Gut Brain Connection
Digestive HealthMental Health

The Gut-Brain Connection: Key to Better Health

The gut-brain connection is a proven thing now. Ayurveda has always professed the importance of emotional and spiritual health. Today, research and studies also say that emotions have a dramatic influence on the gut and it can influence everything from digestion to absorption. 

Thousands of years ago, Ayurveda professed this philosophy of gut-brain connection. Our sages said that human beings are emotional creatures. And our emotions are intricately connected to the internal working of our body. And the studies confirm this old saying of Ayurveda. So, in this blog, I bring you a scientific explanation of this gut-brain connection. So, read on!

Also Read: Mood and constipation – One affects the other

Gut Brain Connection – The gut mirrors your mind

Remember the time, when you had a stressful day or a bad week, there were some physical manifestations too. Be it a zit on your face or knot in your stomach, your state of mind casts a spell on your physical health. The rising cases of gastritis are an outcome of the increased stress and depression among people!

The reverse is equally true. When you are happy, content, and positive, your gut gets happy too. People who practice meditation or yoga have better control of their mental state. Hence, they are less likely to suffer from digestion woes. And this is a research-backed saying.

Also Read: Positive thinking leads to better sleep

The Gut Brain Connection in Ayurveda

Ayurveda defines a particular type of energy called the Samana Vata. This energy is responsible for the digestion and absorption of our food. Vedic knowledge says that this force is also engaged in digesting our emotional experiences. So, if this force gets dampened due to an emotional upheaval, it impacts your digestive system. 

The reverse is equally true. If your digestive system is experiencing trouble, then your mood won’t be chirpy and happy. This is a very common experience. I bet this happened with you too!

Also Read: 10 Easy and Natural Remedies for Anxiety

The Scientific take on the Gut Brain Connection

Emotional and spiritual wellbeing is no more a hypothetical theory. Science and research are backing most of the sayings from our ancient Vedas. Scientific research supports the Ayurvedic understanding of this gut-brain connection. And Ayurveda says the gut-brain connection is a two-way street!

The brain messing with your gut 

Research says that our gut is very sensitive to our emotions. Anger, anxiety, sadness, and happiness can influence your gut in unique ways. Feelings can trigger our stomach juices. Even the thought of eating can release digestive juices. That’s how strong is the Gut-Brain Connection.

Further, when you are stressed, your brain releases stress hormones – cortisol. This can suppress the beneficial bacteria in your gut and influence your digestive process.

Also Read: Happiness and health connection

Gut Brain Connection – The gut entangling your brain

Clinical psychologists have carried out multiple studies that support the connection between physiology and emotions. Research shows that inflammation, high-sugar diets, high quantities of trans fats, and unhealthy diets—may be the precursor to mood disorders. People living on such diets are more susceptible to depression. 

Another study says that Gut bacteria produce about 95% of your body’s supply of serotonin. This neurotransmitter influences both your gut and your mood. 

How to stimulate your digestion through emotions?

Since your digestion is so closely weaved with your emotions, you can actually benefit from this association. Even doctors say that the Gut-Brain Connection can be very beneficial. We can treat digestive issues with emotional processing. And you can unload your emotions with a better diet and lifestyle!

Ayurveda says emotions are a strong form of energy in motion. It is natural for every human being to feel emotions. But they become a problem when our mind restricts their free flow by shutting them or by overreacting.

When our emotions are repressed or misused, they lead to pain, agony, anxiety, overthinking, and depression. But when these emotions are correctly channeled, they can become a powerful tool of self-understanding. 

Ayurvedic doctors say, just like the physical body, we can cleanse our emotional body too. So, all that baggage of the past that we carry in some corner of our heart, the pain, the loss, we can actually be free of them. This process is called Srotomukha vishodhanam.

Srotomukha vishodhanam

Srotomukha vishodhanam is the act of allowing our emotions to flow freely. It is a way of purification attained by surrendering to them. Many of us are afraid to feel our emotions. We hold back our tears and insecurities. That’s why they get accumulated and create a blockage. But if we endure these feelings then they will eventually meet their end. 

When you begin to feel your held back emotions your body will find a way to let them out of your system. We can let go of the negative emotions (elimination) and keep those that help us grow (nurturing wisdom). 

Ayurvedic doctors call this, ‘juicing of emotions’. Feeling your emotions till the point they ripe and then juice them to learn essential lessons of life. This helps in making us calmer and more stable. This will cultivate a positive eco-system of emotions which results in better digestion!

Here are a few ways to purify your emotions and boost your digestion

Purifying your emotions

  • You probably already know that you can purify your emotions. So, you can provoke your emotions that are suppressed deep down. The pain of losing a dear one, a heart-break, an unfateful incident, humiliation, whatever it is, recall and relive that memory. Let the pain flow through your eyes.
  • You can also provoke your emotions by watching a sad movie or working with a therapist. This process of catharsis is not only beneficial for your emotional health but also has many physical benefits. 
  • You will feel light and liberated. Your mind will be calmer and your body will be more active. This will also help you get a positive frame of mind which is a very important contributor to health and happiness.

3 ways to release your emotions

  • Getting a deep tissue Ayurvedic massage can help in moving the energies and emotions that are stuck in your tissues.
  • Try yoga poses that enhance your balance. Certain yoga poses allow you to go explore and embrace your emotions thereby pushing them towards their natural completion
  • Meditation is another helpful technique that lets you unleash your blocked energies. It helps you to feel the unprocessed feelings stored in the body. 

Your takeaway on Gut brain connection

So, next time, if your digestive system rings an alarm then ‘don’t rush’ rather sit calm and check your emotional meter. Maybe you need to process some undigested feelings first to free the digestive forces!

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uma jagannath March 23, 2021 at 6:24 pm

Excellent article.this is the greatest problem of modern world..I hope it’s an eye opener for many .. thank you doctor

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yes madam. thank you

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Thank you so much

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