5 Psychic-Certified Tips To Improve Your Intuition

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
October 31 is almost here — are you ready? No, not for Halloween, although we've definitely got you covered on that front, too. We're here to talk about a different late-October holiday with mystical leanings: Increase Your Psychic Abilities Day. There's no candy involved (officially, anyway), but stay with us.

Melanie Barnum is a certified hypnotist, intuitive counselor, psychic medium, author, hypno coach, and, most importantly, our source on how anyone can increase awareness of their intuition and psychic ability. Never thought about learning psychic skills? Believe it or not, you already have them brewing inside you, in the form of little gut feelings. Whether we're thinking about our careers or our relationships, intuition is the name of the game. You just have to practice listening.

"It’s those nudges that you [should] start paying attention to" in order to increase your psychic awareness, Barnum tells us. What, we ask, can we do to turn them into true psychic readings? "Be open," Barnum says. Make "the conscious effort to go beyond," she suggests, and "just relax a little bit." (We're more than willing to take a stab at that last part.)
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Below, check out Barnum's best advice on tapping into your intuition — which, with time, patience, and, above all, openness, will be the gateway to your greater psychic development.
Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Go With Your Gut
Your intuition is there for a reason: Those gut instincts are often right. Barnum tells us that not enough people are willing to truly listen to their guts, even though this can be the best way to self-assess: "If you think about a situation that you’re involved in...and it makes you feel really sick, then maybe [you] need to make some changes," she explains. Taking your intuition seriously is, in equal parts, an easy and courageous way to begin your psychic development. "One of the easiest, most common ways to connect to your psychic abilities," she adds, "is [noticing] when you feel something."

Practice, Practice, Practice
"Everybody can develop and experience their own senses of intuition, no matter who they are," Barnum tells us. She is quick to add, however, "that being a psychic takes that a step further," and the only way to push forward is with practice. Funnily enough, playing a guessing game, either with yourself or a partner, is one of the most effective ways to sharpen your powers. Try anticipating what will be on the next channel when you're watching TV, or play cards with your partner and try to feel out what card he or she drew. Sure, your guesses will start out as total shots in the dark, but with time, you should notice small signs that will tip you off to the truth. Practice is key, and Barnum drives this point home with a metaphor one might not expect from a psychic: "Everybody can pick up a baseball bat and swing and hit a baseball, but not everybody’s going to be Babe Ruth."
Find Your Unique Approach
Whether you think of psychics as tarot card readers or crystal ball soothsayers, you probably have a preconceived notion of what psychic powers look like. In nurturing your own powers, Barnum urges, forget what you think you know. "Not everybody experiences psychic or intuitive abilities in the same way," she explains, adding that all five senses are potential conduits for information from the past and future. You may hear things, see things, or experience whole-body sensations while tapping into your intuition. It completely varies from person to person. Barnum clarifies that, although there are many ways to reach the other side, just about anyone is capable of doing so: "It’s never too late. I’ve worked with kids...and I’ve worked with people in their 80s."
Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Be Ready For Anything
Tapping into psychic thought is kind of like tuning a radio, Barnum says: "You’re going to get a lot of static, especially in the beginning." In other words, not everything you "receive" in your practice will make sense. Again, just trust yourself, and trust that what you're receiving, whether it's an image of a trivial object or just a first name, matters and is worth considering. And don't be surprised if you encounter some negative energy during your practice, Barnum warns: "When you’re wide open, trying to communicate with the other side, you’re also wide open for anything negative to come in." In her own work as a psychic, Barnum takes her radio comparison one step further, as a means of protecting herself from negativity: "I just let it go...right through me, and flow right out to whoever it needs to go to."

Have Fun
Barnum ends our conversation with one final tip, and it's the simplest: "Let it be fun. It’s not supposed to be hard work." Psychic abilities don't appear overnight, so try not to get frustrated with yourself. Intuitive development should naturally lead to self-discovery, and that's just not going to happen if you feel like you have to drag yourself to practice every day. "If it gets to the point where you’re struggling and you’re stressed about it, let it go... Don’t do it that day," Barnum says. If you don't find the practice satisfying at any point, perhaps reconsider why you're doing it, because, according to Barnum, "it should be a natural extension of who you are." Check in with yourself, remember why you started, and don't take it too seriously.
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Barnum's newest book, Psychic Vision: Developing Your Clairvoyant & Remote Viewing Skills, goes on sale next month.
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