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Natural Awakenings of the Coastal Carolinas

Are You Happy?

by Ada Aniniba

Are you ready to challenge some of the beliefs you may have about your life today such as the thoughts you think, the stories you tell yourself and the ways you react to stress? All may have very little to do with your life and everything to do with your gut.

This may be surprising, but hang in there for a moment. First, know that you are a neurochemical being. No, this is not something out of a science fiction movie. Your brain is run by chemicals. When you witness something you like, your brain releases four main “feel good” chemicals: endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. In contrast, in the presence of danger, the “bad feeling” chemical cortisol, is released.

If your brain is not happy, the old-school tactic of approaching this is to fix your brain. Therapists have been helping people do this for years. However, a challenge that is often heard with this approach is that no matter how hard we try and fix life circumstances, we may still be unhappy, anxious or depressed. Worse yet, the smallest piece of stress can trigger a fit of rage.

This is because the chemicals that the brain releases that make you happy are produced in your gut. If your gut is not producing these happy chemicals, your life could be wonderful and you still feel down. The key is getting your gut to produce more of these happy chemicals

It all comes down to the diversity of your microbiome. You have good and bad bugs that live in your gut. The good ones are busy making these happy chemicals, strengthening your immune system and providing energy. The bad ones are doing everything possible to destroy the good ones. They act like the bullies of your gut.

The key to this balance is to focus on keeping the good bugs alive and happy. Ways to achieve this include eating more fermented foods; getting your hands into the dirt “literally” as this is a great source for healthy microbes; avoiding antibiotics including those found in medicine, food, hand sanitizers and mouthwashes; petting your pets; eating more prebiotic foods like vegetables; and every 90 days, taking a high-quality probiotic for one month.

The more happy bugs you grow, the more happy chemicals you will make. It’s that simple.

Just for today, put down that painful thought you keep thinking over and over again and turn your attention to making more happy gut bugs. Do one of the aforementioned strategies every time you catch yourself thinking that thought that pains you.

Let me know how it works. Cheers to a happy day!

Dr. Ada Aniniba is a Max Living Doctor at Innate Health Family Chiropractic and Wellness. She focuses on five essentials of health – a healthy mind, chiropractic, nutrition, lean muscles and minimizing toxins. She is passionate about bringing the chiropractic principles of life to everyone with her focus on pediatrics, women’s and men’s health, families and athletes.


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