GUTXY: USING YOUR GUT TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
As an entrepreneur, your life is one of never-ending decisions. Is that new person the right fit for your company? Should you invest in this area of product development? Is that the right customer niche to go for?
These complex judgements involve numerous intersecting factors that change over time. Psychologists typically categorise decision-making into two modes: logically overlooking a set of options and using reason to make decisions, or, simply using your intuition to respond – following your gut.
Whilst the concept of “trusting your gut” is nothing new, the scientific community is adding research depth to this declaration.
Scientists have established that we all have a “second brain” in our gut. This enteric nervous system (ENS), is essentially a network of approximately half a million nerve cells and neurons – roughly the amount found in an adult cat’s brain – that line our gut walls1. Along with controlling our gastrointestinal (GI) system, regulating our appetite and metabolism, our second brain is also critical for various mental processes, such as learning, memory and mood. For instance, gut bacteria are responsible for up to 95 percent of the body’s supply of serotonin, which is known for regulating feelings of happiness2.
Our second brain even appears to influence our state of mind in more obscure ways: a sense of “butterflies” in the stomach – in actuality the physiological signalling the gut plays as part of a stress response – is merely one example of how our emotions appear to be orchestrated by the nerves in our gut. This intimate communication between the gut and brain is what people refer to when they describe their “gut feelings.” Our intuitive knowledge is a result of this close relationship between our emotions and the sensations in our GI tract, and it goes both ways: overeating or excessive intake of fatty foods can change your gut in a way that affects your mental state, meanwhile, the knots in your stomach that occur when you get nervous arise because your mental state is affecting your gut.
What does this mean for you? Well, as far as gut feelings go, and as this adage continues to gain scientifically sound support, we’re moving beyond guesswork. By becoming in tune to how our gut functions, we can affect all areas of our lives – including our decision-making abilities. This means enhancing our lifestyle in a way that supports our gut health, whilst, at the same time, managing our overall emotions and stress levels to ensure this bidirectional relationship flourishes.
At GUTXY, we’re working to enhance everyone’s gut health, to improve all aspects of their daily experience. We believe trusting your gut means honoring it by honing in to your daily habits, to ensure your mind-body connection is as healthy as can be.
To learn more about how your gut affects your overall health, or to sign-up for updates for when you can test your gut, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sofia Popov
- Furness JB. The enteric nervous system and neurogastroenterology. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012;9: 286–294. pmid:22392290
- Jessica M. Yano et al., Indigenous Bacteria from the Gut Microbiota Regulate Host Serotonin Biosynthesis. Cell, 161 (2015), pp. 264-276.