The number of publications describing the brain/gut connection has increased significantly in recent years. There are consistent findings that he connection between our mind and gut isn’t just metaphorical. The mind and gut are in constant communication via the brain-gut axis, a “information superhighway” that provides updates on what’s going on at both ends. That sinking feeling you get when taking in bad news or the way your gut twists when you’re anxious or stressed is the superhighway at work.
The folks over at Calm.com recently published a full article describing this connection as well as giving some advice on how to take advantage of this connection, but also how to become more attuned to and make use of our instincts. Some of this is summarized below, but be sure to read the full article at Calm.com.
- Get in touch with your feelings – Research shows that the quality of your gut instincts depends on your overall emotional intelligence (EQ) aka your ability to recognize, understand and manage your emotions and the emotions of those around you. Luckily, it’s possible to strengthen your EQ, which in turn, will strengthen your intuition. In order to build your EQ, you’ll need to get more in touch with your emotions. Use the Feelings Wheel to expand your emotional vocabulary. Learn how you experience emotions with the Emotions Series and use this information to help you Label Your Emotions. Try this meditation to Check-in with Your Emotions each day, helping you stay connected to your feelings.
- Tune into your body – Most of the time, gut feelings express themselves through a range of sensations in the body. That may look or feel like: “Butterflies”, nausea, or turning in the stomach Clammy or sweaty palms Muscle tension or tightness Increased heart rate Tightness or sense of calm in chest Goosebumps or prickling on skin Sometimes they are faint, sometimes they are strong, but either way if you don’t take the time to slow down and tune into your body you may miss the signs. Practices like a Body Scan help you build your body awareness so you’re able to recognize (and listen to) your gut feelings in the moment. 🔹 Let Jay Shetty teach you about Sensations vs Emotions. Learn to tune into your body and raise your EQ at the same time
- Find small opportunities to practice – Taking the time to practice listening to your gut, especially when the stakes are low, is a great way to strengthen your intuition. When faced with a daily decision like what outfit you want to wear, where to go for lunch, what type of workout you want to do, or even what tv show you want to watch at night, pay attention to: Your first thought: what is the first thing that comes to mind when you approach this decision? How you feel about the choices: how does your body feel when you consider different choices. Tight or loose? Excited or Shut down? How you feel after: once you make a choice and have followed through, notice how it plays out and if it feels like the right decision after the fact.
Again, be sure to read the full article and learn more tips at Calm.com!