Every day we have to make decisions after decision, we are conditioned to be rational and logical however sometimes we just make a decision based on our gut feeling. We say “ I had a gut feeling” but what does that really mean and why is our gut becoming the subject of more and more research. I always wondered what “I have a gut feeling” or “my gut is telling me” or “I followed my gut” actually meant? What are these butterflies in our stomach and what are this gut-wrenching feeling we get sometimes actually mean. Not until recently did I actually managed to understand the real meaning of a gut and what our gut is made of and why we need to trust it... As Deepak Chopra, MD said : “If you say you have a gut feeling, you are not speaking metaphorically, you are speaking literally. Your gut makes the same chemicals that your brain makes when it thinks. In fact, I would suggest you can trust your gut feelings a little more, because your gut cells have not yet learned how to doubt their own thinking.“ –
Asking my friends about this I got many responses that people think that a gut feeling is simply a mental feeling, which occurs when we really want something. So people think we actually cannot think with our gut and they start doubting it.
But is our gut our second brain?
All the researches today are showing that our gut plays a major role on our physical, emotional and psychological state. The gut is made up of trillions of bacteria called the Mircobiome. We have around 3-6 poundS of bacteria in our gut. Do we have more bacteria and microbes than human cells ? Apparently YES.
The lining of the gut is made up of a neural network called the Enteric Nervous System or ENS or Second brain (it is made of more then 100 million nerves). It is the hub of major neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norephinephrine and nitric oxide. So the gut has it is own nervous system and potentially more powerful then the Central Nervous System. So this nervous system helps us “feel” our inner world in relation to our brain nerves. So these 2 nervous systems are always in constant contact and communication.
So we can say that there is no decision which is solely based on “logic’ or “rationality”, the brain uses a combination of logic AND emotions when making a decision. That emotion is based on our gut neurons; we have the ability to feel without reasoning. The “gut feeling” is a real process and we actually use it all the time without noticing. We have been brainwashed with logic and the power of our brain, that any feeling or “gut feeling’ brings with it uncertainty or doubt and that is where the mistake is.
I love this quote by Oprah “Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifest itself.”
I am not saying that this is the center where we should make decisions on marketing strategies or philosophical pondering but this system is so related to the grey matter in our brain through neurotransmitters and electrical impulses that it is a fact that the relationship and the information going and up and down that is fascinating.
But what is more fascinating is that the CNS can doubt itself but the gut cannot doubt itself.
So as an advice save your brain for the analytical stuff and trust your gut for all others.
Next coming soon how to keep a healthy gut….