Irritated Gut – Irritated Brain (It’s Not All in Your Head)
April 2, 2018
I use to be terrified of public speaking. Whenever I had to do it I felt like a thousand psychotic butterflies had been released in my tummy and so nauseous I might throw up. I have now moved passed this and it’s one of my favorite parts of life (a story for another time) but the affect my brain had on my poor tummy was indisputable.
Science has now established with zero doubt that there is a direct relationship between the gut and the brain. In fact there is cranial nerve called the vagus nerve that runs directly from the brain to the digestive tract. So your mood and emotions can affect your gut… and symptoms in your gut can cause or increase mental imbalances! And for persons with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) this connection is even more sensitive.
The general recommendation to simply ‘relax and you’ll feel better’ may seem like vague advice in regards to your IBS but there is actually some truth to it. But let’s narrow in on this and look at some actionable tools that have been shown to work at rebalancing our beautiful brain and calming our irritated bellies…
the power of meditation has become so unbelievably obvious in our current world. It has been shown to have a significant impact on clinical symptoms of IBS and IBD (irritable bowel disease). This doesn’t mean we have to go sit on a mountain top for days on end. Try starting with 5 minutes a day and just breathe or downloading an app like Headspace to get started.
The benefits of a practicing gratitude are hugely abundant from decreasing health symptoms to improving sleep and even creating more meaningful relationships! Challenge yourself to journal 3 specific things you are grateful for each day. You may find yourself seeing more good in the world throughout as you go about your day!
Sometimes some inspiring reads are just what you need to give yourself a good push into a more mindful, grateful, gut calming place. I’m an audio book junkie and these are a few of my faves: ‘The Universe Has Your Back’ by Gabrielle Bernstein, ‘Spontaneous Happiness‘ Andrew Weil and ‘Braving the Wilderness’ by Brene Brown.
Don’t stress yourself by trying to do it all. Choose one and be consistent for the next 30 days!