One of the more common bits of advice passed around for the last zillion years or so is … “trust your gut”.  Regardless of the the circumstance or problem to be solved, if you ask enough people for advice the odds are high that you will have someone ask you what your “gut” is telling you to do, or just telling you to “trust your gut”.  Sometimes this is good advice.  Sometimes it is absolutely horrible advice.  

If you’re working on solving the problem of an anxiety disorder, trusting your gut is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing.  Your gut, and your intuition, are steering you wrong on the daily so it’s time to recognize this and clear up some confusion.

Regardless of what your favorite personal development and spiritual gurus want to tell you, your intuition is not always a competent guide.  Your gut, venerable though the idea may be in the west, can be tragically wrong and therefore not to be trusted.  In the case of anyone suffering from disorders like panic disorder, OCD, or health anxiety, following gut feelings and intuition have made the problem worse, so it’s time to stop doing that.  

In fact, as crazy as this may sound, when overcoming a bona-fide anxiety disorder, your job is to learn to NOT trust your gut or your intuition.  These things have been telling you that you are inches away from catastrophe at all times.  They have been instructing you to run, avoid, and hide.  They have been whispering in your ear for a very long time, and the whispers are never good news.  How many times has your “gut” told you that something was seriously wrong, when nothing has ever actually happened? Trusting your gut, and listening to your intuition, has landed you in a bad place.

Overcoming your anxiety disorder is almost 100% based on learning to tell your gut to shut the hell up and get out of the way.  Recovery is built on NOT listening to the catastrophic thoughts and suggestions your intuition has been hurling at you.  The life you so desperately want is attainable when you practice dismissing what your gut is telling you, and doing the exact opposite of what it wants you to do. Systematically.  Incrementally.  Consistently.  You will get better when you realize that following the inner voice of doom and avoidance is part of the problem, and when you work to go against that inner voice in a methodical way. This is not what most want to hear, but it is truth.  Your gut is continually pouring gasoline on the fire of your anxiety, so it’s time to take away the gas can and start going in a different direction.


  1. Gut feelings and intuition are highly regarded by many.  This does not make them universally helpful or even applicable across every situation.
  2. Disordered anxiety is one situation where gut feelings and intuition simply do not belong and should not be welcome.
  3. Recovery comes when we recognize that our gut feelings have been fueling the fire and steering us wrong.
  4. Recovery can be so difficult at times for this very reason.  We must go AGAINST our intuition to do things that our gut has been telling us are so very dangerous.

Do not let yourself be governed by “gut feelings” any more.  They will still be there, and will even be helpful, once you have eliminated the disorder. For not, recovery lies along a path that does not include your gut or your intuition.  Show then that they have been wrong for a long time, and send them packing until they’ve learned to behave!  🙂

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Podcast Intro/Outro Music: "Afterglow" by Ben Drake (With Permission)






Founder and host of The Anxious Truth podcast. Graduate student and therapist-in-training. Author and educator on the topic of anxiety disorders and anxiety recovery. Former anxious and depressed person.