank him.
A freak accident.
Not me but my science teacher, when she was a teenager she was standing near some lights at a pedestrian crossing with her and her friend. Very chill but out of nowhere she had this gut feeling that both of them had to move.
They moved just a couple metres away and the next moment a car had hit another car and had hit one of the street electricity utility poles and it had fell and exploded (minor explosion enough distance away that it didn't hurt the girls) exactly where they were. One of the wires had also snapped and hit it exactly where they were standing as well.
They basically were in a scene of car wreckage and snapped wires and electricity explosions and the pole collapse. Just real insane. If the pole had missed them, the wire would have hit them and if not that then most likely the cars.
That gut feeling of moving away saved both of them. I remember this story so clearly from high school science class because it was such a WTF, pity I only paid attention to these things and not actually science hehe
My sister since she was about 5 was always obsessed with Tsunamis and would always ask my dad every night before she went to sleep if there would be a tsunami that night (we lived on a beach)
About 5 years later when our family was holidaying in Samoa an earthquake struck at about 6am. It was only a dull low rumble but went on for over a minute. Everyone at the resort woke up and went outside for a few minutes then went back to bed. My sister having been obsessed with Tsunamis ran down to look at the water and noticed the sea going out and saved a lot of lives including my own.
There was about a minute from her noticing till the Tsunami hit. Luckily for us there was a cliff right behind the resort if not a lot more people would have been killed.
So something like a gut feeling 5 years in the making
That is horrifying.
My mom and her entire family were saved from dying from Carbon Monoxide poisoning by her dad. He left for work, got a weird feeling and drove back home. Everyone in the house was unconscious, and he had to drag or carry them all outside one by one. They all survived.
It could happen to anyone.
I went out with my best friend on new years last year and were having drinks with her friends when I realized I was out of cigarettes. I left for a few minutes to walk over and grab a pack and ended up talking to a homeless guy for a while, and when I went over to the entrance of the bar she was outside and said something mean to me for no reason and walked off. I was confused so I decided it would be good if I took a walk to let her cool off and then figure out what she was upset about.
I was going to walk down the street for a bit but something told me to turn left, walking behind the bar and then turning to the side of the bar when I see a girl laying down on the sidewalk and people walking by her. As I'm walking over to help I realize its my friend and she's not very conscious. She was probably drugged while I was getting smokes and who knows what would've happened if I hadn't decided to go that way!
Scares the sh*t out of me.
Earthquakes are no joke.Giphy
This also wasn't too bad of a something doesn't feel right, but an ehh it can wait till later in the morning.
November 30, 2018. Me, my husband and our kids drove down to Anchorage, Alaska. (We live in Palmer about an hour away and my husband's work is in Anchorage). We left at 7 am because we had an event at 5 in Wasilla, closer to Palmer but an hour out of Anchorage, so he needed time to drive back out.
The reason me and my kids drove down was because one of my sisters and her family were down and had a hotel with a pool (luxury to most people here). So that day we planned on buying swimsuits for the kids so they can go and swim.
As soon as we make it to my husband's work I contemplated whether I should head to Walmart then or later to buy swimsuits for my kids. I decided on later as I was still tired.
As some of you may know, we had a 7.2 earthquake that morning at 8:29 am. I watched as the trees sitting in front of me swayed back and forth, same with the huge lights in the parking lot. I looked over to watch all surrounding buildings swaying.
Had I headed out when I wanted to I would have been in Walmart with three children under the age of 5 with the shelves flying everywhere. Idk if anyone has seen pictures or videos, but the Fred Meyer Video made my stomach churn as I thought of us being in Walmart at the same time.
Had my husband left at his regular time that day he would have been near one of the larger road destructions.
Wife called me while I was at work, just to say she was home from her night shift and planning to go to bed.
She had worked night shift for years and never called me just to say she was home and going to bed before. She also sounded weirdly detached on the call. I asked her if she was okay, she said yes — just really sleepy.
I got a weird feeling and told her I was going to leave work and come home. She told me I didn't need to, I said okay...and then I left work and rushed home anyway.
Found a suicide note taped to the garage door.
I got to her in time, rushed her to the ER, and got her the help she needed. A week of inpatient psych, followed by changes to medications and doctors.
This was about five months ago, and she is so much better now.
Always trust your gut.
Not mine, my old 5th grade teacher.
One day she was driving down the freeway on her way to the store, she was in the far left lane, traffic was light. Then she said she heard a voice saying to turn out of the lane, she ignored it and it went on a few more times before she finally gave into it and turned into the very next lane to her left. A few minutes later a car is speeding down the lane she was just in going the opposite direction. She had said she never listen to her gut before and after that day she said she doesn't doubt her gut for a second.
Always use your EpiPen!!!Giphy
Accidentally ate something I'm allergic to at a family get together. Never been one to use my EpiPen immediately (I know, stupid), so I just took a bunch of Benadryl in the hopes it'd be enough to curb the anaphylaxis that was starting. Luckily, it was. After that ordeal, I asked my father to give me a ride home so I could rest. At this point my only symptoms were intense nausea and cramps. Half way home, I get a "sense of impending doom" and immediately say "go to the ER."
He obviously asks why, and I just say "I don't really know, but something's wrong." He protests a bit, but I insist. Sure enough, probably like 30 minutes later I have a horrible relapse reaction, and end up stuck in the ER for roughly 8 hours because of it. Needless to say, never will I ever ignore that "sense of impending doom."
Never trust a white van.
When I was 13, I was walking home from school with my little sister and my best friend. We lived in a extremely safe neighbourhood, where nothing ever happened. While we were walking, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It was a white delivery van parked about 100 meters from us. Something about that van irked me and made me feel sick to the stomach. I told my friend and my sister to walk a bit faster.
About 10 minutes later I turn around and the same van is there. At this point my gut is screaming at me to run, so I grab the others and we sprint towards the mall, now that we are off the road, we are safe.
The next day we hear in the news that there has been several cases of vans trying to grab children and kidnap them. Two kids from a nearby school are missing. If I hadn't trusted my gut feeling, the girls and I probably would've been kidnapped.