would it be too far fetched to say that our guts can impact our feelings and emotions?
it might sound crazy at first, but the more i read into it, the more the two appears to be related.
it’s called the gut-brain-axis.
the first time i came across this idea, i was reading GRAIN BRAIN by david perlmutter.
by now i’ve forgotten the proposed scientific mechanism relating the gut to the brain,
but the general idea stuck with me – the idea that eating wrong foods for you can play some nasty tricks on your mind.
i remember the first time i tried going on a low carb diet (late 2013?), i had a lot more anxiety issues than before.
i’ve never really felt that way before, so i didn’t know it was anxiety at that time.
they hit me like a bat to my head, bringing my positive outlook down to the ground with it.
i’m normally a positive person who thinks the future is filled with opportunities,
but those dark and bleak moments filled with uncertainty are coming at me increasingly over the months i continued on the diet.
i don’t know what an actual panic attack is like,
but there was once i suddenly feel like my future is doomed (for no apparent reason),
that everything i’m doing right now is meaningless,
my heart rate rose, i’m restless, uncomfortable with my surrounding (which was perfectly fine just minutes ago).
i tried my breathing exercise but it didn’t seem to work, so i just tried to let it pass.
thank god it did.
it was a strange experience, because i’ve never felt anything like that before.
is that how it’ll feel like if dementors kissed me?
i never had another episode of whatever it was again.
there was also another time when i was talking to my then bf,
he was talking about how the future might turn out to be – the death of the lower income group because living will become so expensive in the future.
the normal me wouldn’t feel much for that sentence because being the positive person that i am, i know there will surely be ways for them to survive. if there’s a will, there’s a way.
but the overly worried me was so affected by what he said.. i pictured myself drowning in the sea because i’m not able to afford a boat.
what the hell!? that wouldn’t come to my mind normally at all!
i felt so upset i told him i don’t feel like talking and ended the call, also something i never did because..
i have always enjoyed and wanted to speak with him then.
i lived through many tiny episodes of self doubt and uncertainty about the future during that period of time.
at that time, i thought it’s just mood swings, PMS, and you know.. everyone has a healthy level of self doubt right?
sometimes i thought i was moody because i didn’t feel like my skin is doing well.
lately, i realized that the relationship don’t always hold true.
bad skin don’t always result in negativity.
even though my skin was shitty the past month, i never had those fears about the future.
i was upset, but not depressed.
and i don’t self doubt any more than usual.
in fact, my outlook is more positive than ever.
i didn’t feel like there’s a black hole sucking away all my positive energy away, whereas in the past, there was no way of escaping a negative thought no matter how hard i try to think positively.
what’s more interesting is, i think i can predict what’s going to happen to my skin based on the frequency of my anxiety attacks.
in september 2015, my skin was pretty good. probably the best it has been in the entire year.
but in the same month, i started having those attacks a lot more frequently,
almost once every week.
i passed it off as PMS at the very beginning, but things don’t add up.
i can’t be PMS-ing for the entire month, can i?
by now, the nature of my anxiety attacks have changed.
it’s no longer me fearing about the uncertainty of my future, but rather..
self doubt and negative thoughts taken to the next level.
like every trigger will just bring up the worst possible scenario in my mind.
i know there’s a devil living in the empty spaces in my reality, and it has upped its game by 10 folds.
for example, if the guy you like doesn’t respond to your text for the entire night,
instead of thinking that “oh he’s just busy” and getting on with whatever i’m doing, i automatically think “he’s with another girl right now” and i proceed on to feeling like shit and wallow in a downward spiral of bad feelings.
the thing is, I’M NOT EVEN THAT KIND OF GIRL WHO WORRIES ABOUT THIS KIND OF SHIT NORMALLY.
i was NEVER insecure or needy like that.
i know it’s not about my self confidence either, because my skin was fine at that time,
which guarantees a healthy level of self confidence for me.
no matter how i try to rationalize my thoughts, i just can’t figure out why my mind had that tendency to go to the worst possible explanation and making myself miserable in the process.
i’ve tried meditation, which helped me by being more conscious of my feelings,
but it didn’t stop them from coming.
acknowledging my feelings did help me come to terms with it so it can pass by faster though.
anyway, my mental wellness wasn’t that great in september and october.
i catch myself being controlled by the devil in my mind way too many times, and there was nothing i can do despite being a positive and confident person.
i know something was wrong with me because it’s a deviation from the norm.
and then my skin took a bad turn after october.
i guess the anxiety issue is just one of the symptoms of a compromised gut, just like how my skin issue is a symptom of a bigger issue.
i don’t remember much about how my gut health was like back then, but i know i was very gassy, which isn’t a sign of a healthy gut.
the relationship here is this: the gut will affect the mood and auto immune system.
so if my mood wasn’t normal, my gut probably isn’t, and of course my immune system is out of whack too.
i want to improve my gut health,
on top of eating more vegetables (which i have been skimping on lately) and lesser meat (i feel like i don’t digest them that well) so that i can feed the bacteria in my gut,
i also began drinking ACV and taking probiotics again.
i’ve done ACV and probiotics before, but i never felt any significant changes back then to be honest.
maybe i wasn’t looking at the right place to observe the appropriate signs.
this time round (i’ve only been on the probiotics for a week),
i do feel a difference in terms of the amount of gas, and the quality of it.
TMI: it doesn’t smell like undigested food.
i’ll try to stick to it for as long as i need to because i’m not just doing it for my skin health.
i’m doing it for my mind too.
a healthy gut means lesser inflammation and auto immune problems too, so i really have nothing to lose.
looking back, there were experiences that stood out to me as evidence that the gut-brain-axis really do exist,
but reflecting on my past after i’ve read about such a relationship means there may be a case of confirmation bias.
whatever it is, i’m just sharing my personal experience with anyone who might identify with them.
did you notice yourself feeling more anxious/negative/depressed?
if you experience those feelings even when your skin appears to be fine, it could be your gut.