In times when you are overwhelmed with a flood of emotional input, the ability to digest food takes a hit. What’s going on?
Your gut is your primary sensing organ
Your gut takes in both food and emotional vibrations from the world around you.
Emotions are made up of body chemicals. Things like serotonin, dopamine, GABA, adrenaline, cortisol – to name a few. As you sense what’s going on around you, your body makes emotional chemicals. Messages go from your gut to your heart which feels the wave of emotion, then it goes to your brain so you can make logic of it and choose your actions. The gut senses. The heart feels. The brain thinks. Different organs will help process the emotions and allow you to release the experience.
When your body is too busy processing an excess of emotions, or there is a block, it adds to the work the body has to do. With anything the body takes in, it has to break it down into smaller pieces to take what it needs and then it lets go of the rest. Challenges happen when you don’t have the enzymes to break down the chemicals, or have a nutritional deficiency the prevents cycles from completion.
Sometimes the block is you- you get in the way of emotional chemical processing. You deny your emotions. You don’t fully acknowledge them, feel them or process them. The unprocessed emotions get stored up and take their toll on your body.
Additionally, if your body is too clogged up with chemicals of emotions, it will have difficulty with digestive food breakdown.
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Organs of digestion and their corresponding links to emotion
- The liver and gallbladder process anger
- The kidneys (adrenals) and urinary bladder cope with fear
- The large intestine and lungs processes grief, sadness and worry- it is all about letting go.
- The stomach and spleen/pancreas handle thinking, intellect, memory, and concentration
- The heart feels everything, however its signature emotion is joy. It is closely tied to the small intestine, which has to choose what it needs for nutrition. Both are the seat of the soul, where energy from the outside world it transformed to provide energy for your body.
How does this work?
Too much anger and your liver or gallbladder health are affected. Too much fear and your adrenals get depleted. Too much grief, sadness or worry and you likely have issues with constipation, diarrhea or IBS. Too much or not enough joy affects the heart and cardiovascular health.
As I lean into my heart, it wants to be consoled, soothed, assured. It wants to feel soft, warm and fuzzy. It wants to feel courageous and strong. It longs for connection to others. We are not meant to be alone. Not for a long time anyway. As I lean into the emptiness of space, I take a deep breath. I take the energy that could easily contract in fear, collapse into a negative spiral and turn it outward. After allowing the energy to contract to a single point in the centre, the focus becomes the energy collecting strength to expand outward. It shines like a bright star. The light travels. Do you see it? Sense it? Feel it?
Help digest your emotions
Emotions are not to be ignored. They are not to be placed in charge either. It helps to turn negative connotations around, so you may productively address your concerns. Feeling your emotions is critically important. You must feel them right through to the end. Lean into the sticky, messy, hot, buzzy, uncomfortable landscape to truly understand what you sense. Why are you noticing these particular things that bother you in this moment? What’s in it for you? What message is meant for you out of this feeling? Sit with it. Allow it. Then release it. Let it go back out of you in the same way it came it – as energy. Here are ways to help release and balance your emotions.
- Anger: tells us something is wrong and motivates to change. Think of a solution that would benefit all involved. Make an action plan, take action. Moderate to intense exercise will release the chemicals.
- Fear: Courage is fear with an action plan. Turn fear to concern as you recognize the threat, build appropriate boundaries, standards and criteria for relationships. Gentle movement, fresh air, hum or sing helps you move through fear.
- Letting go: do things to help the bowels move at least once a day. Fibres, water, bitter herbs. Clean out closets, storage, donate and recycle. Sleep is critically important. Rest. Sip a warm and calming tea.
- Prevent overthinking: Do something creative to activate the right brain, sing, hum, paint, draw. decorate. Experience colours, sounds, textures, smells, distinct tastes; that means you engage your senses.
- Connect to the spirit: meditate, do small group bible study, go for a walk in nature. Most of all breath. Breath in Latin means spirit. Breathe deeply, slowly. Equalize the count of the in breath with the out breath.
When you support your emotional digestive processes, your food digestive processes will naturally improve.
Heal As One
Identify and remove any obstacles, support the body with necessary nutrients and this will help the body heal itself. But remember, we need others. Through spirit of the heart we are all connected to a unified source of energy. We need a community of loving hearts for everyone of us to heal. The feeling of love, care or appreciation for someone or something in your life, will help your calm not only your heart, it will support the other organs in their emotional and physical digestive process. As you are in a space of flowing energy, you will help others to do the same.