WASHINGTON – Perhaps you are getting ready to give a presentation. Maybe you have a sensitive question to ask a friend. You’re nervously getting ready to meet with your boss to ask for a raise. Or maybe you are going to propose marriage to the person of your dreams. Did you know that what’s going on in your gut at these moments is actually signaling your brain? By all means, pay attention to your gut feelings. What you’re feeling physically might mean you should stop right there and assess why your gut is reacting in this particular way.
About those gut feelings
Does your stomach hurt when you’re stressed? Stress can directly affect your digestive system. “Choking under pressure” or feeling your “stomach is tied in knots” when facing difficult decisions are powerful and very real physical signals that can actually influence your digestion.
Lifestyle factors, such as an imbalanced diet, not getting enough sleep, having a job you don’t enjoy, and succumbing to negative thinking or self-talk, can also cause the serious “gut” feelings that seem to happen spontaneously at times. That’s because body parts talk to each other. What’s happening in your brain has a direct effect on your stomach and intestines, and vice versa. Your stomach or intestinal distress can, in turn, actually be the cause of anxiety and stress. So pay attention!
With each stressful situation, you can experience “butterflies in your stomach,” a gut-wrenching feeling. You are not sure why you feel slightly nauseous. Or why you experience a “kicked in the stomach feeling.” The reason is a scientific, or actually a medical one. Your stomach is the feeling and sensing hub of intelligence and instinct.
Whether you have butterflies in your stomach, a gut reaction or gut instinct, or a queasy feeling in the pit in your stomach, you should know this. Your stomach is a common place where you can encounter or experience these physical signals.
Physical signals affecting other parts of the body
You can also feel similar signals in different parts of your body, such as the chest, head and neck. Tune into those signals. They give you crucial information about where you are in the moment. With that information, you can better control your emotions and mood. Your body sends you signals and a gut reaction is usually a good indicator to go stop what you’re doing and assess your situation. I tell many of my clients “trust your gut!”
- What is the connection, and how can you use this information? Here are a few tips that can help you deal with that gut feeling.
- Research shows that eating a well-balanced diet that includes foods with probiotic or prebiotic ingredients helps restore balance to the gut.
- Shift from a negative, non-productive self-talk to a positive, productive mindset. My recent book, Talk Yourself Into Success (see below) guides you with strategies and techniques that will help support you in living a flourishing life.
- Sleeping eight hours each night can allow you to feel more rested, clear, and energetic.
Above all, be present, mentally and physically. Tune into you! It will serve you well.
To learn more about this topic, here is the link to my book:
Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Professional Certified Coach, Facilitator, Trainer & Author
Business, Life, Leadership & Career Coaching
Positive Self-Talk/Confidence Strategies, Resilience Techniques & Transition Work
Former ICF Metro DC President
Enhanced C-IQ Coach
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039
Ask Susan about her coaching packages and the Stress Reducing techniques she teaches: EFT (Tapping) and Breathing Exercises.