What to Do With Your Premonitions

How to Handle Your Visions of Future Events, Great or Small

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In the weeks following the terrible events of September 11, 2001, many people claimed to have had premonitions of the attacks days or even weeks before that fateful day. The problem with the vast majority of alleged premonitions is they are not documented. Anyone can say they've had a premonition about a train wreck, World Series outcome, or some other event after the fact. What makes them worthy of serious consideration is proof that you indeed had the premonition well before the event.

Premonitions of Common and Uncommon Experiences

Premonitions are a feeling that something is going to happen—it is foretelling the future. Most people have experienced premonitions to one degree or another. The phone rings and you "know" who it is calling, even though the call was unexpected. Sometimes the premonition isn't as specific, but just as strong or stronger. Perhaps a great, unexplained feeling of sadness has been bothering you all day. It is only later that you learn that a close relative has died.

There are many such instances that we experience now and then, and sometimes (skeptics would say always) they can be attributed to mere coincidence. Others say there's no such thing as coincidence, but that's another topic.

There are times, however, when a premonition is so strong that the one experiencing it has little doubt that it is going to happen. These powerful premonitions are much rarer but happen often enough that some paranormal researchers believe they are real. Some people seem to be more sensitive to these types of feelings and may be called "sensitives" or "psychics."

These feelings are also most powerful among close relatives, where the psychic bond seems to be strongest. And if this talk of "psychic bonds" irks you as sounding like New Age gobbledygook, consider that even some mainstream scientists—quantum physicists and psychiatrists alike—understand more and more that all human consciousness is connected.

Premonitions can be as subtle as a gnawing feeling or can be so overwhelming that they jolt you out of your everyday routine and prevent you from thinking of little else. They can be vague, nothing more than a feeling, or they can be so vivid that some experiencers say it is like watching a film. Premonitions can foretell something that happens a minute later ... or weeks or even many months later. They can come while you're doing the dishes or they can come in dreams.

You've Had a Premonition, Now What?

If you are prone to premonitions that very often come true, or you've had a strong premonition about some future event, you must document it. An undocumented premonition is virtually worthless and will not be believed.

You're probably not going to want to document every little premonition you have. In fact, it may not be possible to document some of them: for example, that phone call that comes just two minutes after your premonition.

Explore this example of documenting a premonition. Although you haven't talked to her in a while, you've had a premonition or a vivid dream that your sister is about to experience a major life change—somehow you just know she's pregnant. This is just one example, of course; the premonition could be of anything—a plane crash, an accident involving a relative, or a natural disaster.

So how do you document your premonition? There are several ways:

  • Keep a diary. Get a journal and write down any premonitions you might have. Be sure to note the time and date that you experienced it. The weakness in this method, as far as verification by others is concerned, is that such diaries can be altered and faked— putting down a pre-dated notation for an event that's already happened. The value of a diary, assuming you are being honest, is that you have a personal record of your premonitions, the success rate of which you can track.
  • Tell others. Don't keep your premonitions a secret. You won't want to become an annoying bore by haranguing your friends with every little premonition you have, but if you think it may be something important, tell someone you trust. It's another piece of evidence. Using the example above, you'd certainly want to surprise your sister Mary with your premonition about her pregnancy before she has a chance to tell you. The weakness in this method is that it, too, relies on human honesty and sometimes faulty memories. Using e-mail might be better. Although e-mails can be altered, they are initially date-stamped.
  • Use a date-stamped location. The best way to document your premonition is in a date-stamped location that is not in your control. You might want to use the Premonitions Project or a similar database to enter your premonition.

These methods provide very convincing and compelling evidence for the date of your premonition.

Be Specific in Your Premonitions

Regardless of the methods you use, be thorough in the description of your premonition, including as many specifics as you can recall. It's sometimes difficult to describe feelings but do your best. Describe locations, people, names, landmarks, shapes, colors, smells, temperatures, and emotions that you sensed. Guard against padding your descriptions with things you didn't really sense. You want to be as accurate and honest as possible.

If you believe your premonition has been fulfilled, be as honest about that as well. It may not be 100 percent accurate, but there should be enough correct detail to verify your premonition. This is where your detailed report comes in. If you just say, "I sense a train wreck somewhere in the eastern U.S. ..." your credibility goes way down because, unfortunately, virtually every week there's a train wreck somewhere in the eastern U.S. The more likely an event is to happen, the less seriously your vague premonition will be taken.

Don't let your premonitions slip by. The more verifiable evidence we have of this phenomenon, the closer we will come to understanding it.