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22 October, 2007

Health Tips-13: "Our GI Tract is a Window on our Emotions"

Sometimes our gastro-intestinal (GI) tract is a window on our emotions. We are not always aware of feeling trapped or depressed or stressed, but we are aware if our stomach sends a message or distress signal. For those of us, who experience emotions in a visceral way, it can lead to physical problems if the signals are not respected and if we fail to make changes. When strong emotions are felt, our GI tract is often a barometer, it gives us adverse warning that we need to pay attention and make adjustments in our attitude or in our behaviour. If we repeatedly ignore these signals, we take the chance of missing important information our body is trying to transmit.

We can prevent more critical physical problems if we heed the warning signs and change our behaviour and/or our thinking. Our bodies and our minds see things in different ways. When we ignore our body's messages and think we know what is wrong, our body is forced to send stronger messages to us to feel. Feeling our feelings gives us the information we need to stay healthy. If my stomach is my barometer and I am avoiding 'taking action' on an issue that is important in my life, my stomach may remind me. It is sensible to ask myself, "What am I avoiding?" Sometimes it may be that I am avoiding looking at a problem that I have relegated to the 'it is not THAT important' file. A part of us is aware even when we have rationalized an issue. Our feeling body knows more than our thinking mind and is able to access the information for us. Listening to this information by quieting the mind is a learned skill and, when practised, serves us well.

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