The Brain and Gut - Is There a Connection?

Why is the gut called the 'second brain'?

And is the gut really connected to the brain or mind in some way?

I would say a resounding yes in my experience. And I would also say they are more than just connected....they are interconnected.

Have you ever had this happen:

You hear some not-so-great news and suddenly you start to feel fearful, anxious or sad. Then you lose your appetite because your stomach is tied up in knots. And you may even start to feel a bit nauseous.

All this can happen in a matter of minutes, even seconds. I know it's happened to me in a matter of seconds.

Then if you don't pull yourself together, in a matter days this can lead to digestion issues. 

The event that caused you to feel fearful, anxious or sad, causes stress physically and mentally if we do not integrate the emotions we are feeling. If we stuff them down or push them away, they will cause our body to become inflamed from the inside-out (physical aspect) and cause us to feel helpless, separate and alone (mental aspect).

So this is just one example of how there is a connection.

When the mind thinks, the body reacts.

And vice-versa -- when the body has digestive issues, it affects the mind.

The first example above dealt with us experiencing a challenging event with getting some not-so-great news. So that example started in the mind and affected the body.

Now, let's say we eat something that normally doesn't agree with us too well or made some other kind of not-so-great food choices.

Then the body has a hard time digesting what we ate and we may feel bloated, have gas, and maybe even some stomach pains. Then that starts to create a mood-shift. So it affects us mentally, within the mind.

And if we already deal with anxiety or even depression, the digestive issue we begin to experience from that food choice makes those issues worse.

So you see, it's a back and forth interconnected, communication highway, and one reason why the gut is sometimes called the 'second brain'.

So then, what do we do?

There's two places you can start.

  1. Make dietary changes so you eat a balanced and nutritious diet. And get help if you are not sure what that looks like for you.
  2. Find practices that help to bring more mindfulness into your life like yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety.

You can also join me in the MIND~BODY CHISEL LAB where the focus is on stress and anxiety relief by moving the body, quieting the mind, and creating a radiant life for women 40 and up.

And on September 8th, the next challenge begins called:

The Muddy Mind Chisel Challenge.

We'll move the body AND take some time to just BE. Plus I'll be sharing specific mini tips and practices on how to chisel your mind throughout the day. When you do these, consistently and with awareness, they will create huge shifts!

Check out the challenge by clicking here.

The two examples in this post are how I have experienced the brain-gut connection.

What do you think? Have you ever had any of these experiences too?

Please share below.




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