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Upset Stomach – Is It All In Your Head?

Written by: Trish Whetstone, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


According to a national survey of over 2,000 adults, almost %75 of people experience digestive distress on at least a monthly basis. If you experience gas, bloating, or an upset stomach, you certainly aren’t alone. However, more than half of people with these concerns do not seek help. Why is this?

The Fear Of Being Brushed Off Many individuals fear being told that their symptoms are “all in their head”. Has this ever happened to you? Is it true that hidden digestive woes are created in your mind? How can you influence something you cannot see happening? First and foremost, let’s clear the air. No, your digestive issues are not “all in your head.” Digestive health is influenced by a complex interaction of hormones, physiology, genetics, behavior, and even psychology. A plethora of research links gut health and mental health. Therefore, the mind does have some influence on our digestion. If you suffer from stomach pain, indigestion or heartburn, you are heard. You are not at fault. There are many supportive professionals who will take you seriously. Seek help and advocate for yourself. Your gut will thank you. The Power That Is Always Within Your Control Wanna know one thing that is always within your head? The cephalic phase of digestion. Cephalic means “head”. That’s right, digestion actually starts in your head. About 30-50% of your stomach acid that helps break down food is released during this phase. That is, only if you make use of this time. You can actually use this supportive digestion process to significantly assist your gut. Use Your Mind To Do Your Gut A Favor 1. Create A Pleasing Plate. There are benefits to the aesthetic of a gourmet meal. Those pretty plates force most of us to take a moment and look at our food before scarfing it down. Yes, this pause has perks. You are allowing your digestive system a moment to “turn on” through signals from your cortex (your brain). Take time to arrange your food in a way that looks extra appetizing for this digestive boost. 2. Express Gratitude For Your Food. Ancient wisdom got this one right. When we express gratitude for our meal, we allow our bodies to enter a calm state. This nervous system state is actually called our “rest and digest” state because it’s when our digestive system works best. A happy nervous system equates to a happy gut! So say that prayer or simply express thanks for the food you are about to enjoy. 3. “Eat” With Your Senses.

Before you take that first bite, begin “eating” your food by using your senses other than taste. Visually appreciate your food by taking note of all the colors and textures of your meal. Smell each flavor, and maybe even take time to appreciate the temperature of your food. Can you revel in the steam of your soup, or the soothing chill of your yogurt parfait?

And finally? Enjoy your food! You can set yourself up for more digestive success by influencing these actual physiological processes within the digestive tract. That is how powerful your brain is!

Digestion is certainly not all in your head, but the parts that are can make for a truly enjoyable

experience with food.

What cephalic tool will you use at your next meal?

Follow Trish on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit her website for more ways to finally feel good in your gut. Read more from Trish!


Trish Whetstone, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Trish Whetstone is The Feel Good Gut Coach, a holistic health specialist, stress expert, and intuitive eating advocate. Trish received degrees in Psychology & Public Health from The State University of New York at Fredonia and worked within the non-profit world as an Educator, Coordinator & Director. After waking up too many times in her early twenties feeling like she "got hit by a bus", Trish said enough was enough. She healed her gut after years of struggling with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and became a Certified Health, Life, and Nutrition Coach to help others do the same. Through her personal coaching business, Health Coaching by Trish, she helps busy professionals with nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle change, so they can feel good in their gut!



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