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  • Writer's pictureYvette Kinkade

Our stomach is our second brain.

If you're overthinking your world and need a second opinion, then maybe it's time to call on your second brain.

Our stomach is often called our second brain; for some, it's our first. Trusting our gut isn't hard. It just takes a bit of practice.

Much is documented about our vast neural network of 100 million neurons lining your entire digestive tract. That's more neurons than are found in the spinal cord. Those 100 million little neurons make up the Enteric Nervous System (ENS), and there's lots of info substantiating the connections between digestion, mood, health and even the way your think. Knowing the power of these babies, how do we get them talking and, more importantly, how do we listen to them?

Can you think of a time when things just felt off? It just didn't feel right. It went against your grain, and you were certain this wasn't for you? Physically it felt like butterflies, a churning feeling or feeling nauseated. That was your gut speaking, and may I ask, Did you listen?

If you did, then Congrats! Your values, fibre, and intuition kicked in, and you are in tune.

Did you ignore the cues? Then, let's try a few simple strategies to ignite the connection and restore your compass and inner coach.

  • Check-in with you. How do you feel this very day this is key – from the tip of your head to the end of your toes. Think - you need to feel it rather than think it.

  • Pay attention to how you react in different situations; jot it into notes on your phone – you'll be surprised when those triggers fire up those feelings that tell you something just isn’t right.

  • Strengthen making daily decisions, ask yourself for the answer – pause and wait for a glorious download of your intuition. Now take your time to ask yourself, what should I do next? And listen closely for the answer. You will marvel in the way your body always knows what's best for you.

  • Spend time with those who uplift you, not those who bring you down.

  • Step out of your reliable and certain space; staying within routine narrows access to our gut feelings and doesn't allow for expansion. Find new things and new experiences. It could be a walk home via a different route, cooking a new recipe, meeting new people, or taking up a new hobby and exploring how that makes you feel.

  • Revaluate and rejig what you eat, add probiotics or maybe more kimchi, and learn to eat slower to encourage digestion. We must be to be kind to our stomachs.

  • Reflect each day and ask yourself at bedtime, "when did I ignore my gut today and why?" "What was it trying to tell me?"

  • Celebrate the power of your instinct and all the correct decisions it has made in the past.

  • Talk to a coach to harness your strengths and your values and understand your boundaries without old recordings playing in your head.

Now the more you practice, the better you will become at listening to your second brain. You may find you become more self-aware along the way, and the world will begin to look a little different and a whole lot better.

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