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  • THERE IS A SECRET CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR FEELINGS AND YOUR GUT. Well, there's actually

  • over 100 million secret connections....but who's counting?

  • Hey everyone, Laci Green here for DNews! You've probably heard sayings like: you've got "butterflies

  • in your stomach", "a knot in your stomach", that what happened was "gut wrenching". We

  • even use phrases like "my feelings were hurt" - which is meant to be a metaphor, but may

  • have a more literal origin. We've known for a long time that sometimes we feel our emotions

  • physically in the body - and in fact there are loads of MRI scans to back it up - but

  • why are so many of the negative emotions (like fear, anxiety, and disgust) felt in your stomach?

  • DNEWS INVESTIGATES.

  • Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical Schools explains that the answer is pretty simple

  • - your brain and your gut are best buds. They're in constant communication with each other,

  • sending signals back and forth when your brain OR your stomach is distressed. Specifically,

  • they're connected through the Enteric Nervous System, or the ENS, which has over 100 million

  • nerves running directly from your brain...to your stomach. So emotional distress can cause

  • a distressed gut AND, strangely enough, a distressed gut can *also* cause emotional

  • distress. It's a two way street.

  • What you'll notice about a lot of the emotions that people feel in their stomach - butterflies,

  • the gutwrench, the knot -- is that they're all different ways of experiencing the same

  • emotion: stress. When there's something that stresses you out, it triggers the fight-or-flight

  • response in the brain. This is an instinctive physiological response experienced by ALL

  • animals in the animal kingdom! It's there to protect you in dangerous situations -- to

  • prepare you to fight in the case of an attack or to outrun the predator. Part of fight-or-flight's

  • physiological response is inhibiting the secretion of stomach juices while diverting blood flow

  • from the stomach and into your lungs and muscles instead. Pair this with all the stress hormones

  • that your body is releasing, like adrenaline, and it produces a physical reaction that's

  • experienced all over your body -- including your heart, and your gut. Because of your

  • brain's connection to the stomach through the Enteric Nervous System and the stomach's

  • involvement in digestion, stress is also a common irritant of the digestive system. It

  • can cause stomach aches, gas, constipation, diarrhea, and a whole host of other wonderful

  • conditions.

  • But hey -- it's all there to protect you in the event that a lion were to attack....OR

  • WORSE...you'd be paired up with your crush in science lab. Kind of strange that we have

  • a similar physiological reaction to both, right? Some evolutionary scientists say that

  • the human mind hasn't yet evolved to handle our not-actually-threatening 21st century

  • woes. That's why a stress reaction meant to protect you from being eaten alive also happens

  • all the time in everyday situations.

  • The more you know, right? Thanks for joining me for DNews everyone! What triggers YOUR

  • stress response? Tell me about it down below and I'll see you next time!

THERE IS A SECRET CONNECTION BETWEEN YOUR FEELINGS AND YOUR GUT. Well, there's actually

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Why Do We Feel Emotions In Our Stomachs?

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    Eating posted on 2015/02/24
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