Find out what role your stomach plays in stress, anxiety, depression and your overall mental health.
Stress has been accepted as a part of our life due to how difficult things can get, but who knew the stomach also played a role and is probably the main cause of it?
Experts are pinpointing our gut as the main cause of stress and calling it the ‘second brain,’ and nutritionist and yoga teacher, Charlotte Watts, agrees.
She explains by saying; ‘a healthy gut environment is the basis of good mental health and is responsible for how well we’re able to calm down after stress has passed. Therefore, looking after your core can have repercussions and improve your quality of life on many levels.’
According to dailymail, the stomach is indeed the second brain as “there is a massive and independent second brain running the whole route of your digestive tract – from mouth to anus – called the enteric nervous system.”
Science says that this nervous system has about 100 million cells, that’s one thousandth as many as there are neurons (nerve cells) found in the human brain and around the same as a cat’s brain, thus, this brain in your gut is capable of ’thinking‘, ’remembering‘ and ’learning‘.
While it is not able to make cognitive thoughts, it actually accounts for how we sense, how we intuitively feel about a situation or environment and the kind of ‘vibes’ we get from people.
This is an important survival mechanism as it determines whether we should approach or withdraw from a situation.
Concerning the relationship between the stomach and stress, a healthy midsection means no stress as our guts influence our emotional responses.
Scientifically, this is done through the digestive tracts which have lots of cells that create energy from food affect our emotions while feeding the gut wall, creating some B vitamins and helping digestion.
For now, scientists are still figuring out more and more about how gut feelings protect us as about 90 per cent of information goes bottom-up (brain to gut), thereby showing that not trusting our senses can lead to more stress in life.