Our brain, located at the top of our head, isn’t doing all the thinking. Apparently, there’s a “second brain” that is also hugely responsible for a myriad number of emotions and feelings.
The second brain might not be in the strictest sense a “brain.” It’s more of a ‘brain’ that happens to live in our stomach and helps regulate an amazing number of feelings and emotions, says Vanessa Hill, the video-blogger of popular YouTube “channel” that is called BrainCraft.
“I’m going with my gut on this,” “I’m having a gut reaction,” and “I had a gut-wrenching experience” phrases have become so much a part of our everyday parlance. However, these statements might just in fact be partly true. Known as the enteric nervous system, the trillions of bacteria in your gut have more of a relationship with your brain than you may ever realize.
We have a whole bunch of neurons – nerve cells that form the basis of our central and peripheral nervous systems – in our spine. What’s baffling is the fact that we have the same type of neurons lining the long tube of our gut. In simple terms, the complex make-up of our gut is smart and independent enough to “suggest” you about the foods that you wish you were eating.
Essentially the gut is able to create intense cravings, explained Vanessa. Now we have the answer as to why we suddenly have a strong urge to eat a cheeseburger. This is in fact, the gut making your decisions for you, without referring to the brain first. Moreover, it’s not just the neurons packed into our stomach that pretty much tell us what to do. The buzzing microcosm inside is also busy exerting its influence.
Depending how old you are, where you live what and where you eat and how stressed-out you are, the micro-biome, this huge colony of bacteria residing in you, can communicate with your central nervous system to control everything from how anxious you are about a particular task, to how likely you are to approach any work with positivity.
It seems, our central nervous system is intricately wired with our stomach and guts and hence these organs can “steer” us regarding our choices of food and consumption habits. It turns out, our involuntary patterns or cravings for food may have been influenced by the gut, but scientists now realize that these regions are much more influential in other aspects as well.
[Image Credit | Craig Cutler]