Why Your Gut Is Your Second Brain–and Is Sometimes Even Smarter
During this past year, I was faced with more challenges in my life than ever before. A more positive way to say this is that I had plenty of “growth opportunities”. But honestly, sometimes I really didn’t feel like growing anymore and just had enough. Thanks to my wonderful supportive friends though, and my own persistence and perseverance, I kept going. I invested in self-growth and development coaching and business coaching, read books about adopting a positive mindset, listened to endless webinars, and took holistic continuing education courses. The result of all this growth and development was that I felt obligated to take my business to the next level, expand my services and achieve faster and better results with my clients than I did before. The new beginning in my private life also triggered a new beginning in my career, and so, I retired my previous business Anja Nutrition and Wellness and created Wellness by Anja.
What is Wellness by Anja about and what is different now?
Being a holistic nutritionist, I always included my clients’ lifestyle and way of stress management in my nutrition consultations. But after this past year, I realized how critical it truly is to address your emotional and mental health in addition to your physical health. Therefore, I will offer more coaching in these areas from now on, to serve you even better than I did before. Some practices may include stress management and change of stress perception, mindfulness and adopting a positive mindset, overcoming your subconscious limiting beliefs, and eliminating negative self-talk.
I am dedicated to helping you transform your life through education, self-awareness, lifestyle changes, and nourishing foods, so you can live the exciting and fulfilled life of your dreams.
An extremely important aspect that is often overlooked when certain health challenges need to be addressed is the intimate relationship between your gut and your brain. As a matter of fact, scientists even refer to the gut as the “second brain”.
Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” experience? Do certain situations make you nauseous? Have you ever felt “butterflies” in your stomach? Then you experienced the direct communication between your brain and your gut, which, by the way, works in both directions. Feelings such as anger, sadness, anxiety, and elation can trigger symptoms in your digestive tract. But also, a troubled intestine can send signals to the brain. Consequently, your anxiety, stress, or depression, can be the cause or the product of your stomach or intestinal distress. Furthermore, your “gut brain”, which is scientifically called the enteric nervous system, and refers to all the nerve cells in our digestive tract, is comprised out of more than 100 million neurons. These are more neurons than your spinal cord is made out of. In fact, this system is so extensive that it can operate as an independent entity without input from your central nervous system. In addition, the enteric nervous system is influenced by the same neurotransmitters (messenger molecules) as the brain. Two important, and very well known neurotransmitters, are serotonin and dopamine. Around 95% of the body’s serotonin is actually produced in the gut. The most commonly prescribed anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medications target serotonin. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression. Since it is our “happy” messenger it is easy to understand that in order to effectively treat mood disorders, such as depression, we need to address gut health first. The same is true for dopamine. Your gut produces about the same amount of this messenger molecule as your brain does. Dopamine is our “motivation” messenger and low dopamine levels are linked to depression as well.
The great news is that often some simple lifestyle adjustments can help reduce your symptoms immensely.
Here are some of my basic tips:
- Eat nutritious foods.
- Move your body in whatever way is the most fun for you.
- Take three deep belly breaths before you start eating and chew your food well.
- Eat in a relaxed environment.
- Practice deep breathing exercises or some meditation (you might be surprised how much better you feel after just one minute of deep breathing).
- Get enough sleep.
- Spend time in nature.
- Laugh a lot.
Sometimes though, these simple exercises are not enough to bring your body back into balance again and it is important to address the more complex causes of your physical and mental health challenges.
Examples of some causes are:
- Food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances
- Hormonal imbalances
- Dysregulation of the adrenal glands
- Dysregulation of the thyroid
- Perception of stress
- Emotional Trauma
So, if you are sick of being sick and you have enough of suffering from symptoms such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and more…, then book your complimentary session with me now. I look forward to exploring with you your path to better health, so you can feel energetic and vibrant again.