How To Tell the Difference Between Intuition and Thoughts

Billy’s Question:

How do we know if intuition is trying to speak to us? I mean how can we tell the difference between intuition and just other plain thoughts?

Rosine’s Answer:

Hi Billy,

Your intuition is speaking to you all the time. :)

Your intuition is input from your soul. Your soul is one aspect of you. It is permanently available to you right here and now. Just like your body is permanently communicating with you and sending you diverse signals, and just like you permanently feel all kinds of emotions and have all kinds of thoughts, just in the same way your soul is permanently communicating with you and making its presence felt.

Your soul’s energy is less dense than physical sensations, emotions or thoughts, that’s what makes it more subtle to hear when you are not used to it, but it is permanently there.

It’s not like some of your thoughts come from your mind and others come from your intuition. Thoughts and intuition exist at different levels of your Being. Thoughts happen at the mental level. Intuition happens at the level of the soul. It is something completely different, it’s activity in another, less dense aspect of you.

Your Dominant Psychic Ability

How your intuition speaks to you depends among other things on what your dominant psychic ability is.

  • If you are mainly clairvoyant, your intuition will manifest as quick mental images in your head.
  • If you are mainly clairsentient, you will get feelings in your body that feel very much like emotions or physical sensations, without really being any of this. The so-called “gut feelings”.
  • If you are mainly clairaudient, you will hear voices inside of your head.
  • If you are mainly claircognizant, you will instantly “just know” things without getting any kind of sensory input.

When you don’t know what your dominant psychic ability is, it can be difficult to hear your intuition because your intuition might speak to you in ways that you don’t necessarily expect and don’t even identify as intuition. :) For example many people think they need to see images in order to be intuitive. So when instead they have weird gut feelings or just know stuff, they might not even realize this IS their intuition.

When you are a mainly visual or feeling person, your intuition manifests in ways that don’t have much in common with thoughts, so there’s no danger you’d confuse both. On the other hand, it can be easy to confuse intuition with your mind-level thoughts when you are claircognizant or clairaudient. The voices you hear might sound very much like you talking in your head. Claircognizant input might feel simply like some ideas or thoughts you’re having and nothing like intuition.

So I recommend you find out what your primary psychic ability is. It will help you to know what to expect.

How to Recognize Your Intuition

There are a few things that can help you know it is your intuition speaking and not your mind. Here they are:

– intuition does not explain. You will feel inspired to do or not do something, but there will be no explanation. Your mind would explain, but your intuition will not. That’s what makes it scary to follow it. :)

For example your mind would say “I should call my friend Maria (maybe she’s still sad about her breakup and would appreciate a call)”. Your intuition however would just say “Call Maria now.” Why? No clue. Or, your mind would say “Maybe I should not go out now. (The sky looks like it might rain and then I’ll get wet)”. Your intuition will say “Stay home”. Why? No clue. Yes, you were planning to go out, but stay home. Period. No explanation.

This used to annoy me a lot. So I’d intentionally do the contrary of what my intuition was saying just to see what would happen if I didn’t listen to it. hehe. :) Sometimes something bad happened (and then I wanted to bite my own ass for not listening to my intuition. I was like “Damn! I knew it! Why did I not listen!!”) Other times nothing bad happened. Intuition is not just a warning system, it also leads us to great opportunities. Who knows whom I would have met or what I would have done or which ideas I would have had if I had listened? :)

– intuition is not compelling. It will not try to force you. When it nudges you and you don’t accept its input, that’s fine. Your mind would insist and try to convince you: your intuition will never do that. Take it or leave it. It’s very subtle and easily pushed aside.

– intuition feels “lighter” than thoughts. Soul-level energy is less dense than mental energy. When you think a thought, you can feel that you have to make a small effort to think that thought. It feels a bit like a very small tension in your head. Just a tiny wee bit of heaviness. You can feel something happening in your brain. When it is intuition, on the other hand, no such thing. The information pops into your head completely effortlessly. Your brain just observes, it does not do any work.

That’s how I usually know. When it’s me thinking, my head feels heavy and active. Something is moving inside my brain. When it’s my intuition, no movement. My head feels light and empty. I just suddenly know without having to think anything. My knowledge is the result of an activity lighter than the level of thoughts: my soul-level activity.

That’s me, because I am mainly claircognizant. If you are too, it will probably be similar for you. If you are clairaudient, you will hear voices in your head. Those could sound almost like when you are talking to yourself, but not quite. And here again, it will not cost your mind any effort. The sentences will just pop into your mind without any kind of heaviness. You will hear it, but not actively think it.

If you are clairvoyant or clairsentient, you will get flashes of visual insights or gut feelings, and then there is no danger you’d confuse that with thoughts. Don’t necessarily assume that your intuition will be something in your head. It might be somewhere else altogether and your thoughts might just really be nothing but your thoughts.

Asking about the difference between thoughts and intuition is very similar to asking about the difference between emotions and thoughts. Feeling sad is very different from thinking “I am sad”. When I feel sad, I really feel it quite physically, and it takes more time and effort. On the other hand I can think “I am sad” right now very easily and quickly and not feel much. Thoughts are lighter. They are less dense, less physical than emotions. They move more easily. There is a difference in weight and effort between feeling an emotion and thinking a thought. Well, there is the same difference in density between thoughts and intuition. Intuition is lighter, faster, less dense, less physical.


When you practice listening to your intuition, you will learn to recognize it. It has a very distinctive feel to it. You just need to practice, then you will not confuse it with thoughts anymore. :)

Tip: Find out what your primary psychic ability is. If your intuition talks to you in images or through gut feelings, your thoughts are likely to be just your thoughts and you don’t need to invest as much energy in finding out the difference. If you are claircognizant or clairaudient it is crucial you learn to differentiate between the two.


  • Intentionally think thoughts and observe how heavy and physical they are. How your brain makes a small effort and something slightly moves when you think. Feel your mental energy.
  • Then stop thinking for a moment and feel what your brain feels like when you don’t think. That’s about what it feels like in your head when it’s your intuition talking. In the space between the thoughts, you can feel your soul.
  • Alternate between thinking and not thinking for a while, making yourself aware of the difference.
  • Repeat every day.

This should help you to recognize whether something was a thought or not. :)

Hope this helps!



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11 Responses to How To Tell the Difference Between Intuition and Thoughts

  • I love this Rosine! Your article captures the essence of intuition in all its forms very well and you have articulated something regarding those different forms that I had previously not been able to do myself. Your description of how intuition communicates in the gaps between thoughts is why practicing some form of meditation is so valuable when developing intuitive awareness in my opinion.

    • Hi Allison, I’m happy you like my article. :) Meditation definitely helps to get in touch with the less dense aspects of us, beyond our thoughts. I believe intuition also communicates with us while we are thinking, but when we are thinking we focus so much on our mind that we don’t pay attention to our non-mental aspects! And then we don’t hear what our intuition is saying. I’ll talk more about this is my next post. It’ll be about how to improve our intuition. :)

  • Jen says:

    Any other females notice difference in intuition depending on what time of the month it is? I do and mine is also stronger during a full moon.

  • Teri says:

    The difference between a psychic flash and ordinary imagination? I have found the imagination (image, knowledge, feeling etc.) comes AFTER thinking about the topic, with intuition or a psychic flash, the image, knowledge or feeling comes before any imagining. Just flashes in out of nowhere.

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