The phrase “gut health” has wormed its way into more and more conversations over the last few years. People scoop up probiotics and start Whole 30 diets and are more comfortable talking about their intestines than ever before. And that’s great! We’re physically taking care of our gut and we’re feeling good about it. But, are we mentally taking care of it?
Your gut has a brain?
So, the gut I’m talking about here isn’t what you think. It’s that instinct we’ve all had before when making a decision…that gut feeling.
All of us have the capacity to feel what our gut is telling us — which means it must be connected to our brain in some way. I’m sure there’s scientific research on this, but I think that when I trust my gut, I’m trusting my brain. And that brings me a great deal of comfort when I’m stressed about making a choice (which I usually am). My gut feeling is there to help me, to guide me toward what I instinctively know is best.
And that makes sense, because after all, why would my own brain tell me the wrong thing to do?
The agony of a decision
Sometimes I make decisions so quickly, I can’t believe it. Other times, I agonize. I make lists, I have lengthy discussions with my poor friends and family, I ask the same question over and over again. But in those instances, what I’m really doing is asking these people to confirm what I already know. I’ve already done a gut check by this point and I know what I want.
That’s the benefit of doing a gut check. That simple moment in time, where you stop yourself to gauge how you’re feeling, can almost instantly put you on a path better suited to you. Because your gut can tell you a lot about a situation, a person, an opportunity. After all, that feeling is based on the history of all your experiences.
Which is why I’m starting to perform gut checks more frequently. And, as a result, trust myself more.
You can’t be right all the time
I’m not always going to make the right choices. I’m going to make bad choices. (Full disclosure: keep making bad choices.) My gut feeling might lead me down the wrong path.
But more often than not, I’m going to choose correctly and it’ll be because I did a gut check — I trusted what I felt and acted on it.
Next time you get that little feeling, you hear that little voice, take note. I’ve started to realize that our guts are smarter than we might think!